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12 Ways to Work on Next Year’s Game Plan Today

GamePlan_iStock-300x200Ah, late summer and early fall — one of my favorite times of the year. This is when many professional sports teams and other organizations begin planning for the following year.

As many of you know, my husband and I have an annual tradition in which we set our goals every year. We share personal and professional aspirations, talk about where we’d like to travel together in the coming year and what new things we want to do with our home, outline investments we’re considering and set specific goals for 7 Star Service.

Proper planning, regardless of what level you’re at in business and where you are in life, can help dramatically increase your chances of having a successful year. The first step is to set aside some serious reflection time to acknowledge your past successes and strategize about how to improve on them over the next 12 months.

Here are a dozen ideas to help you get started:

  1. Celebrate your accomplishments and recognize those individuals who made it possible.

    Sometimes, we just move on to the next task without taking time to reflect on the success we’ve had. If you spend a little more time thanking those who help you succeed, you will generate more positive support for future projects.

  2. Decide what changes you want to make.

    “If you change your habits, you can change your life.” Have you heard that phrase before? If you are frustrated about something in your life or at work, when the pain is great enough, you will know it’s time to make a change.

  3. Clarify what you want to accomplish with each goal.

    If you don’t have sufficient reason to change, you won’t be motivated to change. Determine whether you are a “Work Toward” or “Move Away From” type of goal setter. Some people work toward a goal to create a better future. Others set goals to avoid problems. Once you identify your goal-setting style, you can plan from the proper perspective.

  1. Clarify your goals and make them measurable.

    S.M.A.R.T. goals are:
    Specific – Define precisely the objective or outcome you want
    Measurable – Define objectively how you will know when you’ve attained the goal
    Action-oriented – Use action verbs to describe the steps required
    Realistic – Confirm your belief that the goal is, indeed, possible
    Timely – Set a target date for reaching your goal.

  1. Break large goals into reasonable chunks by celebrating mini-milestones.

    You need to feel like you’re moving forward; this approach will help.

  2. Establish which goals are most important to the big picture.

    Prioritizing your goals will help you identify what you are going to work on right now, next week and next month. You will probably work on many goals simultaneously but by prioritizing them, you’ll know what requires the most attention or has the biggest urgency.

  3. Determine the resources you need to complete each goal.

    Outline a budget and list what tools will be required to accomplish each goal. Will you need training? Do you need to purchase software? What else?

  1. Post your goals in a visible location.

    Writing down your goals is the first step in showing positive commitment, and keeping them close demonstrates you are willing to focus on accomplishing them.

  2. Develop a support system.

    Announce your goals to the people you trust. Request that they ask for updates on your progress and offer encouragement along the way.

  3. Identify obstacles you may encounter along the way and develop a contingency plan before they cause delays or frustrations.

    Then brainstorm with your support team about how to avoid or overcome those obstacles when or if they appear.

  4. Establish a reward system.

    You need reinforcement for achieving each goal and reaching milestones in your endeavors. Make each one fun and worthwhile.

  5. Successful business leaders develop goals to achieve their vision.

    Their commitment to their goals, and thus to their vision, is made obvious both by their actions and their repeated communication of what must be done — and why.

(Photo by iStock)

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About Ruby Newell-Legner

As a Fan Experience Expert, Ruby helps leaders in sports, leisure and entertainment build strong teams between front line staff and management, and make exceptional customer service a way of life. She has consulted with and designed customized training programs for more than 60 sports and entertainment venues, 80 leisure facilities and 29 professional sports teams. From the only 7 Star Hotel in the world to Convention Centers, from Denver to Dubai, Ruby brings unprecedented expertise and insight on how to create a service culture that motivates employees and promotes customer loyalty and retention.

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