I was talking with a gentleman last week who happened to be traveling through Fort Collins and picked up my business card. It turns out that he was out here from the west coast because he has a desire to move to Colorado at some point in the future.

Perhaps. Maybe. Some day.

Being a coach, I had to ask him how serious he is about this. And, honestly, he didn’t really know. It’s just something he’s been pondering.

That’s fine, but we all have general thoughts about what we might want the future to look like for our lives or our businesses. It doesn’t move into action until we start getting more specific.

The beginning of a new year is a great time to look at those things we didn’t make much progress with and ask: how serious am I about it?

If I want to grow the number of customers or employees or locations, well, it’s time to ask:

  • Is this the year to actually make something happen?
  • What’s the first step?
  • What do I need to do differently than I did before?
  • How will I know I’m making progress?

I find this last question to be the most practical and powerful. After I’ve decided to go after that goal, and what steps I need to start working on, there’s still a big chance that I’m going to get derailed.

I’ll get busy. Distracted.

So I need to decide how I’m going to monitor my progress. If I want more customers, I’ll look at the number of prospect conversations I have.

If I want to become more efficient at managing my inventory, then I may track not only inventory on hand, but how much progress I’m making on ordering the RIGHT inventory which will give me the best ROI.

These measures make it very real, and I can be encouraged by the steps of progress I’m making. Now I’ve moved out of having a vague desire for a better future, into taking specific actions and making my future real.


This article was first published in InnovatioNews.