We don’t control outcomes or opportunities – we do control our readiness for the challenges and opportunities we encounter. This core belief creates a passion in leaders to learn and grow. The New Year is a perfect reset moment. Our process of preparation can have a huge impact on our readiness and our success.

On Monday, I outlined the first step in planning for a great year: Ask the right questions. My leadership development group began our planning process for 2016 this week. Today, I’ll share a few more of the suggestions we discussed for making 2016 a year of unprecedented growth!

Learn from the past – don’t live there – For some reason, many people become trapped in their past. I don’t understand it, and I hate it when I do it myself. Leaders must fight this tendency. Learn and move on. This will be key to a more productive 2016.

Put your plans in writing – My coach, Daniel Harkavy, tells me only one thing happens when you create detailed, written plans… your execution rate increases dramatically. It is true. If you don’t believe it, try it. All 10 guys in our group will use their own format and template. The truth is, the power is not in the format – it is in the fact the plans will all ultimately be in writing.

[tweet_box design=”default”]My coach, Daniel Harkavy, tells me only one thing happens when you create detailed, written plans… your execution rate increases dramatically. It is true.[/tweet_box]

Invite others to provide feedback – We began our conversation about our 2016 plans on Monday night, but it will not be the last time we talk about our plans. We will bring written drafts to the group for their review and feedback. Find someone who cares about you as a human being and ask them to give you candid feedback on your plan. Then listen intently, take good notes and adjust your plan accordingly.

Enlist someone to give the gift of accountability – Who in your life cares enough about you to ask you hard questions? If you don’t have anyone to do this for you, perhaps this should be one of your highest priorities for 2016. Share your plan with at least one person, and ask them to check on your progress periodically throughout 2016.

Reference your plan often during the year – I have a short memory. I wrote recently about an insight from Michael Gerber; he said a leader is someone who can remember what he is trying to accomplish. On the surface you may think this absurd – I think it is genius! Here’s what I’ve learned: the more I review my plan, the more it impacts my life. It helps me REMEMBER what I’m trying to accomplish and makes me a better leader for it!

There will be much more to our process. Over the next 60 days, we’ll devote hours together critiquing and encouraging one another regarding our plans. You don’t control the outcomes of the upcoming year; you do control your energy, effort, and execution.

[tweet_box design=”default”]You don’t control the outcomes of the upcoming year; you do control your energy, effort, and execution.[/tweet_box]

Plan for 2016 to be great![GLS_Shield]

Author: Mark Miller

Mark is a business leader, author, communicator, photographer, husband, and father. He spends his time helping leaders grow.