Your End Of The Year Coffee With… Yourself
The end of the year is right around the corner and with it people will be looking at taking stock in what they have achieved and, further, what their goals are for next year. So, let’s grab a coffee (or whatever), a pad of paper or your device and find a good quiet place to look at a few areas we can take stock in as we prepare for the next 12 months. I always like to do this at my local coffee house. Depending on the time, it can be a good place to sit and think. Find a place that allows you to think and not somewhere that phones, emails or people will prevent your stream-of-consciousness.
Jot down these headers; Operations, Administrative, Training, What I’ve Learned and Plans. Leave some space to fill in your thoughts as well as some space for your own self-analysis to the side of each. Breaking it up into these areas will help organize your time and thoughts. Initially, in each area, don’t take too much time or deep thinking (that will come later) just use the quick fire neurons and make a list of what comes forefront to your mind.
Okay, take a drink of whatever you’re having annnnnd let’s go:
Start here. Take about 10 minutes and (off of the top of mind) catalog what were the major accomplishments from the year. Remember, not just quantity but quality. Just make a list of things that pop into your head. Whether it is assignments, details or another accomplishments, they all contributed to your gains. Again, don’t comment or spend too much time in thought (we will come to that later).
Yup… admin stuff is important, too! Are your licenses, insurance and other required back-of-house activities up to date? Part of being an operator means being an owner, too. Our world continues to get more and more complex and, as a result, needed requirements to be in the industry will continue to tighten. Are you appropriately topped-up where you need to be? The sad truth is many don’t pay heed to this small (but vital) area of conducting business. Failing to do so, risks your reputation and abilities to operate. Make a quick checklist of what’s required and what you have or need.
The flip side of administrative is the ground level truth. Are you ready for the new challenges being presented? As stated above, having the proper business framework keeps you legal and makes you far more attractive to hire. Understanding the craft and all that is needed to do the job is why you’re getting hired in the first place. This is your passion, the former is your duty. I’m not just speaking of the very finite tactical abilities, but an entire gamut of activities from operational tactics to physical training. Quickly, jot down your achievements.
Now, for a second sip and the deep thinking stuff:
What did you learn this year?
Looking back over each of these areas, is there anything that sticks out to you? Capture that idea or thought. Good, bad, or indifferent those top-of-mind insights can help to shape what you will do. If it was extremely good think how you can replicate that. What actions did you take that led to that success? What were the conditions surrounding it and can they be reproduced? If it was less than positive, what would be your plan to avoid it next time? Again, thinking about the conditions that led to the outcome can reveal a pathway around it.
Do this for each of the areas and see what it reveals to you.
Future Plans (FUOPS)
Now that we have taken and examined our snapshot, how did we do? Are you happy? Did we accomplish what we set out? Did we even have a plan? It always seems like we have a million things we set out to do and it never fully gets done. As we move forward, thinking and refining our plans and goals will not only help focus the activities, but will yield a far greater sense of accomplishment than just getting a daily checklist done. So what do we want to do now? What are our goals for ourselves and our operations, moving forward? Do we have objectives or milestones we can pull from this exercise? What are they? If you had five or six key things to accomplish this year, what would they be? What are things that need to happen in order for those to become reality? My advice is this: doing a smaller amount with greater success is better than overwhelming yourself and, in turn, your abilities to succeed.
New Kids on the Block
Having recently attended EPIC in Las Vegas, it’s amazing how many new practitioners are eager to get into the business. Getting into the business requires a plan, too. So, if you’re new to the industry, looking at these areas and making some strategic objectives over the next 12 months will help you.
Old Dog…Old trick
Successful people know we need to do this activity in order to set ourselves for continued success. Defining that accomplishment and its’ parameters beforehand helps us look for and see the opportunities. It also gives us a (often time) much needed wake-up call for our egos and business plans.
We aren’t even into the New Year and we see new risk vectors manifesting from areas we hadn’t even imagined five years ago. It’s going to continue to get interesting so take a few moments for a breather and prepare yourself for success. You work hard and it’s important to take stock in your abilities and accomplishments.
Well done on everything you have accomplished this year and everything you will do, this next year!
Keep your head down and Happy Holidays!