I woke up this morning and realized that daylight savings time had ended.I was super pumped to have the extra hour added to my day that allowed me to do something like write this post.At the same time though, I was struck by a bit of panic when I realized that 2016 is drawing to a close and 2017 is fast approaching!If youre anything like me, you like to plan out your year, set some goals and be ready to hit the ground running on January 2nd when your New Years Eve hangover has worn off.If thats the case, then the planning and preparation begin now.So how do you stack the deck in your favor for a killer 2017?
#1)Hit the gas hard to finish strong in 2016!
Whether youve broke records or gone broke so far in 2016, the fat lady hasnt sung just yet.I remember a time back in 1999 when my team and I were having a stellar year but were about 5% shy of our annual goal with about a week to go.It was the holidays and we could have easily bought into the Im busy objections and finished with our best year ever, but thats not really my style.We hit the pavement and knocked on doors in -20F weather for a week straight going into Christmas and hit our goal with room to spare!We had a very restful vacation over the holidays and were motivated to repeat our performance come January!
#2)Start/Keep building your network!
My first sales job in high school was telemarketing selling chimney and furnace cleaning.And although I think cold calling is a very predictable and sometimes a necessary way to fill your sales funnel, its far from the most efficient.Youve all heard the phrase people buy from people they know, like & trust, however I think something crucial is missing from this statement:referrals.I say people refer people to people they know, like & trust.Ive built every business Ive ever been involved with on referrals and its a long-term play.As Harvey Mackay said in the title of his book; Dig your well before you are thirsty.Start laying the foundation for new relationships and nurturing your top partner relationships this year!
#3)Set aside some time for a little goal setting pow-wow!
Theres hard data to back up the importance of goal setting and more importantly, writing those goals down and reviewing them regularly.After all, how do you know what you need to do in 2017 if you havent planned it out and written it down?So plan a nice stay-cation at home or book yourself into a local hotel if you want a little less distraction.Or sign up for a year end workshop on goal setting with a business coach.Whatever you do, make sure you block out the time in your calendar and eliminate the distractions so you can focus on your epic plan for 2017!
#4)Join a mastermind group or get an accountability partner!
We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.Think about who that group of people is for you.Let that sink in a bit.Hopefully youre still not doing Fireball shots with your buddies from college every weekend!Im sure youre not, but in order to continue to grow and expand we have to surround ourselves with people that challenge us, that inspire us, and that wont let us get away with B.S. excuses or mediocrity.Hand pick some people that fit the bill and put together a group.There are a ton of local mastermind groups, high-end relationship building groups and peer advisory board groups out there.Pick one that works for you and get it in your calendar NOW!
#5)Plan regular check-ins for 2017 to keep you on track!
Ive been really into all this goal setting stuff since 1994 when I got my first job.My first real job was washing dishes and all I wanted to do was save enough money for a new mountain bike.It took me the better part of the summer at $4.15/hr. but I eventually had the $700 I needed to buy my Research Dynamics bike.Since then Ive had good years and bad, years where I got all pumped up about my goals only to abandon them four months into the year since I wasnt on track and some years where I was so bummed out I figured it was best to not have any goals so I wouldnt let myself down when I didnt hit them.On those off years though, looking back, I noticed I dropped the ball on checking in with myself.You should schedule time to review your goals, remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing, and be honest about what you have been doing well and where you could improve.
Im sure there are other tips all of you have that work awesome for setting up your next year!Id love to hear what works for you in the comments below!Heres to an amazing end to 2016 and a stellar setup to 2017!