If I go back to school now, when I finish in four years, I’ll be 60. So, why bother?
Well, you’ll be 60 in four years regardless of whether you go back to school or not. So, why not do something you enjoy?
As the saying goes, if you’re not moving ahead, you’re falling behind. This week’s blog is dedicated to ensuring progress.
Honoring moments in time like birthdays, anniversaries, and a new year all provide wonderful opportunities to do a couple of things (besides eating desserts):
- Remember and celebrate where you’ve been
- Plan for where you want to go
As leaders and those responsible for managing human resources, we can use these markers and actions to spur change in our organizations.
Remembering & Celebrating
Pausing to look back over the last several years, months, weeks, and even hours re-energizes us and our teams. It reminds us why we do what we do every day in our businesses and organizations. It’s when this sense of purpose is lost that we begin to feel restless, unfulfilled, and unhappy.
Since I started my business, I’ve kept a Word document with a running list of milestones. First client, second client, third client; first blog post; new team members added; new partnerships started; and so on.
I’m so glad I started this practice of recording key moments. It’s hard to see how far you’ve come unless you stop occasionally and look back. I do this a couple of times a year and am filled with satisfaction for all the clients we’ve helped.
It’s too easy to get busy and forget to celebrate all the good things that have happened. And many of us are taught to be humble and not to toot our own horn. So, you must help your organization do this and allow it to become part of the culture in order to reap the motivational benefits.
Plan for the Future
Looking at my accomplishments puts me in an excellent frame of mind for looking forward. If I did all that in the last four months, what can I do in the next?
Using past successes to gain confidence for current and future plans and projects is a reliable technique to use with individuals and groups.
I plan my day, week, month, and year. I also have a longer-term multi-year plan. It doesn’t take much time, and the time it saves is significant. By having a plan, I know exactly what to focus on.
On the days I don’t make a plan, I end up sidetracked researching things on the internet, reading and sorting email, or cleaning out files. Those are all fine tasks if they are being done intentionally with a goal in mind that moves me in the direction I want to go. But when used as a disguise for procrastination, they rob me of productive time.
Just as it’s easy to get too busy to honor where you’ve been, it’s easy to wander through your days without a clear plan. You can guide yourself, your team, and your company or organization to higher productivity with regular planning.
Give it a Try
Okay, now it’s your turn.
The following exercise works in daily mini-meetings looking back at the prior day and forwards to the day ahead. It can be repeated monthly, quarterly, and yearly. Try it by yourself, in a one-on-one with an employee, with a small team, or with a whole company or organization.
First, look back. Gather your team if you have one and grab a flip chart and markers. Pick a time frame. Let everyone shout out accomplishments from that period of time. No deed is too small. Have some cake and celebrate!
Now look forward. Use the momentum and positivity from the first list to fuel a brainstorm of possibilities for the next week, month, or year.
Grab your calendar and schedule a meeting with the person or people you’d like to bring together for this fun, rewarding activity.
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