Get Ready for 2018 by Cindy Stradling CSP,CPC


index22018 is here whether you’re ready or not. As you gear up after the holidays, take some time to prepare yourself mentally for 2018. A little preparation ahead of time can help you ensure that 2018 is your best year ever.

You probably have already thought of some goals for the new year. If not, spend a little time in reflection about what you want to accomplish next year, and be sure to write your goals down and place these in a location that makes it easy for you to refer to them regularly. Writing goals down and keeping these fresh in your mind significantly increases the likelihood you’ll achieve them. Remember to update your goals throughout the year, as well, to ensure they stay attainable.

Remember to set goals that aren’t business related, as well as those that are. Plan to do something just for yourself, like pursuing a hobby you’ve let slide, or taking up a new one. Consider spending more time with family or taking a great vacation.

As you look toward 2018, it’s also important to consider things you want to remove from your life. Think about the things that get in your way of happiness, and make efforts to either fix these things or get rid of them altogether.

Consider your health as you move into the New Year, and be sure to use holiday time off to relax and rejuvenate. If there are health issues you need to address, make plans to do so next year. Don’t put off maintaining your health any longer just because you feel too busy. When you begin to feel better, you’ll be happier and more productive.

This is a great time to address your relationships, too. Have you drifted away from your partner? If so, make plans to spend more time together, or even get professional help, if needed. If you’ve neglected your love life and found yourself alone, maybe 2018 is the year you want to find a partner. Remember that these things don’t always happen by chance. Plan on finding ways to meet new people and spark new relationships.

2018 can be your best year ever, especially if you take the time to consider what you want from the year, and you take the steps to put your plans into action. Cheers to the New Year!

First Quarter Over – How Are You Doing


First Quarter Over – How Are You Doing? By Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC

For those who create their annual plans based on the calendar year, we have just completed the first quarter.  goals2

How did you do?  

Are you on track? 

Have you checked your progress?

Are you still engaged and interested?

One of the most important activities with goal setting is tracking performance.  Now is a great time to review what’s working and not working so you can adjust whatever needs to be adjusted to get you back on track with you goals.  Now is the time to pull out your plan and see how you’ve done.

Here are key questions to ask:

1)    Have the goals been achieved to date?  If yes – celebrate and acknowledge the progress.  If No: the following questions should be considered:

2)    Are the goals achievable in the given timeframe? Are they still realistic? If yes then how will you achieve them) (create action steps). If No, what needs to happen differently?

3)    Do the timelines still work or should they be changed?

4)    Are there adequate resources to realize the goal? (e.g, money, manpower, equipment)

5)    What priorities need to change to shift the focus to this plan?

6)    Are the goals still a priority or have things changed?

7)    What has been learned this first quarter that can be applied to ensure the success of the second quarter.

8)    What is the date of the follow up for the second quarter?

All the activities, discussions and changes done during a milestone check in should be documented and kept for reference at the next check in.  This will make sure any recurring issues can be highlighted and address. 

One of my favourite thought leaders Brian Tracy compares setting and achieving goals to that of a flight plan of an airline pilot.  They are off course more than they are on, yet they still reach their destinations.  Why?  Because they have a plan and they are prepared to deal with whatever turbulence that comes their way. In fact Brian estimates we are off as much as 99% of the time.  I often think of this analogy when I find myself off track towards my goals.  By taking a deep breath, review my plan and get back on track as quickly as possible works for me. 

What about you?  What gets you back on track?

“In order for you to reach this unlimited potential, your first and greatest responsibility to yourself is to become absolutely clear about what it is that you really want.  When you are absolutely clear about who you are, what you want, and where you want to go, you will accomplish ten times as must as the average person, and much faster as well” Brian Tracy

12 Top Best Practices for Successful Sales Professionals – Week 1

successful sales professional attitude

12 Top Best Practices for Successful Sales Professionals – Week 1

successful sales professional attitudeFor the month of June, I thought I do something a little different for my blog.  During my sales training programs I am often asked about the best practices I have adopted for myself over the years.  I have distilled them into twelve and will share three per week for the month of June.

I have always believed that we are all in sales in one form or another so these best practices do not only apply to those in the selling profession and can be applied to many situations.


1)      Attitude is everything – this may not sound like a best practice, but believe me it is.  How we do anything is how we do everything.  If your attitude is negative or cynical before you undertake any task it will definitely affect not only your results, but the experience of everyone who interacts with you.  Before you pick up the phone, go on a sales call or interact with others in your organization, do a personal check in.  Do an attitude check and ask yourself “Am I present and focused right now.  Is my intention positive or negative?”  When I do this I ask myself “Am I working in Mediocrity or Mastery today?”  I always choose Mastery and it sets the tone and my results for the day.

2)      Goal, objective and targets – setting BIG goals and high targets has always been the way I go about setting my objectives for the year.  I set annual, quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily goals.  I find by keeping the BIG goals in sight, broken down as daily actionable items really helps me stay on track.  Monthly I review my activities to see where I am on or off target and take any necessary actions.  I have a call sheet that I created so I can track my daily activities such as calls, proposals submitted or connections made, again a simple visible tool to let me know how I am doing.  There is a saying I heard years ago “Inch by Inch Success is a Cinch” and it sounds simple but it really does come down to what you do with your minutes to achieve your desired outcomes.

3)      Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan – this is the Intel slogan that I am in total agreement with.  In addition to setting my goals and targets for the year, I also create an annual plan for marketing, new program offerings, newsletters and sources for new prospects.  There are 5 questions that I learned from a Landmark Education leadership program to ask myself when I am creating my plan that really help:

  1. What do I know to do? (what’s obvious)
  2. What am I saying I will do? (get present to what you say)
  3. What do others expect me to do even though I haven’t said I would do it?
  4. What do I have to do to have my work complete?
  5. What do I have to do to do this as it was meant to be done?

I find when I ask these questions it gives me a deeper connection and commitment to my plans, yielding me greater results.