There are only 11 days left in 2010—less than 2 weeks. So what can you do in these last 11 days that will make a difference in 2011? Let me suggest a variation of Stephen Covey’s Habit #2 (Begin With The End In Mind from The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People):
End 2010 With The End Of 2011 In Mind
What are three things you want to be different—in your personal life, in your family, in your organization—by the end of 2011? Three things that if accomplished will make 2011 not just a good year, but a great year! Take your time. Don’t be too quick to choose. You have 11 days before 2011 is here, so give some serious thought to this. Take these steps:
- Step #1: Spend a few hours making a list of everything you would like to be different by the end of 2011. Don’t stop until you have at least 10 things on your list.
- Step #2: Take anything off the list that you have little or no ability to influence or impact. But don’t sell yourself short on this. You can probably influence or impact most of the things on your list.
- Step #3: Narrow your list to the five things that will make the most difference. Think this through carefully before you scrub the list.
- Step #4: Which three of the five can you fully accomplish before the end of 2011 if you make them a priority?
- Step #5: What are the specific actions you need to do or behaviors you need to change to accomplish these three before the end of 2011? (This is a crucial step. Losing ten pounds is a goal, but not an action or behavior. Exercising three times a week and dessert no more than once a week are actions.)
- Step #6: Establish measures for the actions/behaviors, not the outcome. (Charting what you weigh every day will not help you lose weight. But charting your exercise sessions and what you eat will help.)
- Step #7: Develop an accountability mechanism. This could be your staff, your spouse, or a friend. Holding yourself—and others—accountable is essential to success.
- Step #8: Get started on or before January 1st. January is critical! A good start is crucial and is the key to sustaining the effort. You will never finish what you don’t start, and you will seldom finish what you don’t start well.
Enjoy the holidays! Celebrate the birth of Christ! Spend time with friends and family! But also, take some time to End With The End In Mind. This time next year you’ll be glad you did.
Wise men still follow Him. Merry Christmas!