The first few days of 2024 may be the most important. This is the best time of the year for self-evaluation.

As the calendar turns, now is your opportunity to create a strategic plan for achieving all your goals in the new year. My advice is to start by looking back on what went right – and what opportunities were missed – in 2023.

I hope you recall what your goals were over the past year. Did you track your progress against those goals as the days and weeks went by? If so, you have a great starting point for reaching more success in 2024 because you’ll recognize the wins and the losses – and you can learn from both.

PPAI itself has made this a practice each year, creating goals throughout its departments with established checkpoints and timeframes. And everything the Association does is truly aligned with the strategic plan established by the Board of Directors in 2021.

There are five pillars to PPAI’s strategic plan:

  • Drive member and community value.
  • Ensure economic sustainability and scalability.
  • Elevate CSR in the industry.
  • Facilitate the industry’s digital transformation.
  • Be the voice of the industry.

Those five pillars, driven by PPAI’s mission and vision statements, are guiding lights for the Board and staff.

Do you have a strategic plan in place for your business? Like PPAI’s, it may span more than just one year, allowing you to create yearly or quarterly intentions that will bring it closer to fruition. I challenge you to strive for this level of clarity on where your business is headed.

What are the outcomes that will be most impactful to your organization? If you haven’t already identified them, you should gather your most trusted advisers and establish these crucial measurables. If you don’t know where you’re going, how can you ever expect to get there?

Once you have those pillars established, it becomes much easier to break things down into what can be accomplished in 2024 – better yet, what can be accomplished by the end of January? And how does that set the stage for what you’ll do in February, and so on? Or, if you don’t hit this target by the end of March, how will you react to make sure you’re staying on track?

This level of strategic planning is a strength of leaders who guide their organizations with intention. No matter the industry, too many owners and executives allow themselves and their teams to be tossed around like a sailboat, going wherever the day’s wind takes them.

Now is the time to make a plan and chart your course. Do that, and you will be closer to removing circumstances and luck from the equation. This is your year!

Spellman begins his one-year term as PPAI Board Chair following The PPAI Expo, January 15-18.