JANUARY is a great time to start out with a clean slate.

Clean slatePerhaps you’ve heard of the powerful concept called “zero based budgeting.”  The idea is that you start from scratch and justify EVERY penny you’re spending.  Sounds painful, huh?

But there are times when you just get so much stuff built up around your plans and obligations that you lose sight of what’s truly important.

A common example is in government, where the momentum just continues building for decades and decades, then centuries.  At some point you end up with rules and bureaucracies that don’t make sense anymore, yet people seem powerless to change it.

So it’s January.  A good time to look fresh at your business.

Where do you start?  Well, if you’re reading this blog, there’s a good chance you’ve articulated some foundational values and principles for your company.  If not, give me a call, and I’ll help you with that.

Here’s the mental exercise:

Based on where the company is, and what I know now, what would I focus on for 2014 which would best meet our deep values and business vision?

Indeed, this may be the right time to get away from the office for some deep thinking.  Whether it’s you alone, or with your senior management team, it’s a good idea to get back to the foundation again.

If you have a strong philosophy, then you’ll find out that it probably guides you to much of the same activities and behaviors that you’re already doing.  Great – maybe 90% is the same!

But that remaining 10% can be magical.

Perhaps there’s a marketing investment which just isn’t working anymore.  By freeing up that time and money, you can get energized for some new things.  Go ahead – learn, explore, and try.

Maybe you’ll get inspired to tackle a challenge that you thought was unreachable last year.  Wouldn’t it be great to start a new effort in that area?  After all, if you never get started, you’ll never achieve it.  Sure, if you try, you might fail.  But even if you do, you’ll learn from the experience!

So spend a little time now looking at things from a fresh point of view.  It might just make 2014 your best year ever.