shutterstock_131787167As the current year winds down and we look forward to the New Year, start thinking about your annual goals. Don’t wait until the New Year is upon us. These last few weeks of December are a great time to identify what you want to achieve during the next year. Writing goals seems like a daunting task, but we have discovered a fun and easy way to get started:

  1. List Your Achievements. How have you progressed so far? How many goals have you achieved this year? Reviewing your achievements is always encouraging because you can see the value in setting goals.
  2. Identify Your Incomplete Goals. What goals did you set for this year that are yet to be achieved? Are they still relevant? If so, they need more time, so those are a great place to start your goal list for next year.
  3. Write Your Annual Goals. What are the big goals you want to achieve for the New Year, for your business, your career, your health, and your education? Add those to the list of this year‘s goals that need more time. Now you have a core goal list.
  4. Study the Year Ahead. Take a good look at a calendar with holidays and events already printed on it. This is the landscape of the New Year. This is the layout you can’t change, the one you must work within.
  5. Set  Your Deadlines. Break down your annual goals into achievable milestones to be completed before each  3-day holiday weekend and post them on the calendar. Make a list of the milestones for that period and keep it handy throughout the period as a reminder to keep you on track.
  6. Set the Lead Times. Calculate how long it takes to prepare for any event. Look to see if there  are there overlaps. By working backwards from the events, you will see when you must begin preparations.
  7. Post the Must-Attend Dates. Identify the dates that you absolutely must attend, whether it’s at work or for a social affair. Those are the dates you can’t be on vacation.
  8. Identify the Holiday Periods. When does school begin and end? Vacation spots are less crowded and often less costly when students return to school. When are the three-day weekends? These are great for short getaways. When are the key selling seasons? Some business people must plan months ahead to assure all is in place for essential selling seasons, and can take a break only after this essential work is completed.
  9. Book Your Vacation. Now that you understand the fixed landscape of the coming year, when would be the ideal time for you to take your vacations? Buy your tickets now! You’ll get a better deal and you will have some hard dates by which to accomplish your goals. The rest of your work will fall in “magically” around your vacations.

By working with your goals on an actual calendar, you will be more likely to achieve them. When you discover the existing dated landscape that you must work within, you are setting yourself up for success. You will see the practicalities of the New Year and use it to your advantage. Your personal time-off rewards will be visible and your milestones will be more realistic.

You’ll be surprised how much you can achieve when you can see the end of the tunnel whether it’s a booked vacation or a three-day weekend. Nobody wants to come back to unfinished business and you won’t either. Be practical about your goals, the calendar, and your much-deserved rewards. Book your vacation now!


Who We Are

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.

Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.

They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.

Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular brand building site at

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact