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Be certain to take advantage of holiday sounding boards

Most people surround themselves with some kind of family during the holiday season. If you are among the lucky ones, now is the perfect time to talk to them about your success plans for next year.

Rule one: You can talk about what happened last year, but only if you also include the lessons you’ve learned and the successes you’ve experienced.

Positive talk and lessons learned induce others to talk about their positive events and their lessons learned.

Many people struggled last year. You may be among them. Or your relatives may be among them. And as your conversation (storytelling) evolves, you have choices. I recommend that you choose to not lament what didn’t happen and focus on what did happen.

Once you get into the groove of talking out last year, and somehow recalling the good (finding the pony inside a barn of horse manure), it will give you an opportunity to begin to talk about, and clarify what you intend to do, next year.

When you talk about what you intend to do next year, it will begin to clarify it in your own mind. Hearing yourself say the things that you’ve been thinking about will affirm and strengthen your belief, the validity of your goals and your ideas, and increase your own determination to achieve, all from saying aloud that which you’ve been thinking.

But there’s a bonus. By talking your plans out loud, you’re indirectly soliciting two things: positive feedback and the support of others. Your family is who you love – maybe not all of them but certainly the select few. Those are the ones who can give you the most support and encouragement to help you achieve your next year’s goals.

As you begin talking, I recommend you keep your laptop close by, so that as you clarify your thinking, your ideas, your goals and your intentions you can document them. A simple word file will do – something you can expand on as you begin to write them down.

Personal note: Every time I have ever talked out, or talked out loud, my ideas and my goals I have always rushed to document them and have more often than not achieved them as a result of that action.

When you start out on the first of the year to achieve your goals and dreams, you have every intention of achieving them. Reality dictates that some – or many – won’t make it to the finish line.

Part of the reason people don’t achieve their goals is that they haven’t clarified them in their own mind before they begin the achievement process. Stating them aloud is an important part of this clarification process. You’re not simply telling others. You’re also telling yourself. As you’re speaking, you’re also thinking and expanding your own thoughts to where they make sense to everyone, including you. The more you talk about them, the more clear they become, the more actionable they become and the deeper your belief in them grows.

Your family gathering is an important, emotional part of your growth. Seek out the people you respect the most. Talk to them as openly as possible. Brace yourself for their honest feedback. Make certain that you keep it positive. Make certain that you keep it truthful. Make certain that you keep it engaging. And as you’re looking for opinions and ideas, make certain that you also enlist their support. Tell them you’re counting on them. Tell them how grateful you are for their support and thank them in advance.

If you’re looking to have a great next year, have a great holiday season this year. Bring your goals and ideas, clarify them out loud with those you love and I promise you your verbal thoughts will become bank account realities.

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of “The Sales Bible” and “The Little Red Book of Selling.” President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs sales meetings and conducts Internet training on selling and customer service at www.trainone.com.

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