December 30, 2010

Finish What You Started

"Like sand through the hourglass..."

Well, that went by pretty quickly, huh? Can you believe the year is over?

As we sit here on the precipice of a new year, there's a lot to be excited about. I'm sure you have things that will be happening in your business life as well as your personal life that will make 2011 an incredible year. Some of those events, experiences and encounters will lead to incredible opportunities for you. Your financial and spiritual outlooks may be changed in the new year and your health will certainly demand your attention.

Do me a favor and slow down for a second. Think back to your childhood. Did your Mom or Dad ever tell you not to get out one toy until you put away the one you were playing with first? Are you a good book starter but a horrible book "finisher"? Did you join a gym but rarely ever show up?

It's time to "finish what you started"?

Every New Years Eve I get up early and read my favorite book. It's titled "QBQ - The Question Behind the Question." It's a simple book with a simple message written by John Miller. The subtitle of the book is "What to really ask yourself; Practicing personal accountability in business and in life," and it always presents something new each year I read it.

The author doesn't add in new material. I am just at a different point in my life than I was at this time last year. I have new obstacles and challenges facing me and I have had 365 days of learning opportunities in my life.

It's kind of like watching your favorite movie for the umpteenth time. How many times do you catch yourself saying things like "I love this part" or "Ooh, I forgot about this scene"?
  • Have you taken time to review your goals that you set for 2010? Can you even find your written business plan? Did you do one?

  • Are you proud of what you have helped to create under the roof over your head? Your Family? Your Furnishings? Your Memories?

  • Will you look at your checkbook registry or review your on-line bank statement and see how your finances balance out?

  • Did you visit some places this year that made you appreciate what you have at home?

  • Can you look back and say you are a better person because of some of the people you had a chance to meet?

  • Have you built relationships, solved problems and had fun?
As you answered those questions, you either smiled with pride knowing you earned a good grade or perhaps you frowned a bit with some genuine honesty, knowing that you fell short in a few areas. Consider those feelings your "Old Year's Disillusions."

Either way, there's nothing you can do to go back and change what has happened.

The last few grains of sand will fall into the bottom of the hourglass tonight and it will be time to turn the glass over and start again. The clock is ticking down to 0:00 so get ready to shake hands with the invisible opponent at midfield, shake hands, head to the locker room and shower up. You've got until tomorrow to change into fresh clothes, lace up the shoes and start all over.

Ashes to Ashes...

Before the big ball drops tonight in Times Square, I challenge you to take some personal accountability for your 2010. Ask yourself "what can I do to learn from this year?" Write down on a sheet of paper any negatives from the year that are bumping around in your head, making you second guess yourself or causing you pain or embarrassment. After finishing the list - whether it is one item or three pages long - look it over, read it and then take a deep breath.

Then crumple it up and toss it into the fireplace, BBQ pit or trash can. It's done. Gone. It's behind you.

You have now finished what you started.

Enjoy your New Year's Eve festivities then get some sleep. On Monday, you've got to get back to work and get ready to do it all over again.