Originally published on the Shirlaws Business Coaching Blog, January 1 2011.

If you noticed the heading to this article (“Looking back on 2011”) you probably thought it was a typo – after all, we’ve recently been inundated with newsletters and news articles looking back on 2010.

But no, it was no error – we’re actually asking you to look back on 2011, a year that’s only a few weeks old. Why?

Because this year is going to be an excellent year, for those business people who want it to be. And it won’t happen by accident. Those people – you’re probably one of them – who achieve results in 2011 will be the ones who plan ahead.

When they look back on 2011, it will resemble what they set up at the beginning of the year. “Looking back on 2011” right now, at the start of the year, helps ensure you’re on track throughout the year.

ONE WORD

You may already have some goals in mind for the immediate future. More than ‘new year’s resolutions’, we’re talking specific aspects of your business and your life that you intend to change – for the better – over the coming months.

It’s not always easy to remember those plans, especially once the new year pause wears off and the day-to-day stuff in business begins to flood your mind again. That’s why we as Shirlaws coaches – and we encourage our clients to do the same – limit our new year’s plans to just one word.

That’s right. Sum up the year ahead in one word.

One Word is much easier to remember than a list of goals (which is at best a strategic vision, and at worst a to-do list). In choosing the right one word, the exercise forces you to move beyond nice-to-have outcomes, and focus on the source change you need to make for you this year.

Some of our team’s examples (this year and past) include TranscendLeverage, and Acknowledge. You’ll notice those are all active words. And they each resonate strongly with the team member involved. When all the day-to-day stuff returns, he need only remember the one word and focus on that to move through.

THE £4.50 CHALLENGE

Could you sum up 2011, for you, in one word? Leverage or Consolidation? Exploration or Stability? Responsibility, Fun, or Electric? Of course, your one word may encompass ALL of those!

If you’re not sure, take the £4.50 challenge. Grab someone else in your business (or outside your business, even one of our team) and take them for coffee. Start outlining the year you want to create. And have them help you find the One Word at the source of your change.

We promise a solid return on your investment.

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