Will you treat end of year as a finish line or a race buoy?


Now that it’s Q4, many companies are entering the stretch run to finish 2015 strong.  You set goals (financial and otherwise) in January and need to hit or exceed those objectives by the end of December.

But December 31st isn’t really a finish line.  Yes, you need to hit your number.  But it’s also a buoy, a milestone towards the next stage of success.

For example, in yacht racing, each boat must navigate the race course by making their way around a set of buoys set at various intervals.  If the boat makes a direct line to the buoy, they’ll likely be on an immediate course away from the next buoy.  Smart captains know the best way to finish the race quickly is to angle around the buoy so that you hit the milestone but give yourself the best trajectory towards the next buoy.

Same goes for baseball.  If you’re trying to stretch a single into a double, you’d better not run straight through first base.  If you take a the turn correctly, you’ll get to second faster, even though your time to first may be slower than running straight through.

My point is this – know that December is an important milestone and hitting your number counts for a lot.  But your objectives for January and 2016 will come right after, and likely be more challenging.  Hit your number this year, but find a way to take the turn around that milestone with trajectory and momentum into January and beyond.