Plans: Finishing Strong and Beginning Bold

Oct 4, 2010, Written by Sue Miley

It’s October.  Even in Louisiana I think we are ready to say that summer is over.  It is also the 4th quarter of the calendar year; most people’s business year.

And for those of us who love to plan and set goals and step back and assess our business…it is that time again too.  Did your business move toward your vision in 2010?

We don’t want to wait til January 1 to decide what we are going to do in 2011.  And let’s be realistic, once we get into November the only thing we are planning for is the holidays.  Family, food, and fun.

Now is the time.  Now is the time to step back and look at:

  • what you accomplished in 2010.
  • how 2010 compared to the plans you made for it.
  • whether 2010 has put you in a good place to build on it in 2011.
  • what are the next steps to keep the 2010 momentum going.
  • what you need to change if 2010 was a disappointment to you (yes you are the one who has to change things!).
  • what big (only God can make it HAPPEN) things are you dreaming of in your future.

We have had an entire week, 7 whole days, of beautiful, almost Fall weather in Southern Louisiana.  For me it definitely puts me in the mindset of change.  Plus, when I look outside and see nature (and it’s creatures) in its awe-inspiring state of change it opens up my own creative engine.

The right side of the brain says, “It’s my turn!”.  Don’t worry, after the right side of the brain comes up with all of the (only God can make it HAPPEN) plans, then the left side of the brain gets to do budgets, projections and action plans.

We don’t want to just dream the big dream.  We want to EXECUTE and make those dreams reality.

Here are a few ideas to get you started on you 2011 planning:

1. Are you excited about your products and/or services?

That’s right, you personally.  Do you wake up in the morning excited about going to work and getting started doing what you do?  Do you use your own services/products? If not, why not?

I don’t know about you, but I turned 46 last month.  I have woken up each day since then and said “Are you as excited about life and what God has you doing as you ever have been?”  When I answer myself, I do know that God has given me all of the ingredients.  I love my work.  I have unlimited opportunity.  The part I have contemplated is do I embrace the adventure and journey with the same energy I used to?

God deserves our best.  I know that.  I need to quit thinking about my 46 year old body and it’s limitations and focus on the world that we have to make a difference in.

I challenge you to do the same.  If you are not embracing life, then the first step in planning for 2011 is to figure out why!  Is it my business, my team, my opportunities, or me?

2. What needs to happen to tie a bow around 2010?

We still have 3 months.  We need to start planning for 2011, but we can’t abandon 2010.  We need to finish strong.

  • What projects need to be wrapped up in 2010?
  • If you are a retailer or Christmas is your best season – are you ready?
  • Is your foundation sound?  Are your systems in place?
  • How is your team? Have you provided performance feedback to everyone for 2010?  Do they know what you are expecting in 2011 from them?
  • Does your team know the vision?  Do they know how you need to finish 2010?  Does your vision have long term viability?

Now is the time to do a short-term assessment of your current situation to determine what has to happen NOW…in the last three months of 2010.

3. Plan a 2011 that carries out the journey of your God-given vision?

Don’t switch gears.

Don’t throw spaghetti on the wall and see what is for dinner in 2011.

Remember, that when we align ourselves with God, He gives us our vision.  If you feel your vision was God-given, I wouldn’t change it!

Maybe you need to detour back to God’s path.  Maybe you just need to keep on going. But, trust God and the plans He has for you and brainstorm what you and your business need to do to maintain His vision.

  • Are new systems required to support your business as it grows?
  • Are you coming to the point where you will need to hire additional people to achieve your business goals?
  • Are you being challenged in your own leadership skills and need to seek additional training?

4. Whatever you planned in the 3 above, add on goals that seem crazy and impossible!

We aren’t here to just get by.  We are Christians in business and we have the Creator of the Universe behind us.  If that is just lip service, then you are right, stop at step 3 above.

But, if you really believe that we have an advantage by building our business on our faith in God…

That God cares about our business, like He cares about the rest of our life….

That God frequently works through us, even in our weakness….

That God wants you to depend on Him and trust Him in everything, even your business…

Then step out in faith and see what amazing things God can do in you, your team and your business in 2011.

Just An Ordinary Day in God’s Kingdom

I know it may sound like I:

  • have had an extra cup or 3 of coffee this morning….
  • have just come back from an amazing God-filled conference…
  • cared about the Saints and LSU winning this weekend…

…but none of that is the case.  (Okay I was glad the Saints won since it was the first game I ever went to!)  This is just what I believe.  God gives us the ingredients.  What we make with it is up to us.  We can create a luscious gourmet food experience or slap together some sustenance.  That part is up to us.

As I sit here, on my patio, 70 degrees, sunny, slight wind and a dachshund on my lap, I am planning.  I see God’s creation around me and know that in this moment His creation is my inspiration.

I want to finish 2010 strong.

I want to embrace the journey of the coming year.

I insist on defying my 46 year old physical constraints and plan on following the Spirit instead.

It’s my right as a child of God.  It’s yours too.  Let’s make the most of the days He gives us.

Reader Interactions


  1. Bradley J. Moore says

    Sue – Thanks for your enthusiasm, because it jumps right off of the computer screen with your words! I usually plan personal goals once a year and check in from time to time to see if I am on track, making readjustments when necessary. Our company planning is an ongoing process – we set those goals annually and cascade it throughout the organization, then everyone’s budgets and individual performance plans are tied in.

    I love your idea about setting the crazy goals. Sometimes the sheer fact of allowing yourself to write it down somehow moves you closer.

    • S_Miley says

      Bradley, I do think writing it down moves us closer. For me it also sets a bar. We always do better with something to strive for—even if it is long-term and ongoing. I am all about the journey, not just achieving a fixed goal or destination. However, setting goals or making plans helps us see if we are on track to our vision and keeps us directionally following God’s path. I don’t beat myself up if I don’t achieve a specific goal or metric as long as I am still on the path and making progress towards the things God is calling me to do. Of course, this is the new me. A decade ago I would have been checking them off the list.

      I remember the corporate budgeting process- much more intense. Much more focused on the achievement of the goals – the destination. Good luck with your planning this year!

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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