Play the ‘holiday game’, and make some required changes

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Terry Sage of Trades Coaching New Zealand

Terry Sage of Trades Coaching New Zealand says it’s time to play the holiday game — which means four or five days of doing absolutely nothing, before thinking about what needs to change in your business.

It’s the end of anther year. How many times are we going to hear those words over the next few weeks?

And do we really care? We still have to get up tomorrow and do the same things we did yesterday.

Of course we care, or we should. Maybe we do care, but don’t have time to show it. Maybe the better question is not “do we care” but “why do we need to care?”

Let’s face it, there’s been an awful lot of end of years for some of us — too many for some, but that’s another story. 

Let’s look at the need to care. If we let too many of them slip by without caring, the chances are you will be in a similar position this time next year as you are now.

Doesn’t mean to say that’s a bad thing, especially if you work three days a week, pocket a million plus after tax each year, and your Christmas present to yourself just happens to be one of those new Aston Martin EV SUVs in that very fetching neon blue fleck.

If this is you then you’re either a magazine editor or you deserve a High 5 for doing something right.

If it’s not you, you’re either a business coach, still working like the masses, or the neon blue is not your colour.

If you’re in the latter group then maybe a change here and there is needed. On the bright side, you haven’t just spent a small house on a blue car.

Should we wait until the end of the year to make change or even consider change? No, of course not. We should look at changes continuously where and when they are needed.

But life and work gets in the way so things get pushed back, and then we bounce into the end of the year and, let’s face it, it becomes a convenient time to stop, reflect and plan.

So here’s the holiday game — that’s assuming you’re actually taking a break, because if you’re not then we really, really need to talk.

The game starts with four or five days — if you have been nice and not naughty — of doing absolutely nothing.

Then you start thinking, but do this with a pen and paper in hand, or tablet if you’re a little more technically-inclined. And by tablet I mean the flat electric things, not the small white powdery things. But, hey, if you need both to clear the head from the five days of doing nothing then who am I to question?

Anyway, write down everything you weren’t happy about during the past 12 months, then write a list of what worked well.

Honestly, it’s really that easy — actually the writing is the easy part, it’s what you do with the list that can prove to be a little problematic.

The problems relate to the fact that once you have identified a change is needed, you then need to work out how to enact that change. But the absolute biggest hurdle is the “willingness” to change.

It’s too easy to say to yourself “that’s wrong. This is how we will change it and we will start next Monday as I’m just too busy to do anything about it this week”.

Trust me, Monday never comes, as your Fridays never seem to end. And then it’s Wednesday and, hey, it’s no point starting it until next Monday now.

If you’re a typical tradie you are only thinking about getting this job finished in time to keep old Mrs Bucket off your case.

And when are you going to find a minute to get to the shops to get some presents. And, oops, the tent has a broken pole from last year that you were meant to replace, and the boat trailer needs a warrant — and the ands just never stop coming, do they?

Take it one step at a time, breathe, write the list and then work on just one change. Nail that and move on to the next one.

This process is much easier with a business coach by your side. Now this is not about self-promotion, but about getting you to think about what is possible out there.

Have a fantastic, well deserved break, and let your head do some dreaming.