For Christmas, I received a steering wheel for a driving game that I enjoy playing. This isn’t your standard XBOX gaming system controller, it also features a brake and gas pedal which makes it far easier to navigate the race track. This article is not about gaming but there are excellent features included in this racing game that I wish I had in life. In lieu of having all the features, I took the liberty to draw some parallels to our real life and crossing that finish line this year.

The first thing it has, that I wish we had in real life, is a clear distinct route around the track. I know in advance where all the curves, hills and valleys are going to be but in life, we’re not so lucky. The best we can do is create a plan of where we want to go and post it up on the wall right in front of us. We won’t know exactly where the track in life will take us but that should NOT stop us from putting down our best ideas, dreams and hopes.

To take our plan a step further, we need to put it out there, not just write it down, but share it with someone. Especially if that person is going through the same thing. Share it with another CEO who is looking to grow, a fundraiser who is looking to expand the scope of their donor base, or a friend who is also trying to drop a few pounds. Wherever you want your track to take you this year, map it out and find someone to share the ride with you then see how you can cross the finish line together.

Secondly, in racing, there are guardrails. I’m playing the easy level because I’m not that good, so maybe it’s just for us novices, but in this game, I can’t run off the track because the guardrails just bump me right back on the road. Don’t you wish we had those in real life? The best thing we can hope for are to have some clear boundaries that provide that for our lives. I am not talking about sub-goals or stages. I am talking about specific actions that will make the difference. If your 2017 goal is now your 2018 goal, what specific actions that you can control will improve your chances of staying on the road this year? What daily habits can you start or stop that will keep you out of the ditch?

The last thing this game has that we can and should all implement in our lives is celebrating the win! At each stage along the way, there are awards and bonuses you receive. I know this is an area that I am not very consistent in. Many times, I accomplish a monthly goal or quarterly rock and all I do is check it off and move on to the next. I have been reminded many times, by peers and authors, to stop and celebrate the wins at each stage along the way. If it’s a 15lbs weight loss goal, then celebrate at each 5lbs mark. If it’s fundraising, stop and celebrate with family and/or associates each time you hit those goals. Divide up the big goals into smaller pieces that can be celebrated along the way and then have a big celebration in mind when you get to the big one too.

I hope you have the fantastic year you are planning for and if there’s anything I can do to assist, whether you’re a client, friend, partner or prospect, I’m here for you and happy to help in any way I can. Signing off and signing back in to my driving game, this is Jeff Howard and I wish you the best in 2018! Let’s make it the year we finish the race and win together!

If you’re reading this, I would love to get your feedback!