With approximately 45 days until 2018, I think it is important to review your results from this past year so you can close out 2017 on a high and prepare yourself for an even bigger and more successful 2018.
Too often in Advertising Agency land, I have seen many agencies fail to plan for success towards the end of the business calendar year.
You can’t afford to take 2018 for granted. You need to keep on striving for success and live in a state of engagement, focus and stay immersed in the experience of growth and joy!
The very best days, weeks, months and years of your life lie ahead. The most exciting accomplishments and the greatest achievements are still to come. As Shakespeare said, ‘The past is merely a prelude.’
Here are 14 steps to help you plan for your best year ever:
- Reflect on 2017.
I always think it critical to look back over your year and review your wins and losses. Where did you experience the most successes, joy, frustration or satisfaction? What life and business lessons did you learn and what did you discover about yourself?
Your answers to these questions will provide vital clues and insights into what you need to focus on to positively transform your life in 2018.
Also, make sure you set your New Years Resolutions too! Be more ambitious and confident in achieving all your dreams and aspirations in the coming New Year.
- Let things go of the ‘negatives’ and be more positive and courageous in 2018.
We all have old resentments from the past, regrets or mistakes that we carry around with us. They weigh us down and holding onto to them does not serve us well.
Make a list of events from your past that you are willing to finally let go this month. You may also like to physically de-clutter items your home or office, throw out or donate excess clothing, broken furniture, old paperwork, etc.
By doing this, you will be making space for new dreams to come to you in 2018. So you can become relentless and have ‘fire in your belly’.
Always have the intention of making everyday in 2018 work for you. THEN GO FOR IT.
- Decide exactly what you want. This immediately moves you into a separate category of people because most people have no idea of what they really want to achieve. This applies to many Advertising, PR and Digital Companies too.
CLARITY is the most important single quality of goal-setting and perhaps the most important single quality of success. Decide exactly what you want in each area of your life and business.
Instead of fuzzy goals like more money, better health, win more accounts and happiness, be specific about exactly how much more money you want to earn in a specific period of time and combine that with exactly what level of health and fitness you desire.
- Get in touch with who you are and live with joy and passion.
There is no single definition of success. In order to live a happy and fulfilling life, you need to get in touch what you value, what you desire, what you are passionate about, and what your gifts or strengths are. By knowing more about your uniqueness you will be in a better position to set goals that feel right for your soul, rather than setting goals based on the status quo or expectations of others.
- Write down your Goals on paper and Commit to them – With only three percent of Americans, or adults anywhere for that matter, have written goals. So, if you want to step up and be even more successful, just doing this will ensure you are in a better place than in 2017. Importantly, all high performers and successful people all have journals and write down in detail daily – their daily goals, plans and deadlines.
When you actually write a goal down, it is as if you are programming it into your ‘subconscious mind’ and activating a whole series of mental powers that will enable you to accomplish more than you ever dreamed of.
By writing it down you intensify your desire for the goal and you increase your belief that the goal is possible.
To be even more ‘productive’ in 2018, ensure every day to plan your day and list your priorities for that day (e.g. main things that must get done), select 3 major projects that will progress your agenda and list all the people you must reach out to or people you are awaiting a response from.
Make sure you ‘BLOCK TIME’ on your calendar every day too. Setting goals will clearly define what you hope to achieve during the day, week, month and quarterly. These ‘block times’ serves as checkpoints to make sure your work is progressing and to adjust when factors change. Always remember deadlines matter!
- Create a vision for your life. Make this the year of High Performance
Write down what you would love your life to look like in key life areas, like career, love and relationships, family, wealth, health and hobbies.
Let your imagination run wild and map out an overall vision for your ideal life. Always make sure you make everyday courageous and bold – especially in your career. Take that leap of faith. Push and progress and face those fears!
- Set your top goals and plan of action.
Take your vision and choose your top goals or priorities for the year ahead. What would make the biggest impact on your life? What excites you the most? Goals take time and energy, so you need to make sure you are committed to your top goals and know why you want to achieve them; how will it benefit or change your life? Then take your top goals and break them down into action steps you can take each day and month.
Always write them down in your diary or journal and list the priorities that MUST be accomplished each day. Avoid getting ‘trapped’ in your inbox and serving other people’s requests or agendas.
