Daily Sun Column Nov.
By Michael Kline
Happiness? Prosperity? Wealth? Disaster? Mediocrity? You don’t get a lot of holiday cards wishing you all the mediocrity of the season and best wishes for a “financially adequate” new year. Greeting cards always wish for a prosperous new year. If we invested as much as we spent on cards wishing for prosperity, we’d all be rich! Ok, maybe that’s a bit overstated, and I kind of miss the days when we all sent and received lots of cards every year. Somehow an E-card just doesn’t have the same flair, and definitely doesn’t look as nice on the mantel! But, I digress.
Wishing for prosperity next year? Why not plan on it? It is very easy to worry about all the things that might go wrong next year. Will we have a double-dip recession? What if sales fall off next year? What if we don’t have enough help, enough snow, enough visitors, enough clients, enough patience or enough money to make it through the slow times? What will you do?
It turns out, it’s just as easy to imagine what if you had enough snow, enough visitors, enough clients, enough patience and enough money – worrying takes exactly the same amount of imagining that it takes to speculate on your prosperity! The part that is easier about worrying is it doesn’t require a plan or any real thinking. Some people don’t mind thinking – perhaps that’s you. Most people prefer not to have to think a lot. Finally, there are too many people who would rather die than be required to think. I expect that you are in one of the first two categories of practicing thinkers.
So thinking about your prosperity for 2012, let’s consider financial, personal, relationships, your home, family; the whole package. Let’s pretend it is December 2012. What would your life look like if all goes well next year? Specifically, how would you be getting along in that relationship you’re worried about? Exactly what will your home look and feel like? Precisely how much money will you have available to you? If you have debt, how much will be paid off? How much weight will you have lost? How much smoking will you have quit? How much time will you be spending with the people most important to you? You can’t wish for these things – that only pushes them further away. You must work on these things. This work begins with written goals and a written plan on what it takes to reach those goals. Then, it takes a certain magic most people never find.
The missing magic link is follow-through. Some call it commitment, discipline, accountability or maybe rhythm. You must find a source for this critical element without which you’re back to hoping and wishing. You might find inspiration for the follow-through from a variety of sources such as motivational tapes, joining clubs or organizations, or hiring a private coach. For weight loss or fitness, you could join weight-watchers, commit to join a disciplined friend for daily walks, join a sports activity like weekly skiing to stay more active, or hire a personal trainer or coach. For personal issues as well as financial and business issues, there are clubs and organizations that can help, personal specialists, advisors, even an entreprenologist. The point is, without the commitment or accountability, your goals are back to being wishes. Start thinking about what you want 2012 to be like for you. Think about some resolutions/goals to make between now and January (resolutions made after three glasses of bubbly don’t count). Most importantly, find a source to support you with the follow-through to turn it into reality. Coincidentally, my goal for 2012 is to find one or two more business coaching clients; my wish for you is that your prosperity dreams come true in 2012.