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If Planning Isn’t in Your DNA

October 28, 2019

While on the phone with my Mom today, she told me about her recent trip to Florida where she and my Dad met their friends, Margo and George, for 10 days of warmth and relaxation. She said that over dinner one evening, she had described for her friends her process for making weekly meal plans and grocery shopping. Every week she flips through her cook books and recipes and writes down what she and Dad will have for dinner each night. From that list, she makes her grocery list according to the aisle setup at her local King Soopers. Shopping is a breeze, and so is meal prep. Every night, she just looks at her meal list and has exactly what she needs to prepare dinner.


I knew what she was going to say next, even before she said, “They couldn’t believe that I do that every week!” Well, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, because this is also what I do every week, except now that we have the convenience of online shopping and pickup, I don’t have to stroll through the aisles of the grocery store anymore. And my apple, my daughter, also does the same thing.


“How in the world do other people do it,” my Mom wondered aloud. “Doesn’t it make the entire week so much easier when you plan ahead?”


And, this is how I live and work. Planning ahead is apparently in my DNA, and my Mom hit the nail on the head when she expounded on how much simpler it makes life (and work) when you simply do a little prep work. 


Planning to Grow

While planning ahead might not be in everyone’s genes, it should be a top priority for businesses who want to get ahead and grow. In business, we often think about calendar years when it comes to planning. Equally important, are the segments of time throughout the year – weeks, months, quarters – that help us stay on track.


So, as we finish off the year, here are a few tips to make 2020 a little easier:

  1. Review your goals for 2019. If you didn’t make any, start listing the things that would have made this year smoother had you set/accomplished them. If you set goals, see which ones still need to be addressed in Q4.

  2. Set/review your goals for Q4 2019. Studies have shown that when given 90-day goals, people tend to be more successful completing them, than had they been given 365 days to complete them! Read the book Traction by Gino Wickman regarding how you can apply this phenomenon to your company’s goals.

  3. Dream big in 2020. Start making your “grocery list” of everything you’d like to fulfill in the coming year. For business goals, start with revenue goals and then think in terms of Product (or Service), People, and Process buckets. This can help frame your ideas. For example:

Product: How can we improve our product/service in 2020? What new products or services could we bring to market?


People: How can we better support our employees? What do our people need to make our company even better? Do we have enough human capital to support our goals?


Process: What got in our way over the last year? Is there a process that will help resolve roadblocks we encountered? How can we streamline what we do?


The simple act of writing your goals down frees up space in your brain to start getting to work in making them happen. If you’d like help clarifying and building your own growth goals for 2020, I hope you’ll reach out and contact us!


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