Each new year has its own set of challenges and changes. How you have prepared and how you execute your plan will affect the results. While things occur over which you have no control, you must properly manage those areas you can be in command of.

If you haven’t done so already, now is a good time to review the past year. On one side of a sheet of paper list all the high spots. On the other side list all the low spots. I recommend that you use separate sheets for your personal life and for your professional life. As you look at the high spots, determine what you can do to better assure more of the same for the coming year. As you analyze the low spots, figure out the causes and decide what changes you can make to avoid similar occurrences. It is important also to make sure that there is a proper balance between your personal and professional life.

Another area that will help pay dividends in the coming year is to make sure you have properly recognized and thanked those who helped you attain what you have. It is best to do this as the year goes along, but it is not too late to make sure you have covered the bases.

As you review the low spots, you will probably see some people that may have been a partial cause. Do not lay blame on them, as you were the one that made some decisions that allowed the final outcome to occur. Instead, resolve to do a better job of placing people in positions for success, and carefully consider whose advice you take. As you reflect on how they affected you, make sure that you ascertain how much your own decisions determined the outcome. If you do conclude that someone that works for you is not in the right position, the sooner you make the needed adjustments, the better off everyone will be.

You will see some areas on both sides of the equation over which you had no control. Be thankful for the good ones and make a deeper analysis of any bad ones. What did you learn from those experiences that might be utilized to reduce the likelihood of future such occurrences?

Be willing to share your experiences with others. We do not have time to make all possible mistakes by ourselves. It’s OK to give others a chance to make some of them for us. We then can learn from each other.

The new year gives us an opportunity to get together and collectively review the past and plan the future. I hope to see many of you in San Jose at the STMA Annual Conference.

Contact the author at stevetrusty@sportsfieldmanagementmagazine.com