Autumn in Michigan is truly my favorite time of the year. The changing leaves create a natural fireworks display every day. The sunny days and cool nights are perfect for sitting outside with a hot cup of coffee or hot cider wearing jeans and a sweatshirt. The apples taste a bit sweeter and pumpkins are beginning to adorn every front porch. This is a time of year I really cherish, and the reason I tell everyone that I choose to live here in my quant little Midwestern town.

The changing of the leaves is also a bold reminder that the current year is about to wind down. Doesn’t it seem like once we hit Halloween, the last two months of the year pass in the blink of an eye?

It’s because of this that during the fall I’ve trained myself and coach others to begin putting plans together for the coming year. My first coach used to always tell me, “Start planning for the new year in October, because if you wait until January to start thinking about the next year you will not start on your plan until April.”

Now is the time to evaluate where you are with your professional and personal goals. Have you accomplished everything you set out to do this year? What changes have you made that had an impact on your business and in your life? What habits are you still clinging to like an old blanket that are no longer getting you the results you desire.

The changing of the leaves during the fall is a good reminder that everything has a natural ending, and also that those endings always lead to new beginnings. Take some time to look at your professional and personal goals for the coming year. This is when you get to decide if your current patterns and habits are going to propel you toward those goals or leave you wondering a year from now why things in your life haven’t changed in the way you want them to.

This fall, be intentional about where you’re going next year. Create goals and habits that are in line with the person and the professional that you plan on becoming. Make those changes now instead of waiting to start in two or three months. As you know, January 1st will be here in the blink of an eye.

Just like those old leaves that are falling to the ground, some of your past goals will stay there – in the past. Others will come back just as bold, beautiful and sometimes even stronger than they did this year. Take the time to appreciate all you’ve accomplished this year and set a course to stretch even further next year.

With the coming of autumn, this year has boldly announced, “It’s closing time.” And, just like that song says, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end…yeah.”

Ask yourself this week:

What are my professional and personal goals for the coming year?

Will my current habits and patterns propel me toward those goals or keep me from achieving them?

What new habits do I need to put into place to ensure success next year?

How far have I come this year toward becoming the professional and the person that I plan to become?

What new habit am I willing to commit to this week to end the year strong and start next year off by being intentional?

Thoughts for the week:

-I find it fascinating that most people plan their vacation with better care than they do their lives. Perhaps that is because escape is easier than change. -Jim Rohn

-Goals allow you to control the direction of change in your favor. -Brian Tracy

-What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals Zig Ziglar

-First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do. –Epictetus

-An archer cannot hit the bullseye if he doesn’t know where the target is. –Anonymous

-To solve a problem or to reach a goal, you don’t need to know all the answers in advance. But you must have a clear idea of the problem or the goal you want to reach. –W. Clement Stone

-If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else. –Yogi Berra

Looking forward to our next conversation