Taking Inventory

Image of a path in the woods that splits in two different directions
Figure out which way to go by really looking at where you’ve been.

Every year or at least every so often businesses take inventory. They do this as a matter of tracking. If taking inventory is so important to a business, why wouldn’t taking inventory of ourselves be just as important? It gives us an opportunity to see what we have accomplished or not accomplished during the previous year. Most of us are so set on moving on to the next goal, the next accomplishment, the next trip, that we forget to take a breath and see how we did the previous year.

At the start of every year, everyone has a New Year’s resolution. Most of those resolutions don’t make it through January. Why is that? Lack of accountability? Determination? Who knows? What I do know is this; I have been meeting with three friends of mine for the last two years. We get together every other week to discuss our businesses and to help each other reach our goals. We use Daren Hardy’s workbook “Living Your Best Year Ever” as our guide. Every Monday we talk to see what has gone well and what has not gone so well. We check to see if there have been any “ah ha” moments, any fixes that need to be made, and most of all we take the time to share with each other what we are most grateful for from that week. At the end of the year we get together for a full day Mastermind to do a review of the year. We do this with complete transparency. Wow! What a great day it is!

Instead of jumping the gun and setting next year’s goals, we take inventory of everything that has happened over the last year. When I go back and take a good hard look at all that has occurred it’s amazing what I find. One of my biggest wins last year was being humbled and learning how to accept that humility as a gift. Sometimes we are brought to our knees from an awareness of some sort. When we become aware of whatever it is, it doesn’t exactly taste good at the onset, but when we recognize the positive from that humility we allow ourselves to grow. ┬áBeing humbled hurts initially, in fact, many may see it as a loss but at the end of the day when we embrace it and learn from it, it can only be a win.

There are moments throughout the year when a light bulb goes off. That is referred to as an “ah ha” moment. Taking inventory of these moments is important because it allows us to recognize how much we have learned throughout a given year. One of my biggest “ah ha” moments of this past year came from a business conference I attended. Someone made a comment that struck a chord with me. “Stop selling and telling and start asking great questions” was the comment. When I heard this, it shook me to the bone. My immediate thought had nothing to do with business but everything to with family and friends. I often come across great information and I want to share it with everyone. In my excitement, I often tell people; “you have to read this book”, “you need to do this”, or “you need to do that”. When we tell people they need to do something it is often heard by the recipient as you are telling me I am broke and need to be fixed. It usually doesn’t go over well. I immediately started thinking about my relationships at home and how often I try to “sell and tell” instead of asking the great questions that will lead people to self discovery. When self discovery occurs breakthroughs are made. Taking inventory of what happened to me and learning from it will help me going forward this year.

Taking inventory allows me to take a breather and see all the good that has happened to me. That builds confidence and creates momentum. Momentum is what get’s the next year off to a good start.
If you haven’t taken inventory yet of your last year’s accomplishments, now might be a good time to do so. Give yourself some credit, build momentum and get this year off to a great start.
Until next time….