With Christmas and New Years celebration behind us I’d imagine that many of you are looking forward to a well-deserved holiday.

So many people go from one year to another without much thought to their goals and plans for the next 12 months. Most people spend more time on planning their holidays than they do planning their careers/businesses and then wonder why they never really achieve their goals. What about you?

If you’re ready to take charge of your career and your business to ensure that 2011 is your best year yet, here are five very important steps that will enable you to wind down, obtain closure to 2010 while position yourself for an exciting and rewarding year ahead.

Step 1: Reflect: Review and document your achievements over the past year

We all have very demanding schedules and therefore often move from one project onto the next without stepping back and recognising the successful outcomes we delivered. Spend time reviewing some of the more significant projects you were involved in including:

  1. What was the project you were working on?
  2. What worked well? What might you do differently next time to make it even better?
  3. What measurable outcome did this have for your business?

To avoid forgetting or misplacing vital data I’d recommend you track your successes as they occur (rather than doing this yearly).This information is valuable which leads me to my second tip.

Step 2: Revise: Update your website, LinkedIn and other online profiles

Having up-to-date online profiles including testimonials from your clients is vital so updating your website and online profiles annually is an important business management strategy. Put aside time to update these now rather than rushing to update them prior to launching a new program, or when a new prospect is enquiring about your services.

While you’re at it, update your LinkedIn and other online profiles as well to record major projects, achievements, courses you have completed and any other relevant information that will continue to support you in portraying yourself as a highly skilled thought leader in your field.

Step 3: Research: Plan out next year’s professional goals and development opportunities

I’m sure you all know the old saying ‘Fail to plan – plan to fail’ which is certainly relevant to your career, your business and professional growth.

Ongoing professional and personal development is vital – particularly if you want to continue growing and expanding your business. Being a part of a coaching or mastermind group to keep you accountable; attending courses or workshops to learn a new skill or even hone an existing skill is something you should be planning for at the beginning of the year.

  1. What training opportunities can you complete to ensure you remain competitive in your field?
  2. Are there any additional services you would like to add to your offerings that require you to undertake further development?
  3. Which areas of the business did you struggle with last year that you should look at improving this year?
  4. What ongoing coaching will you participate in to ensure you continue to stretch and grow in your business?

Step 4: Reconnect: Re-establish relationships with people within your network

I’ve mentioned this so many times on my Business Success Podcast, previous articles and my Twitter tips and due to the importance of this must-do career management strategy, I’m going to mention it again. Ensure that you continue to reach out and maintain contact with people in your network.
It surprises me that even though we all know how important it is to actively nurture our networks we’re still not doing this until we are forced to. Reap the rewards and benefits that networking offers through consistently building and nurturing your network over the break.

Step 5: Recharge: Rest and recharge your batteries

Life and work balance is very important, so ensure you take the time to refresh and recharge your batteries over the break so that you can welcome in 2011 refreshed, renewed and reinvigorated.

Have you found these steps helpful? Which ones will you commit to over the break? If you found this helpful, please share with your friends and colleagues by clicking the Like button below. I really appreciate it. And, leave a comment below – I love to hear from our readers!!

Until next time – here’s to resting and recharging your batteries!


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