Goals and Advice for the New Year

What are your goals for the new year? Do you have any financial or business advice with all of the economic challenges we face?

Great question! New Year's Eve is a day for reflection and planning. What went well during the prior year? What didn't go well? Were the goals I set achieved? And what's the plan for 2009?

Let's think about the big picture that exists in the world today and then consider the big picture of our lives and where we are in them. Then we can set our business and personal goals for the year. First, we should review our successes and failures from the past year. This gives us something to build upon as we plan for the coming year.

Every year, I like to go for a walk with my family to breathe in the crisp, fresh, January air and reflect upon all the new lessons we have learned. Let's have that conversation together here, through this forum!

I like to break my goals down into personal/family goals and then business ones. And I try to think of them within the context of my inner and outer environment. More on that in a second.

I would absolutely love to hear from ALL of you about how 2008 was for you, and what you hope to achieve in 2009 as well. But, I'll go first with this post...

I have one urgent goal for 2009. My top urgent goal? Prepare my office and tax coorespondance for the new tax season. I know that sounds rather small, but it's on my immediate to do list.

Business-wise, "the business" (I don't think of it as a business but as a passion) has gone well during 2008. Even after the Recession and losing some bookkeeping clients due to the closing of business doors, my business is continueing to grow. Speaking of the R word, let's move to the "outer-environment" within which we must form our goals for the coming year...

We all have to be ready for the full impact of the Recession during 2009. You all likely have already been impacted by it in some way. Hopefully, you haven't lost your home to foreclosure, or lost much money in the stock markets. Whatever the impact, all the experts tell us to expect things to get worse before they get better.

Businesses are expected to grow more slowly. Many businesses will close (for example, the retail industry has already been hugely damaged). This major outer-impact will trickle down to our businesses, whether we sell goods or services or advertising from them. And if you're in retail, you're hurting.

In short, we must make sure to assess the impact of the recession on ourselves and our businesses, realistically. We can't close our eyes to this or gloss over the impact it will have.

We need to be ready for things to get tougher. "Slower growth" is what we can expect, for the most part. And negative growth will happen if you stand still. As always, the answer is persistence. We should be ready to re-double our efforts, both in products and service.

All is not doom and gloom, of course. Every Recession turns around. A new world will emerge from it, hopefully one that is less "spoiled" and ready to WORK, once again, for what we can AFFORD.

"The U.S., still the engine of the world, has a history of electing a president that makes a difference. Hopefully, Barack Obama returns America to what made it great.

Obama needs to inspire a return to the ideals that made America great, and hopefully inspire the rest of the world, too (I've never seen a U.S. president capture the world's imagination like he has)...

He needs to inspire INDIVIDUALS to end their lazy excesses, from mind-numbing reality TV to falling for sub-prime rates and easy credit. He needs to inspire people to work hard and save money -- too many people have been buying too much stuff that they can't afford. People have been trained, by both government and banks/retail/advertising/etc. NOT to take personal responsibility for lazy, ignorant decisions.

It's time for all that to stop. Will that deepen the Recession? Yes, in the short-term. We need to get realistic about what we can afford and stop buying beyond our means.

Self-reliance. Responsibility. Independence. Ethics. I am hoping that one man can restore the bedrock." - Ken Evoy

OK, that's the biggest of the outer-environment.

Finally, at the much smaller end of things, and in my own little way, I'll now start this thread with MY business goals, followed by personal/family ones...

First, given all of the above, my website through Site Build It! is more important than ever. Massive layoffs are underway and more to come in 2009, together with the difficulty of finding a new job. Retail is devastated. Major industries are hammered. So building my own business, creating my own independence and self-reliance, is increasingly vital (the American Dream is now the World Dream).

On the business side, of course, the goal is to grow Horne Financial Services and www.Bookkeeping-Basics.net and make them both better and better.

Looking forward personally, my family goals are pretty simple...

Enjoy family together here in Sonoma County.

Help Billy and Olivia with school and sports, volunteering for both when I can. Help husband Billy study for his upcoming Firefighting exams, and study myself for the EA exam.

I'm really just looking forward to watching and helping the kids grow as they experiences all the wonders of life.

Do much more family traveling, and, of course...

Enjoy being with my husband of 7 years. As the children continue to grow, we continue to learn and grow and plan for the future.

I wish you and all who you hold dear a stimulating, rewarding, increasingly self-reliant, happy and healthy 2009. And I'd love to hear your goals for 2009. After all, "without goals, you have no roadmap. And if you have no roadmap in these times, you just might become roadkill." - Ken Evoy

Yes, it's a good time to look back... and then look ahead.

See you "next year."

All the best,
Stephanie

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Jan 02, 2009
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Great Advice!
by: Anonymous

Thanks for the advice. You've given me a lot of food for thought!

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