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The Year That Was and the Year That Will Be

With the year drawing to an end, we’ve come to a perfect opportunity to review 2019 — what went right, what could have gone better and what kind of effort we put forth during the year to maximize our success.

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Chris Saraceno is the Vice President & Partner of the Kelly Automotive Group

How did we do in 2019 and how can we do better in 2020?

With the year drawing to an end, we’ve come to a perfect opportunity to review 2019 — what went right, what could have gone better and what kind of effort we put forth during the year to maximize our success. 

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It can be easy — and tempting — to focus on one area where we showed improvement from January to December, and it’s important to give ourselves credit where credit is due. When we live a Theory of 5 lifestyle, however, we are brutally honest with our results and our efforts in every area of our lives. My mentors and I believe the future holds unlimited promise, but only if we recognize where we have excelled and where have opportunity for improvement — and then prioritize our plans accordingly.

Charting our Progress

My mentors have taught me that one of the most important factors that goes into goal setting (a topic we’ll discuss further in my next article) is to make our goals Measurable. “I want to improve my sales percentage” is a worthwhile goal but isn’t nearly as powerful a goal as “I want to sell 15% more this year” or “I want to move from third to first place in my region.” Goals that you can quantify are goals that can be measured and compared.

When we can measure our output or progress, it takes the emotions, opinions and other factors that can dilute the truth out of the equation. When say we want to lose 30 pounds in 12 months and we lose 35, we know that we hit our target. If we only lost 15, we know we fell short.

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Our True Efforts

External reasons certainly play a part in why results did or did not go a certain way during the year (it’s much easier to sell in boom times than in a recession, for instance, or in an affluent community rather than in a depressed market). One factor that is completely within our control, however, is our Effort. This is one of the most important dynamic to focus on when looking back at the past 12 months. To get a true picture of our performance, we can ask ourselves questions such as these:

  • What did I do to further my education?
  • What steps did I take to build a network around me that will keep me on target, and where I can provide a positive influence?
  • What did I do each day to build and improve on prior accomplishments?
  • When were there times when my effort fell short of where it needed to be? Why did this happen?

It’s important to be as honest with ourselves as possible. When we’re reviewing our year, this is a conversation we’re having with ourselves. It makes the entire effort worthless if we’re not looking for areas to continually improve ourselves, our team and our company.

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My mentors have taught me that the best do not waste time making excuses of themselves for the areas where they fall short. Instead, they resolve to find ways to improve their efforts and make the most of each day during the coming year.

Charting Our Course in 2020

Even though there’s only one day difference between December 31 and January 1, people have the psychological advantage of being able to wipe our mental slate clean and begin again when the new year rolls around. If we fell short of our goals in 2019, we have the opportunity to do better in 2020. If we did hit our major goals, then we have all the momentum we need to dominate in the coming year.

Next month, we’ll take a look at how to make sure we set Achievable, Measurable and Actionable goals for 2020.

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