It’s December 2016 – yes, that’s right – December 2016.  That’s not a typo.  It’s time to think about December 2016, even though it’s only December 2015.  Now is the time to think about what you want next year to look like – without getting overwhelmed by the process.

Time passes quickly.  Great leaders have learned that to achieve their longer term goals they must start by taking purposeful small steps on a regular basis.  Your first small step is to think what you want December 2016 to look like.


Right now – sit back, pause and day dream. Think about one year from now. Think about your job, your team, your career, your personal life, your family…….what do you want to be different? What do you want to be the same?  What will you be excited about, and feel proud of, if you have achieved it by December 2016?  Then jot those thoughts down.


Now, with those thoughts in mind you can begin to work backward.  Jot down the key steps you will need to take to move toward your vision for December 2016. Start to map out a plan for the year ahead – what steps will you need to take along the way?  What will you need to do differently?  What specific outcomes will you want to put in place?

Sit on It

Then let it percolate.  Set your notes aside.  Let your thoughts float for a day or two.  Pay attention to what other ideas develop.  Add these notes to your plan and begin to refine your 2016 path.


Getting Your Plan Together

As your plan comes together you will now need to dig a bit deeper and make some commitments to achieve your outcomes.

  • Getting Smarter – Start by identifying what skills or knowledge you need to increase.
  • Getting Better – Clarify the behavior changes you will need to make to be successful – you will need to do some things differently to have a different result a year from now.
  • Getting Help – Identify the resources you will need to leverage or acquire in order to reach the desired outcome.

Getting Specific

Be specific and write these activities on your plan. Think through how you will move forward – what you will learn, how you will learn it, and what you are going to change – to clarify your path, and increase the likelihood you will commit to your plan.


Getting Real

To insure progress, keep your plan visible and re-visit it on a regular basis. Don’t put your plan away.  Keep it out in the open for all to see.  Talk about your plans and your progress.  Ask others for help. Make your plan into a living document.  Don’t let it get hidden under other papers or it’s likely that your progress will be hidden also.

Lastly, schedule a monthly meeting with yourself to review your plan – evaluate your progress, make adjustments, and reward yourself for what you have accomplished!

So, right now – before you turn to your next task – get started – sit back and day dream!  Think about December 2016.  Envision what you will be doing one year from now, what you will have achieved, and think about your milestones in April, July and September. Isn’t that exciting? Energizing?  Empowering?

And as Henry David Thoreau stated:

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”    


Coaching Thoughts – For You and Your Peers


Happy 2016!