This ‘time suck’ kills hundreds of hours every year for many people. And, must be minimized or even stopped for more success in 2018.
If something happens this year, you will have written it down and your calendar and engaged that job and chase it with courage. Make this year extraordinary and go for it. Knock it out of the park. Don’t get comfortable.
- Upgrade your ‘mindset’ to match your dreams and aspirations.
You need to believe in your ability to kick your goals in order to achieve them. Ask yourself: ‘What beliefs would help me achieve my goals?’ For example, believing that you are capable, resourceful, confident, courageous and of value to the world. Write a list of 5 affirmations based on your new beliefs and read them daily. Plan for success.
- Schedule in time to fill your total cup daily.
A happy life is not just about external goals and achievements. It’s also about making time for doing the things we love – for play, creativity, laughter, relaxation, hobbies, learning, and quality time with loved ones.
Take a look at your calendar and make sure you are scheduling in time each week for fun and relaxation.
- Choose good company.
We are the sum of the five people we spend the most time with. Reflect on your circle of friends. Do they bring out your best? Are they supportive and uplifting?
Make a commitment to invest your time in good company over the next 12 months, and distance yourself from people who don’t serve your highest good.
- Select a new habit to add to your routine.
We become what we repeatedly do. Reflect on your daily habits and routines. Are they serving you?
What is one small positive habit you can add to your routine to set you up for success? For example: Meditation, journaling, yoga, taking a break for 10 minutes every hour throughout the day, doing a weekly review of your goals, or giving your time for a cause you believe in.
I recommend scheduling a coach, counseling, trainers and consistently adding new skills every year too. Become a lifelong learner. Leaders are learners!
- Be present in each moment.
Every day is a beautiful gift filled with beauty, blessings and magic. Don’t make the mistake of playing the ‘when-then’ game, which sounds like this: ‘When I achieve my goals, then I’ll finally be happy’.
The truth is – happiness is a mindset and a state of being that you cultivate through gratitude and enjoying your life now. And when you learn to appreciate and enjoy this very moment, you will have more energy and inspiration to achieve your biggest goals and dreams.
13. Sleep – Endeavour to sleep at least 7-8 hours daily. Research today overwhelming illustrates that sleep is equally as important as eating healthy and exercise.
Medical studies highlight that sleep is critical for brain function, including: concentration, cognition, productivity and performance. Longer sleep is also shown to improve many aspects of athletic and physical performance.
A review of 15 recent medical studies found that short sleepers are at far greater risk of heart disease or stroke than those who sleep 7 – 8 hours per night too!
- TAKE ACTION – Finally, this is the biggest and most important step for success in both your personal and business life. Procrastination is a big killer for many people and particularly those who work in Ad Agencies.
All too often hey have great ideas combined with great hopes and dreams. They may even get to the point of writing down their goals. But when it comes to taking action, they always have a reason or excuse to procrastinate to put it off until a later time.
Just remember, as the Bible says, “Faith without deeds is dead.”
Conclusion – The simple steps of deciding exactly what you want, writing them down, setting a deadline, making a list, organizing the list into a plan, taking action on the most important item on your list and then doing something every day towards achieving your goals will change your life and your future in ways that you cannot even dream of today.
If you follow the steps outlined above, you will start your planning with the right mindset and you will land exactly where you want to be by the end of 2018.
Remember, passion and intensity comes from waking up daily and wanting to LIVE and improve daily. There are no ‘in-betweens’ so set your standards high, have constant daily improvements, and achieve satisfaction this year.
All of these things will help you on the journey of pitching and winning new business in 2018.
Win the day and live with passion.
More about Geoff De Weaver:
Since 1985, Geoff has helped pioneer the use of inbound/outbound marketing, content marketing strategies, digital, PR and social media marketing specifically for agency new business.
Geoff is one of the Advertising & Digital industry’s leading agency New Business Thought Leaders.
Geoff can also access hard to reach brands and clients, fully examine and target your exact needs and requirements in all channels. I can even pitch on your behalf and happily be the extension to your company’s new business team.
Give me a call and let me show you a better way, +61 411 224 961 or send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Global Brand Management & Operations, Digital Marketing, Marketing, Advertising, Sales, Training, New Business, Consulting, Management, Leadership Coaching, Team Building, Operations, and Ad Agency Growth.