This time of the year is when people usually start winding down and getting ready for a well-deserved break. It's also a time for reflection, looking back at the last twelve months that have passed so quickly.
If you feel that the year did not go as well as you would have liked in your business, your career or other areas of your life, then there are a few things you need to be aware of that may be the reason why.
Understanding the cause for lack of results will give you a better perspective, and save you time and effort as you prepare for the year ahead. After all, the recognition of a problem is half of the solution.
“We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them” – Albert Einstein
Let’s explore the top five reasons why things may not have gone well for you in 2017, and what you can do about them.
1. Fear of Failure
As creatures of habit, humans can easily fall in the trap of being too comfortable. The comfort zone is a dangerous place. In fact, it should be called the death zone because nothing progresses if it stays there for too long. Too many smart people who fear making mistakes also fear change. They don’t realise that nothing new and worthwhile comes without challenge. In fact, every invention since the beginning of civilisation was a result of many failed attempts.
If you have this issue, ask yourself these questions and be honest with yourself: what do I have to lose, and why would it matter if I did?
You will soon realise that there’s no such thing as failure, only feedback to help us improve.
2. No Why
Not having a burning desire and a drive is like hopping on a train without knowing where it’s going. Sounds silly, right? But that’s exactly what most people do!
No successful venture ever got started, let alone celebrated, without its founders having a compelling reason and a vision of how things will be in the future, and then communicating that vision with everyone involved.
Your big WHY and your reason for being in business, in a career or in a relationship must be challenging enough to keep you grounded when things are going well and inspire you to take action when the going is tough.
To address this issue, first take an honest inventory of your strengths and weaknesses, focus on the areas that score highest on the following three questions: What do I love to do? What am I good at? What do others find valuable?
Get back to that childlike dream state and imagine how you want things to look and feel like. What would you be thinking to yourself and telling others. Really feel it until it is as clear in your mind and emotions as the light of day.
Once you have a vision that excites you, tell everyone involved and help them ‘see’ it the way you do.
3. No Plan
You would have heard the saying “failing to plan is planning to fail”.
So many people are trying to 'wing it' in business and in their lives. If you’ve ever tried to work on a project or start a business without a plan, I can almost guarantee that you have wasted time, effort and money. Successfully delivering anything of value requires a plan that lays out the actions you and your team are going to follow.
Start with twelve-month goals for each area of your business or your life. Remain flexible and have a backup plan in case things don't go well.
Aim to produce to a ‘good-enough’ standard. Don’t aim for perfection.
You'd also want to systemise and outsourcing your repetitive non-core tasks, where possible, to eliminate wasted time and effort.
4. No Persistence
Persistence in business and relationships is key to long-term success. You need to work on it every-single-day. There are no shortcuts to success and quality.
All celebrated athletes and sports stars have loyal fans who cheer them on when they are in competition, and especially when they’re winning. But fans do not witness the tough training that these athletes go through to get to that stage.
Everything has a tipping point. But most people will quit way before then. If you can delay gratification, focus, persist and consistently take action, you are more likely to build momentum and get to that tipping point.
5. No Support
This is one of the biggest mistakes that leaders and entrepreneurs make when working with people or starting a business.
Many leaders take too much on because they trust in their own abilities. They rob themselves of the opportunity to be effective leaders and rob others of the opportunity to learn.
Business owners do the same thing where they work in the operation of their business because they have the technical expertise, while they should be working on the strategic elements of developing their business.
People who are successful in business, in their careers and relationships will always seek knowledge and guidance from a mentor or a coach. So it's important that you have the support of a good coach along the way.
There you have it – the 5 most common issues why the last twelve months may not have worked out the way you wanted, and what to do about it in 2018.
So, what did you think of this list and what was your experience in 2017? Feel free to reach out to me and start a conversation today.