2021 is a new year, with 11/12ths of it remaining, meaning there’s a lot of time to impact other’s lives, improve yourself, and reflect positivity to your sphere of influence. With January wrapping up, I try to reflect on my personal and professional strategy: where is it working? What do I need to change? I thought I would share my learnings and observations to see if they resonate with you. My vision is to be the best coach for people who want to improve their career or life, growing Sparked Professional Coaching toa premier brand. Feedback from my clients affirms that I am achieving the first part of my vision, which is why I got into this business. However, I do fall short on the second. If you were to do the same thing at this point in the year, what are your learnings? Take the time to periodically review and assess your progress on your annual goals and how that aligns with your long-term plan.I’ll walk you through my approach. 

Reviewing data from the previous two years atSparked, I identify where I need to focus efforts for 2021, find the root causes to improve, and create a simple plan to correct. I like to use quotes to synthesize the issues, firstly because it forces me to internalize the issue, and secondly because it creates an opportunity to learn about others. The first quote is “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.[1]” The second is a quote by Marcel Proust: “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” Finally, “A ship in harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are made for” by the 19th century author John A. Shedd. These three quotes easily create for me a picture around:

1.    Same approach = same results = not acceptable

2.    Use my talents outside coaching to differentiate my business

3.    Be the captain of my ship and just set sail

The next step in the process is to understand why or how these areas manifest and what checkpoints you can put in place to prevent or minimize. I also find it helps to summarize what I find into a short statement that I can put in front of me all the time or is just easy to remember. When I was in the corporate arena I struggled with focus, particularly when talking to people. I used the phrase ‘Be here now’ to represent my focus. This year, my statement is ‘Dare to be Different and DO,’ and as I write this, could even simplify it to D3. As a sidebar, I have a client that really took this approach to heart. He created wooden ‘coins’ with his motto to carry around and always have at hand.While this paragraph is one of the shorter ones, it’s probably the most critical part of the process. You really need to take time to get to the root cause of the issue to make sure you’re creating a solution that fixes the problem.

Once you have your focus for the year, or however long it takes to resolve a particular issue, create a mechanism to consciously check on your progress and hold yourself accountable. What ways do you make sure you continue to improve yourself and/or your business?

[1]Trying to find attribution for this is difficult, it’s mostly attributed toAlbert Einstein, but that seems disputed as there is no evidence. There appears to be attribution to one of the characters in a Rita May Brown novel. Or, to a pamphlet put out by Narcotics anonymous