Harvest your learnings and get clear on your goals this WinterNov 02, 2022
For many, Samhain is considered the Celtic New Year. It marks the end of the harvest season and the beginning of Winter - a traditionally quiet time for the tourism and hospitality industry. It is a time of transition. As we enter the Winter months after harvesting our learnings from the busy Spring and Summer, it is time to gather these learnings and look forward to focus on your vision and goals for the future.
Getting yourself clear on a positive future and purpose for your tourism business allows you to make better decisions and to focus on the things that really matter to you. It allows you to avoid getting distracted by things that don’t - you will be surprised at how easily you can eliminate things that don’t serve you and move towards those things that do. A clear vision puts you back in the driving seat.
- Your vision is what you want to achieve
- Your values will determine how you go about achieving it.
- Your priorities will determine what trade-offs you’re prepared to make along the way.
“Only once you have a vision for yourself and your business can you truly start to think about how best to serve your visitor.”
So how can you get clear on your goals as we enter the final stage of the year?
Get Clear on You
Firstly, find the answers to some questions about yourself:
- What do you really want? What is your dream for this business (no matter how far-fetched it may seem right now)? How would things be different if your dream came true?
- What are your aspirations? If there were no barriers at all, what would you dearly love to be, love to have or love to do? Let it out and write it down, no matter how audacious it may seem!
- What inspires you? What provides the reason for the work you do? Can you imagine doing this work for many years to come?
- What motivates you? This is about your specific goals. What will energise you to work hard and remain focused?
Get Clear on Others
Secondly, once you’ve a good sense of yourself in this business, cast yourself forwards to that point of success in the future. Articulate the answers to the following questions about the business you dream of building:
- What experiences and memories are your guests raving about?
- What do those who work for and with your business say about it?
- How profitable is your business? How are you sustaining your profit?
- What relationship does your business have with residents and other businesses in the destination?
- How does your business connect with and give back to the wider destination and the natural or built assets of your place?
Your Vision Statement
If your answers are rich in detail, you will be able to actually see and feel a positive future. When you refer back to your Vision Statement, you will be inspired and excited, motivated and energised. Since you wrote it, you know you have it in you to achieve it! While your day-to-day work may sometimes be mundane, your vision will never be!
Tuning into your vision allows you to practice tourism from the heart. Once you have clarity of vision, you can create life and business choices around that vision – you can make it happen! For a step-by-step approach to creating your Vision Statement, check out my online program The 5-Step Clarity Course.
Achieving Clarity: a major business challenge
One of the most common challenges experienced by the business owners and industry leaders I work with is the challenge of achieving and maintaining clarity. My coaching clients are mostly busy, productive and progressive people who get a lot done and generate plenty of momentum.
Yet they often share that they find it hard to focus on the right things and to even be certain of what the right thing is. As we work through a series of questions and answers, they tell of how they are unsure that the work they are doing is bringing them nearer to where they want to be. It turns out that that picture of where they want to be is not so clear – it’s a picture that is fuzzy, hazy, and sometimes even blank. One person described it to me as the feeling of driving a car with the brakes on or, sometimes with a blindfold on. A stark metaphor indeed!
To focus, you need first to be clear on your dreams, vision and goals. Otherwise, what would you focus on?
The Urgent Important Matrix
Setting goals is one thing, then comes the implementation of them. When creating your weekly and daily plans, keep your goals in focus. It is a quieter time for tourism now, so it is the perfect time to prioritise your important tasks which will help you reach your long term goals. I would like to briefly share 'The Urgent Important Matrix' with you. It’s a simple concept and anyone can use it.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower was famous for many things, amongst them this quote: “What is urgent is seldom important and what is important is seldom urgent.” The President tried to make decisions of where to allocate time and attention based on their level of importance and urgency. What’s the difference?
- Important Tasks: lead us towards our overall goals and, because they are seldom urgent, require planning, organization and initiative.
- Urgent Tasks: Cause us to react and stop – because they are urgent, we can drop what we’re doing or postpone what we planned to do to get this done instead.
The real value of the Matrix is as a tool for becoming more intentional about your time. Here’s a table I use to think about it. I hope it works for you when actively embedding your goals into your daily planning during the off-season months.
Tina is a Certified High Performance Coach specialising in tourism. She has extensive experience in sustainable tourism, regenerative tourism, food tourism, networks, clusters and collaborations. To avail of any of our coaching services you can contact us at [email protected] or you can book a 15-Minute Focus Call with Tina here. To gain extra clarity for you business, you can also sign up to the 5-Step Clarity Course here.
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