"Do something today that your future self will thank you for." Anonymous

2020 has been a challenging year for most of us. We are all doing the best that wecan. I find that in spite of these hard times most of us still have a great deal of hope for the future. We expect that better times are ahead of us and plan on brighter days.

My question to you is this - What will the balance of this year and all next year be for you? Will you be prepared? “Beprepared for what,” you say? “Everything,” I say.

To be clear, I am talking about being prepared to handle the unexpected, being prepared to get back on your feet, being prepared to leverage your success, and being prepared to achieve new goals.

 Please take a few minutes to reflect upon this question:

If you knew last June that the COVID19 virus would cause the worldwide problems that it did, what would you do differently?

Of course, none of us has a crystal ball to predict the future, however Dennis Waitley provides us with some excellent advice, “Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer.”

If there is one thing that I have learned about achieving success from my coaching practice it is this:  All success is mental.  Success starts as a mental process and everything that you think will flow from there. Your mental framework will impact the way you react to good and bad situations.  It will impact how resilient you will be in the current marketplace and it will impact what you can actually achieve.  

 If this year fell short of your expectations, I would like to give you a dose of reality.  You are smart enough to accomplish whatever you want.  You are creative enough to find new solutions to problems that you have not been able to solve yet.  You are talented enough to create and implement a new business plan that will work for you.

 If this year is meeting or exceeding your expectations, congratulations! How can you leverage that success in the future?

 Either way, use the acronym REFLECT to guide you through the process of setting goals for next year.

 R- Reflect and review the past year. Did you take the responsibility for both your successes and failures? Did you reward those around you who achieved personal goals and who helped you to achieve yours? Were you resilient in the face of challenges and stress? Did you take the appropriate actions to be resilient?

 E- This E in REFLECT stands for envisioning a bright future.

 F- Have fun and be fair, but above all, remain focused on your goals and the actionsteps that are required to achieve them.

 L- Look for lessons learned from both your successes and disappointments and incorporate what you have learned into your daily activities. What things should you start doing, stop doing, or continue doing to achieve your goals.

E- This E in REFLECT stands for striving for excellence in yourself and others. Eliminate distractions and negativity and exercise your mind and your body.

C- Are you absolutely committed to your success or are you comfortable in staying in your comfort zone? Are you building a culture of caring, commitment, and cause and effect?

 T- What are you tolerating in your personal and professional life that you can no longer tolerate if you are to achieve the goals you have set for yourself? Tolerations can be big or small, but no matter their size, they drain your energy and detract from your focus. “T” also stands for team. You can’t do it alone. Surround yourself with a supportive team to help ensure and accelerate your success and theirs.

 To quote Confucius on the subject of Reflection:

 “By three methods we may learn wisdom; first, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”

 Here is a short checklist to ensure a productive fourth quarter and a head start to a great 2021.

 1.      Have the mental attitude that you are already successful

2.      Decide and commit to doing things differently

3.      Look for the positive in every interaction with everyone and in every situation

4.      Always be action oriented

5.      Be determined

6.      Check your progress often

7.      Make necessary course corrections

8.      Expect your goals to be achieved.

 "A person can change his/her future by merely changing his/her attitude." Earl Nightingale

Good luck on your journey to success.