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hour glass with 2020 going into 2021We’re sliding over the finish line of what some describe as a crazy year. And with the ending of one year and the beginning of a new one, we begin to think about planning. Or at least there is plenty of fuss in articles, blogs, podcasts, etc. about that “P” word and needing to plan for the coming year.

The calendar’s flip to the next page bragging it’s now 2021 won’t magically make everything rosy and right! It’s up to us to define our game plan and prepare to achieve success.

One useful practice is reviewing what we learned over the past year, and certainly there was a lot! There is heaps going on for everyone, both personally and professionally. The same experience will be a celebration for some and a heart-wrenching disappointment for others. Working to get ahead or even to keep heads above water is taking more effort and energy.

I’m a strong advocate of planning, and even stronger now.

Why? Because haphazard activity is exhausting and doesn’t move the needle. Knowing what’s important helps manage that precious, irreplaceable resource called time. There is no shortage of distractions, offers by well-meaning gurus, blasts of opportunities not to be missed, etc. Most are all squirrel and no nuts! Distractions with no return!

An important consideration as you reflect on 2020: Be honest with yourself. Ask yourself the hard questions. What did you accomplish? What were the distractions that took you off your game? Why did those happen? How can you better plan and prepare for 2021? What were the missteps of 2020? How can you plan better to avoid them in 2021? How high do you want to set the hurdles for 2021?

It’s important not to get bogged down in the details, so keep your thinking at a higher level. Take the time to write down your ideas as you reflect and review. Then let a few days pass and refine your ideas.

Make connections between ideas, and think about what it will take to bring your plans to life. If you’re adventurous, think of a theme for the year.  Mine was “commitment” for last year, and it took heavy duty commitment to stay the course with some of the events that occurred.

When you begin your planning process, see that your list has no more than 3 – 5 items that require your focus. A list of 15 things will only bog you down and discouragement never produces great results!

Celebrate 2020. See possibilities for 2021.

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