This is a great time of the year to do some long-term planning, beginning with a few simple steps.
First, take stock in what you have. Count your blessings. These can be about business and success, blessings around family and friends and relationships, about faith and where you are in your journey of personal growth. Make a list. Appreciate the progress that you have made over the past year in particular. If you've had a hand from people around you, share that grateful spirit with them. Let others know how they have helped you.
Next, think about what you need to work on. You can return to those same categories that you scoured in the gratefulness exercise. You may have just missed some of the business metrics you wanted to hit last year. Come up with ideas on how to do it better this year. How are your relationships? What can you do to improve them? Start with your personal life and radiate out from there. What do you need to change in your relationships to make them better? Do you need to be more tolerant? More appreciative? A better listener? This is another list.
You can start with eating better and exercising, .but I'll challenge you to dig deeper than that. Ask for feedback from people around you to better understand what you can work on personally.
As you construct your personal improvement list, think about 2012 and further out. Think about your dreams ten and twenty years down the road. Write down steps you can take this year that will move you in that direction. If your goal, for example, is to hand your farming operation down to your children within 15 years, make a list of things you can teach them this year that will help them be ready. Make the time to sit down and have a discussion about what they want and what you want.
These are very basic first steps in building your business and personal vision for the future. Count your blessings, examine the flaws and determine ways to make 2012 an even better year than last year.
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