As the last few weeks start winding down on 2017 and we start settling into our holiday routines and traditions, I often wonder about what has changed over the past year? What is new in my life? What exciting things have I accomplished over the past year? And most importantly have I made a difference in the lives of the people that are most important to me and for the organizations that I serve?
This can be a tough question to answer sometimes since it requires looking into the mirror and giving yourself an honest assessment of what’s transpired in your life over the last 365 days.
I’ve heard it said that the true measure of success is one’s ability to leave something better than they found it. It’s a quality possessed by so many high performing individuals and people that I’ve admired and modeled my own business practices after.
Yet leaving something better than you found it can have consequences. Sometimes in organizations, people are left out, certain skillsets are no longer valued or they become obsolete in our quest for the next level. Other times we realize the goals we were striving for weren’t the right goals and we have to ditch our well thought out plans and replace them with new ones.
In the constant and never-ending battle to improve and grow, it’s hard to know at times whether we are winning, losing or just maintaining the status quo.
The holidays are such a good time to celebrate everything that you’ve accomplished this past year, and an equally good time to learn and truly understand those valuable lessons that are illuminated through our struggles and our mistakes.
If you ever truly wish to make a real difference if your own life and the lives of those you care for and serve, then plan to have many setback and plenty of mistakes along the way.
Success I’ve learned is never a straight line, and life-long learning is no longer an option especially for those the make the biggest difference.
As I start to think about what difference I have made in 2017 there are a few specific areas to look into. If you choose to do the same, here’s a guide to get you started.
Start by asking yourself this question:
How have I made a difference this year in…
- My most important relationship?
- My family?
- In my business?
- With my finances?
- In my personal and professional development?
- With my health and fitness?
- My friends?
- In my community?
Rate yourself from 1-10 on each of these.
Anything below a six and you may have some serious work to do. From 6-8 you are cruising along but may be on autopilot, so you could probably perform at a higher level. 9’s and 10’s are fantastic so keep on Rockin!
If you are happy with where you are in any of these areas, what are the habits and strategies you’ve applied to do so? What is your plan to up your game in this area and continue to make a difference?
If you are not happy with where you are in one or more of these areas, what new habits or strategies are you going to apply to make those slight improvements and Quarter Turns that will truly make the difference?
What are the barriers and excuses you’ve used to keep yourself in the state you are currently in, and how are you planning to change the conversation with yourself to really make a difference in the coming year?
The great news for all of us, is no matter how we feel about the past year, in a few weeks we will all get an amazing opportunity to flip the script and begin a new year with a clean slate.
So this begin with the end in mind ask yourself:
What difference will I make in 2018?
Here’s to your continued success- One Quarter Turn at a Time
Thoughts for the week:
What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make. – Jane Goodall
It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference. – Tom Brokaw
I always wondered why somebody didn’t do something about that, then I realized that I am somebody. – Unknown
At the end of the day the only questions I will ask myself are… Did I love enough? Did I laugh enough? Did I make a difference? –Unknown
We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. – Winston Churchill
If you think that you are too small to make a difference than you have never spent the night with a mosquito. – African Proverb