It’s Spring and that gets me thinking about renewal, growth, and change. I’ve been engaged (in what spare time I can find) in a spring cleaning project that includes inventorying my books and also the boxes that are stored in our attic (see Apps We Love in this month’s issue). Sifting through my past as I itemize and categorize, I can’t help but feel like I’m more past-oriented than future-oriented, and that’s annoying.
Do you ever wish you could wipe the slate clean and start your business persona all over again? If you are in an accounting or bookkeeping firm, would you do things differently if you were starting over today? If you could erase the legacy of your client relationships and the work you have done to date, would you take a different path, knowing what you know today?
Allowing yourself to have that dream is the first step in the direction of improving who you are and what you do. Contrary to what you might believe, you are not locked into a routine or a business style that is unchangeable.
We all move so fast, from days to weeks to months; the years fly by, another busy season is in the books, we catch our breath and move forward, checking items off our to-do list, planning the weeks ahead on our calendar. If someone asks you about your long-range goals, you might pause to think wistfully about a time in the future when you think you will escape the rat race, and then you jump back to the reality of your timetable, your schedule, your day-to-day.
I challenge you to truly envision where you would like to see yourself five to ten years from today – visualize what that future looks like. Really describe yourself, where you are, what you are doing, what a typical day looks like. Whether you expect to still be full throttle in the workforce, to be retired, or to be somewhere in between, put that description of you, five to ten years from now, down on paper, in as much detail as possible.
Next, make a list of what you need to achieve in the ensuing five to ten years in order to realize that future you. Lay out the details, create the road map to your future on paper, fill in the steps that are necessary in order to achieve what you want. Don’t let yourself dream without actually positioning yourself to make those dreams come true.
Step One is the roadmap. For me, that includes inventorying the past so I no longer have to search and wonder where things are. Clearing that obstacle is actually helping me see the future more clearly. What is your Step One, and what comes after that? Start scheduling your own personal journey on your calendar and make those steps a reality. No one is standing in your way except you yourself.