The dawn of a new year is a natural time for business leaders to assess and assign their business resolutions and goals. After all, as the old adage goes, failing to plan is planning to fail.
To help you prepare and stay focused for success in 2023, I wanted to share a mantra that sets a framework that will let you move forwards with clarity and decisiveness: Rest, reflect, and get ready.
Of course, you can adopt this mantra at any point throughout the year to increase the likelihood of your goals coming to fruition, so don’t feel like you have to wait for Big Ben to ring in the new year before giving it a go.
Here’s how it works.
Step 1: Rest.
Why is this element crucial to future success? Numerous studies have shown the benefits of rest. A healthy balance between work, rest, play, and sleep is required to be able to do any of these things well.
Taking time out to rest can also boost productivity, support mental and cognitive health, and unlock creativity. Entrepreneur even describes rest as the secret to entrepreneurial success.
So it’s no surprise that Bill Gates is a huge proponent of getting a full eight hours of sleep when he wants to be creative. Writing on his blog, Gatesnotes, Gates said, ‘In the words of Dr. Thomas Roth, of the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, “The number of people who can survive on five hours of sleep or less without impairment, and rounded to a whole number, is zero.”’
Here’s how you can use rest to inspire creativity. First, compile data from your team and actively seek solutions. Then, once you’ve fed your mind with all the relevant data it needs, stop, relax, and do something totally different.
From experience, this is often when, bam, the idea will hit you – usually when you least expect it. So, keep notepads or your phone to hand so you can record instinctive thoughts as they arise.
Switching off from your task list can switch your strategic and creative mind on. When your mind is relaxed, it’s free to run wild – hopefully in the direction you need.
Winston Churchill was a firm believer in the power of switching off to awaken the mind. At his home, Chartwell, he built a brick wall by hand as he believed the physical task of laying brick after brick enabled his mind to wander. In fact, he wrote that an ideal day involved ‘the laying of hundreds of bricks.’ And when you consider that Churchill was using his downtime to come up with strategies for Britain’s biggest war, it’s fair to say that this process works.
So, pursue what makes you happy and give yourself time to breathe. It might take a few days to properly unwind but it’s worth every minute to unlock the creativity to move on to step two.
Step 2: Reflect.
The likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Tim Ferriss, and the aforementioned Bill Gates set aside time to reflect. Gates even went as far as scheduling ‘think weeks’ devoted to reflecting, reading, and strategising.
Reserving time to reflect is about more than reminiscing. It’s about analysing what you’ve done in the past and revamping it for future use. Reflecting on your methods of leadership, campaigns agreed to, how they’ve worked, and the people you’ve hired will help to provide the foundation for business success.
To help you reflect on the past few months and re-strategise for the future, grab a pen and paper and jot down simple and honest answers to the following questions. Remember: No one else is going to read them so honesty is key.
- What has the past year taught you about your business?
- In hindsight, were you able to adapt quickly enough?
- Do you want to be quicker to adapt to change in 2023?
- What was your vision for success in 2022 and what does success look like to you in 2023?
- Do you have the right team of staff around you to reach this level of success in the future?
- Is your staff culture where you want it to be?
- Do you have the right communication systems in place to drive your staff?
- What would you do differently if you had the chance?
Once you have the answers, you’re ready for step 3.
Step 3: Getting Ready for the year ahead
The final step in the mantra is a time of empowerment. The long-term vision you had when starting your company may be the same or it may have evolved as the company has grown.
Either way, you’re still working towards reaching those higher goals and no success comes without a vast amount of planning and pivoting. Pulling together your ideas and insights gathered during your period of reflection can seem like a gargantuan task.
Talking through strategic options to create a plan with which you can move forwards, is a much-needed and essential process for your own state of calm. As Yogi Berra, cultural icon and baseball legend, once said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll wind up somewhere else.”
Yet, working through your plans in isolation isn’t easy. Having a trusted business advisor alongside you in pure confidence can be invaluable. Getting a second opinion from an objective outsider is one of the best ways to plan for your company’s future.
If you’d like support to help you decide what’s best for your business, I’m here and ready to discuss and debate the options that you have drawn together. Working together, let’s release the pressure of planning future moves and set you up for success in 2023.
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