Here we are. The final month of the year. For many of us, it’s the end of our fiscal year, too. For others, it’s the end of your 3rd quarter (or something else).
There’s a paradox of saying hello to the end. It’s also hello to the start of a new week and a new month.
Today I mostly want to reflect on the last 11 months and the remaining days of 2018. Not in some detailed point-of-view, but in general. A drone’s perspective.
Hopefully, back at the end of the summer you really set about to plan and prepare for 2019. If you’ve not yet done it, it’s not too late. But you need to get started so you don’t leave your future to random chance. So let’s begin with a challenge to ourselves.
Let’s set about to make December 2018 and all of 2019 our most intentional and purposeful year ever.
Even if random chance has been good to you, try a different approach. And if you’re a fanatical planner, you can try a different approach, too. There’s room for improvement and growth no matter how we roll.
Here we are on December 3rd. When you close the books on December 2018 what do you want to see? What results are you after for the month? What about the year?
You’re not likely going to make the year if you’re woefully behind projections? A month isn’t likely enough unless your seasonality is ridiculously slanted toward December. But I’ll remind all of us, how you end matters! I’m not going to be so idiotic to repeat the triteness — it’s not how you begin that matters; it’s how you end. Both matter, but here we are entering the final month of the calendar year so how we started is far behind us. We can’t do anything about it now. But the finish is ahead of us, so let’s concentrate on that.
You’re thinking of something right now. Something that you wish you’d have accomplished this year, but it’s not looking good. Or something you wish you’d have improved, but so far you haven’t.
What are they? Don’t run away from them.
Maybe they’re not possible to accomplish over this last month, but what if you could? What if you could really make meaningful progress on them in the next few weeks?
Now is the time.
Don’t let the bigness or the smallness of it dissuade you. We can all be prone to think, “There’s no way I can get that done in such a short time.” Or, “It doesn’t matter that much. I’ll start it later.” I’m pleading with you to avoid letting either of those thoughts ruin your December.
The biggest projects on the planet had simple, straightforward beginnings. Begin it now.
The smallest accomplishments often lead to much bigger, more significant efforts. Don’t minimize the impact of something small. Has your spouse ever hugged you and told you how much they appreciate you, and love you? Did it impact you? Don’t sell yourself short on doing little, but impactful things.
The Habit Of Accomplishment
Our companies and our lives operate in parallel. As the CEO or business owner, your life is impacted by the business, and the business is impacted by your life. They’re not the same, but they’re tied together. Both, your life and your company, develop habits. The habit of accomplishment is critical for you both. Leverage this final month of the year to get that habit even more entrenched in your life and your company.
I don’t care how accomplished you are, there’s room for more. But there’s another advantage. The habit of accomplishment in pushing through the finish line.
I grew up in an era where sports coaches pushed us hard to run through the finish line, play until you hear the whistle and all the other metaphors you care to remember if you’re a Baby Boomer like me. During football season we were drilled long and loud about not stopping until we heard the referee blow the whistle. Play until the end. It’s training and a habit. One you can always improve in your life, and in the life of your company. Let’s use December to make sure we take our best advantages of every day of this month.
2018 was good in some ways. I hope it was good for you in many ways. Did you celebrate them? Did you acknowledge the great work of the people involved?
At the end of the year, during this final month, it may be an ideal time for you to sit down with each employee for 5 minutes (if you’ve got fewer than 100 employees; maybe you could pull it off if you’ve got a few hundred people). Not for a formal review, but for a conversation. A check-in.
“I wanted to thank you for contributing to 2018.” Point out something specific, if there is something you single out. Find something. Yes, this will require some prep work with leadership, but these people are driving the performance of your company. There’s no investment you’ll make that will foster higher performance than to acknowledge them, thank them and leave them soaring with confidence and gratitude.
Let’s use this month to build momentum going into 2019. We want to hit the ground running as we all start a new year.
Use December like an airplane uses a takeoff runway. Let’s build up speed, get things going in the right direction and get this bird up in the air soaring higher than ever before. Who knows how high, how far and how fast we can go? It’s time to ramp up our energies to find out.
Be well. Do good. Grow great!