Christy Lamagna is the founder of and Master Strategist at Strategic Meetings & Events. For the last decade her focus has centered around disrupting the meetings industry. She is teaching planners to evolve into meeting strategists, who think with curious minds and learn to create meeting environments that shorten sales cycles and influence attendee behavior. A lifelong learner, intellectual philanthropist and author, Christy taught college-level strategic planning for 10 years which helped inspire her book, “The Strategic Planning Guide for Event Professionals.” Read all of Christy's "Get Strategic" blog posts for CEN here.
How to Have A Successful 2019 — The Year of YOU
With this month’s focus on YOU (and what subject is more interesting?), it seemed the perfect opportunity to discuss making it a full year of year of YOU, whatever that may look like. To have a successful 2019, you need to be willing to get out of your comfort zone, put in a few extra hours of work every week and stay committed to your goal. If you’ve got the desire to get there, I’ve got the roadmap.
Get out of your own way. We are the authors of our success. There are endless reasons why something cannot happen but there is only one reason why something does happen; determination. For those of you who think luck has a hand in destiny, keep in mind that while luck may open a door it’s hard work and skill that keep that door open.
Decide what you want and make it a priority. That means no excuses. Life is always going to get in the way. Friends are always going to have a crisis, co-workers are always going to throw your plan off schedule, you are always going to want to get an extra hour of sleep. Focus on what you want and make it happen.
Learn the art of ‘No.’ We are people pleasers. It feels great to be useful, save the day, and perform miracles. It’s also an excuse for not getting to our own priorities, fosters other people’s procrastination or poor planning and can completely torpedo your own agenda. There are times when helping is appropriate. There are also times when saying, “I’m sorry, but I have another commitment” is also appropriate. Give it a try. Once you get the hang of it it’s very freeing and empowering. And the world doesn’t end. And if someone holds a grudge there’s less of a chance of them asking for help again, so there's a silver lining!
Change lanes. We tend to stick with what we know. When we’re in our comfort zone we’re not learning, taking risks or improving. Fear is an unrealized wish, so think of something you are afraid to do or avoid doing and tackle it. Whether it’s creating budgets, negotiating contracts, networking or speaking up at meetings, find your kryptonite and decide to render it powerless instead of the other way around.
Embrace solutions, not problems. For instance, if you disregarded step three because you don’t know where to start, you’re letting yourself off the hook too easily. To help fix that, here are three options for gaining the skills you need to overcome fear and master a new task:
- Google to the rescue. There are countless articles, webinars, blog, podcasts and sites dedicated to everything imaginable. Pick your topic, type in “free webinar” for example, and TADA! A host of resources are suddenly and literally at your fingertips.
- Ask someone who is successful at the skill you’re learning to mentor you. We all started somewhere, so flatter someone by acknowledging their expertise and ask them to share some of their knowledge. You’ll both be glad you did!
- No mentor option available? Coaches are often willing to host a mastermind session on a specific topic. This allows you to tailor the sessions to one, specific topic and get individual attention from an expert. Ask if your company pays for professional training. You may even have financial assistance at your disposal.
It's All About YOU
No matter which route you take, get an accountability partner. Sharing a goal and timeline with someone often keeps goals that would otherwise fall by the wayside to stay on track. Your accountability partner likely also has something on the ‘to conquer’ list so why not challenge that person to create a goal of their own and you can both help each other have a successful 2019?
YOU are the most important person in your life. If you fall into the trap of putting yourself last, the people who are benefitting from your attention aren’t going to encourage you to reprioritize, so it’s up to you. Think about it this way; when you’re traveling and off the grid, everyone finds a way to get things done. It’s just easier to ask for help than it is to do the work.
Here’s an example of what just happened to me: I met someone via LinkedIn and we had a 20-minute introduction call. Then I received an email asking me to make a few introductions, which I sent. Then came the email asking me what their email should say and would I help write it? This would have continued had I not sent a polite reply that I was sure this person would do a great job and that they should take it from that point forward.
So, what does the “one year from today, you” look like? What tasks have been mastered, fears conquered, and skills accomplished? A year is going to pass in 365 days. There’s nothing you can do about that. What you can do is decide who you are going to be a year from now, and if you will have a successful 2019. Unlimited possibilities await!