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As January Goes...So Goes Your Year
I will never forget the first time I heard these words. It was several years ago and I remember them as if they were just spoken. Personally, I have never heard more powerful and accurate words than these seven. I have witnessed and experienced both the benefit and the consequences of being prepared and unprepared for the all important month that happens at the first of every year.

If you are in business for yourself or if you are part of an organization, imagine if you will a giant Etch-a-Sketch (for those not familiar with this devise, it is a toy developed sometime in the 60’s that allowed you to draw and create incredible images in straight line patterns. I loved making stairs!). Back to the point, imagine a giant Etch-a-Sketch that has the picture or the story of your last year. Some parts of the picture are just as you planned and some parts did not turn out exactly as you had planned, nonetheless, there it is, your last year’s production or performance.

Now imagine taking the Etch-a-Sketch and giving it a good shake and suddenly all that was once there is now gone, nothing left of what was, only the tiny dot of promise ready to be utilized again to draw the story of what will be the picture of your new year. Are you ready? Do you know what you want your picture to look like? Do you have what you need to make it happen?

The more prepared you are to begin your next rendering, the more likely your picture (year) will turn out like you want it to. The key is to be ready when it’s time to begin-Thus the importance of your commitment to that first month January.

I have seen many individuals begin to prepare for their year when the year begins. This is poor planning. I knew an individual once who set out to devise his game plan in January only to find himself implementing it in March. Before he knew it, his year did not start until April and he found himself behind the entire year unable to catch up! The key to a great year is to hit the ground running in January. How do you do this? Good question. Here are a few tips.

1) Plan your next year at least in the final quarter of the previous year. Schedule time to review what has gone well, what needs to be adjusted and how to move forward.

2) Have clear goals and objectives. Know what you want and how you will get there. Have an accountability process to keep you focused.

3) Have something waiting for you when you begin. There is no greater feeling than having activity, appointments or opportunities waiting for you when January rolls around. Prospect for these opportunities throughout your previous year!

Some of you may not measure your performance in January. I understand. But I hope you see the point here in that you cannot perform at your highest level if you find yourself struggling to make up for lost time! Stay ahead of the game…stay ahead of the competition!

While your January may seem like you are “starting over” you can impact your start by the way you prepare. Giving yourself a great “boost” to explode in January will create momentum that can carry you throughout your year…because as January goes, so goes your year.

So to all of you reading this article, January IS here! We have many exciting things already in place and if the rest of the year looks anything like our January, we going to have to find a bigger Etch-A-Sketch.

Best wishes for a very successful 2010. Train Up!
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