We’re already well into the New Year, so let me start by wishing you a happy and healthy 2018. I’m sure, like me, you’re already back into the business cycle so let’s just take a second or two to stop and reflect on how you’re really doing. Are you managing to stick to any, or some of your good intentions for the year?

Personally, I always avoid making New Year’s Resolutions as I think they’re bound to fail. Often made in the fog of New Year’s Day after time away from work, they’re often unrealistic and impaired by a groggy head.

Instead at the Academy, in the cold light of January we make our annual review for the coming year and think about our goals, our budget and our objectives, not only for ourselves, but for our businesses as well… Without flinching away from any uncomfortable truths, we think about how we can make a success of achieving our targets. Our proven method is to:
• set targets
• write them down
• share them

The importance of sharing our goals with our Academy peers is fundamental to successfully achieving them. Only by making others aware of our targets, can they then hold us to account and most crucial of all, support us as we journey through the year, regularly checking in and asking us about our progress towards each one.

It’s also vital to start the year with a clarity of purpose for both ourselves and our businesses. Only when our goals and targets are aligned with our purpose, does the likelihood of achieving them increase. Our success also depends on us setting incremental, short-term and achievable milestones. Only by breaking goals up into manageable and achievable sections, will the number of successes we have increase, which in turn encourages us to continue.

This process is much more fulfilling than not achieving anything towards an unattainable goal, becoming despondent and then writing off the bigger target in frustration. In our Academy groups, we work to support each other from the beginning of the year – setting the targets – all the way through the year, encouraging and working together to ensure success, whatever challenges arise.

Ian Price is Chief Executive of the Academy. He has a reputation and track-record for growing profitable businesses rapidly. His affable demeanour and relaxed style of working hides an exceptional talent at being able to focus on what makes a business tick.

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