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Creating the Optimal 2017

Now that the holiday madness is over, business consultants suggest taking some time to get organized and set goals for the New Year, both for your business and yourself.

Suggestions include budgeting, journaling and helping employees help the company.


Identify the Budget

When asked what the single most important thing to do when making plans for the New Year, T. Paul Thomas, a veteran CEO, business leader and professor at Northern Arizona University, says it is putting in place your financial plan and asking for help doing it.

He emphasizes that it is important to include the opinions of everyone in the company, whether there are 50 employees or thousands.

“It is called Bottom Up Budgeting,” he said. “You have to have a way to get everyone engaged in it.”

Department members identify what they want to focus on, how much money it will take, and then, they can plan for the year.

“It rolls its way up to the top,” Thomas said.

Once the plan is in place, it is important to meet with department heads each month for an update to make sure they are on track.

“If I get to do two things, it would be to really focus on employees,” he said. “I am always blown away by employees and how very little it takes to make them happy.”

Thomas, who has worked all over the world and for several major companies, says whenever he went to work as a CEO for a new company, he interviewed everyone.

He asks what they do in order to “learn how they see their role in the company.”

He asks how many times they have thought about leaving and why. “That shows me their frustrations with the company.”

And finally, he asks if the person were the CEO, what three things he or she would change immediately.

“That tells you the issues as they exist right now.”

He continued, “If you take care of your employees, everything else gets taken care of. They will take care of the company and they will grow the business more than any plan you put together.”



The Power of Words

In order to get organized to be productive, Dr. Stacia Pierce starts journaling.

“I start out by setting goals in my journal and looking back at it at least every month,” she said. “You would not believe what a difference it makes.”

She warns that if a person does not review the goals frequently, he or she might lose focus.

“Life happens. Distractions happen. If you don’t review your goals, half of the year will be gone and then you say maybe this is not going to happen. Reviewing goals frequently helps keeping you in alignment.”

Next, Pierce, an Orlando-based motivational speaker and life coach who has helped thousands set, define and reach their personal and professional goals, suggests choosing a word for the year.

“Use this word daily. Create activity around the word. Ask yourself, ‘Do I need more rest? Do I need to be more productive?’ Whatever you need. Create an affirmation around the word,” she said. “Say this is my mantra for the year. I am going in this direction.”

Finally, create a vision for the year.

“I like to put this vision in my journal,” she said.

The vision should determine what 2017 should look like to you.


SMART Planning

Steve Bracety, general manager of the Prescott Resort and Conference Center, says he uses the word “SMART” to move himself and his staff in the right direction.

The goal should be Specific, Measureable, Actionable, Realistic

and Time Bound. SMART.

“You need to determine the goal you want to achieve, determine for your team or yourself who is responsible for the goals and who is leading the charge,” Bracety said. “In the end, I always want to accomplish whatever a home run is to me.”

For example, if a manger wants to increase sales, he or she must decide how to go about doing that. You decide who you need on your team to accomplish that and follow up so there are no hidden surprises. Inspect what you expect.”


The recurring theme with all of these experts is constantly checking in with employees and yourself to keep moving forward so the goal can be reached.

As Bracety said, “Check in. Check in. Check in.” FBN

Patty McCormac, FBN










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