It's been a year of ups and downs for sure. In my conversations with business owners all over North America, some have thrived, and well, let's say that other's have not done so well.

In most cases, the businesses that struggled continued doing the same things they always do without really making any changes to their approach. Yes, they worked harder. They struggled more. They cut some expenses. They had more sleepless nights, but they really didn't change their approach. Ironically, most of them actually think they were doing things differently. They weren't.

I believe that is a definition for insanity.

They still responded to problems and frustrations the same way. They still did the same work they always did. In fact, in some cases, they actually spent less time doing some of the work most critical to the success of a business. Specifically, leading and providing effective management and direction.

You have heard me use this analogy before. In scary times we feel like we just have to be moving, doing, going. It's like hopping in a car and just driving. "At least we are moving", you might be thinking. But where are you going.

As a friend said to me several years ago, "Are you just driving along aimlessly?"

Isn't it better to determine where you are going first before you drive?

Now that 2010 is quickly approaching, set aside a few minutes and answer this question. "Putting aside what is happening in your business today, good or bad, what would make 2010 your best year ever? What are your 2010 goals and objectives?"

Don't even think about what's possible. Just write down the goal.

Tomorrow I will talk about several specific steps to ensure you hit your goals in 2010.