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iStock_000008291708_MediumAs the end of the year approaches, it’s the perfect time to review your business plan so you can prepare to be more successful next year. I believe that learning from your actions and from results of your efforts is vital to success as a business owner or network marketing professional.

In my work as a business mentor, I’ve seen first hand just how important business plans are. They lay the foundation for successful sales, marketing, internal growth and leadership. But, it’s not enough to just set up a plan and then never revisit it.

Reviewing your plan regularly will help you execute it, but it will also help you learn how to be more effective in the future.

Choose which Goals to Roll Over

First, look at the goals in your business plan and decide which ones to roll over to next year. You can cross the goals you’ve achieved off the list and leave the ones that you didn’t quite reach.

If you didn’t achieve some goals, ask yourself what went wrong. Was your focus off? Did you lack the resources you need? If you include these goals in your 2016 plan, be sure to make plans to overcome challenges that held you back this year.

Keep in mind that not all goals that weren’t achieved need to be carried over to next year. Maybe you accomplished something in a different way or found that your focus was different than you thought it would be. In cases like this, it doesn’t make sense to roll over goals that are irrelevant to your current business plans.

Set New Goals and Aim Higher

Now is also a great time to start setting some new goals that reflect what you want to accomplish next year. Remember that your goals should be very specific and measurable.

An example of an effective goal would be: “Increase sales by 30 percent by the end of the year.” This goal tells you exactly what you are reaching for and holds you to a deadline.

As you set goals, don’t be afraid to aim higher. Look at what you accomplished this year and plan to do more next year. Your business should always be improving, and setting loftier goals is a great way to make this happen.

I also feel that when I set high goals I’m more motivated to meet them. I’m more ambitious and driven to do better, which brings huge benefits to my business. In fact, when you hustle, you achieve more than you ever thought possible.

Continue Effective Habits and Drop Bad Ones

Take a look at where you were successful with your business plan and try to determine why you were so effective. Recognize your approaches, internal processes and general approach to find out why you succeeded.

Then, make plans to continue those habits in your 2016 plan. In many cases, these habits weren’t specifically outlined in your 2015 plan, but came about naturally. However, by defining them and planning for them next year, you can make them even more effective.

Of course, also take a look at what kinds of bad habits are holding your business back and drop them next year. Sometimes all it takes is recognizing a problem to end it or change the situation.

Assess your General Direction

Finally, look at the general direction your business is moving. Are you happy with it? Is your business developing into what you hoped it would? Are you achieving things that are giving you ultimate freedom of time and money?

If the answer is “no,” you need to make drastic changes to your business plan so that next year you will be more successful.

On the other hand, if you feel like you are moving in a good direction, embrace the things that are working and find ways to make your plans even more effective.

As 2015 comes to an end, I encourage you to review your business plan and update it so that next year your business will grow, become more lucrative, and provide the dream lifestyle you are looking for. If you would like some one-on-one help updating your business plan, or making one for the first time, contact me.