Craig Durosko: Plan and set goals for 2014 right now

Now is the time to start planning for next year. Start your brainstorming, your creative ideas, and your staffing plans so you can have your plan in place with a budget starting Jan. 1.

July 01, 2013

Often you hear of people setting personal resolutions and goals for the new year in January. If that is the case with your business, by the time you implement and start seeing outcomes, the year is halfway over. By planning in January, you have little time to make the necessary adjustments to attain your goals by the end of the year.

Think about your goals for next year now; put plans together so you can see the results earlier. In business, that plan may require hiring and on-boarding staff, investing money, or expanding a budget. Now is the time to start planning for next year. Start your brainstorming, your creative ideas, and your staffing plans so you can have your plan in place with a budget starting Jan. 1.

Have you ever had that experience in which you lost a loved one or had a health scare and it made you wonder if your priorities were in line?

A few weeks later, deadlines are piling up and it’s business as usual for the most part. Take this opportunity and adjust your priorities.

Has something happened to you that made you think about them? Go back to that moment; what was it, and how did it change the way you looked at your priorities? Is there anything you would like to change? Look at your personal goals and see if your professional goals are supporting them.

Check in where you are now

How are you doing with your goals? What are your goals? In January, you should already be implementing your business and personal goals.

Did you have any New Year’s resolutions? How are you doing? Did you put them in writing? Are they SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound)? How are they going—ahead of schedule or behind? Did you have contingency plans in place to implement in case your plan wasn’t going as planned?

In the book, “Great by Choice,” author Jim Collins says, “It is not discipline alone that makes greatness, but the combination of discipline and creativity.” He recommends “firing bullets” to aim and then cannonballs to sink the ship. This is the balance between jumping in too fast and taking no action at all. You could do a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) on whatever you want to improve: yourself, your processes, your client experience, your succession plan. Then create a plan with a strategy to implement what you want during the next year.

Check in with the goals you set this year. Why did you choose them? Are your goals exciting? Do they make you emotional? Do they get your blood pumping?

If not, check in and see why. Maybe the goal is not connected with your values, or maybe you’re justifying it logically. There are enough studies out there that prove we buy emotionally and justify logically. You would sell yourself short if you were logically justifying to yourself why your goal was the right one. Maybe you just need to connect the goal to your purpose to get your blood pumping. You will be much more successful if you can do this.

Are you looking at creating a vision that gets you and your team excited?

Check out the business plan Ari Weinzweig created for his company, the famous Zingerman’s Delicatessen in Ann Arbor, Mich. Look at how he described it. It is not a bulleted list. It has emotion and you can visualize it as if it had already happened. (See Weinzweig’s “eight steps to a vision of greatness” at

Do you have a vision where your company will be in three years? 

In “Be Excellent at Anything” by Tony Schwartz, he recommends looking at the following and see if you are walking the talk.

Rate each of the following on a scale of 1-10 on how important each is to you. Then estimate the amount of energy you put into each. It is a way to measure the gap between what you value and how you are living. Here are the categories he suggests:

  • Work/Career
  • Financial Success
  • Spouse/Partner
  • Children
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Fitness
  • Creativity/Self Expression/Hobbies
  • Enjoyment/Happiness
  • Learning/Growth
  • Service to Others/Contributions

Are you living the way you want? Now you have a choice; you can implement any changes in next year’s plan. PR


Craig Durosko is the founder of Sun Design, a design/build firm located in McLean and Burke, Va., that is celebrating its 25th year in business.The company has won more than 80 design and service awards and was recently named one of the “Best Places to Work” in Virginia for the second year in a row. Durosko can be reached at

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