Looking back to this time last year, those business plans for 2020 went into scrap during the first quarter. Let’s face it, this year has been traumatic for everyone. We are coming to realize we have been in a relationship with a borderline narcissist gas-lighting us in a local, national, and international way. I think it goes without saying… we’re ready to leave 2020 behind for a profitable 2021. As you grapple with growing uncertainty about what lies ahead … Do NOT skip your “2021 Strategic Planning Session.”
While planning 2021, I am reminded of a quote by Dwight D. Eisenhower…
In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless. But the act the process of planning is indispensable.
How many times have you started your week without a plan? Where did you end up come Friday?
If you scrap your 2021 strategic planning because last years went into the bin, then while the rest of us have an even more profitable 2021, you won’t even realize you are lost as your business fails. And if you plan for 2021 without doing what I’m about to share with you… you may suffer a similar fate.
Think about this…
2020 was a whirlwind.
Nothing seemed stable.
It was fast.
It was chaotic.
An Even More Profitable 2021 is About Today
You must invest the time to take a hard look at 2020 to establish where you really are today. If you don’t it will be even harder to get to where you want to be in 2021, maybe even impossible.
The reason is simple — the 2020 trauma will carry forward in your business and infect your ability to think, feel and and act for years to come. The good news is you can get on a good path, and leave the trauma behind so you can have an even more profitable 2021
In Your Best Year Ever, Michael Hyatt refers the process of looking back to look forward as “the power of backward thinking.” Implement it in your business and personal life planning session so the past doesn’t creep up and sabotage your progress. Hyatt states:
We can’t just ignore it or wish it away. Whatever we have experienced over the last twelve months— or even further back—must be addressed. If we try to ignore it, it’s just going to come back to bite us. How? Sometimes we live inside unhelpful stories we tell ourselves. Other times we nurse grievances to justify our current actions or feel unvalued because we were slighted or disregarded in some way. If we don’t get resolution, we’ll drag all our unfinished business into the future, and it will sabotage everything we’re trying to build going forward.
Here’s the truth… this pandemic will draw to a close. As the warmth of the new dawn shines on us, and the economy reopens despite scare tactics, we both need to learn and grow from the lessons we learned in 2020.
The After-Action Review For An Even More Profitable 2021
You can use the After-Action Review to get resolution on the craziness of 2020 so they do not infect 2021. Here’s how:
Step 1: Acknowledge Expectations
What did you WANT to happen in 2020? How did you think this year was going to go? Did it meet with your expectations? Did you have any expectations?
Step 2: Acknowledge Reality
What actually happened? Did you experience disappointments or regrets this past year? What should you have been acknowledged for, and weren’t?
What’s something that went well where you thought, “you know what? That’s pretty good. I did a pretty good job with that.”
Maybe you made it through a really difficult time and you came out of the other side, and you’re okay. And for the people who don’t really know what you’re going through… for people who don’t really understand what it took for you to simply wake up and to get through that next day…
Well, there was no acknowledgement for it, because from the outside in was just living… surviving.
This can be personal, this can also be at work or in your business.
What did you accomplish this year that you’re most proud of? What were two or three specific themes that kept recurring?
Step 3: Learn
Observe your regrets… and look at your themes. That’s where you will find your important life and business lessons.
Step 4: Adjust
How can you adjust your behavior personally and in business to learn from your regrets and themes? What can you implement to ensure an even more profitable 2021? Are there systems that need to implement? What partnerships do you need to develop?
And Now Your Plan for 2021 …
After you go through this exercise, you are ready to plan 2021. Only after you look back can you look forward.
In one year from now… as you look back over the previous 12 months, I have no expectation you will look back to your 2021 plan and think… “That went exactly as planned.” As Eisenhower said, the value is in the act of planning. The fact you set aside the time to plan makes it far more likely that you will experience growth. It makes it far more likely that you’re going to have momentum because you will have an aim… you will be going in a particular direction.
If your 2021 plan gets adjusted, re-approached, or even tossed out, you will have already come to peace with the past and learned the lessons 2020 presented.
Do you have stories to share or acknowledgements to claim for 2021? Do you have anything you’d like to get off your chest? What are your biggest life lessons of 2020? Click here to tell us, or share this article with a friend >>