We’re there. The end of the year. The final chapter in the book of 2017. Now what?

We’re there. The end of the year. The final chapter in the book of 2017. Now what?
Because I am a planner, the easy answer seems to be; plan for the coming year. But what does that look like?
• First up, you need to set next year’s goals. I am a strong believer in goal setting. I’m not sure sometimes where to start if I don’t know where I want to end.
For example, one goal I set at the end of 2016 was to be serving a minimum of 25 additional members by the end of 2017.
Be realistic. I’d like to believe that no one would ever choose to not maintain their Chamber memberships but there’s some natural attrition through businesses closing and sometimes tough business decisions just must be made. Your goal, like mine, probably has something to do with growth and equally important to being realistic, is to be specific. Take your final goal and break it down into the steps it will take you get there.
• That bring us to the second step. Prepare your action plan. Write it down.
I can’t stress this enough. We live in a very hectic world. I don’t know about you but if I had to remember my weekly grocery list, appointments, etc. AND my goal setting plan, I’d be a mess and I can’t promise any of it would ever get done, much less efficiently.
Start with the big goals. Write each in your planner, type them into your computer, whatever works best for you. Then start breaking them down into steps; manageable bites if you will. There’s a reason our teachers made us learn outlines in writing and English classes.
In my previous new member goal example, I looked at the previous five years joined/dropped analysis, came up with an average yearly attrition rate, which brought me to a monthly number of new members needed to meet the annual goal.
• Finally, start implementing your plan. Whether you choose the smallest step, the most convenient step, or jump in with both feet to a giant step, get started right away.
Go back to the plan regularly. Evaluate. Reevaluate. Modify. Consider your plan a living document. Much like neglecting to water a plant would cause it to die, neglecting your plan will probably cause it to fail.
I’ve already identified several goals for the coming year and have started putting thought to how to reach them. What’s your 2018 plan?