Here we are entering into a new year. Our business has started off strong; hopefully an indicator of a prosperous year ahead for all of us. Exciting challenges and opportunities await each of us. Although we talk about New Year’s Resolutions, you don’t need the start of the year to think about the future and what you hope to accomplish in your personal and business life. You can begin any time. But it begins with a commitment. To yourself, your spouse or significant other, your family and lastly to your business. Think about what it will mean if you stick with this commitment…and what it will mean if you don’t. Will you be healthier? Happier? Get that promotion or new job opportunity because you worked towards a degree or certification? Whatever it is, imagine that goal clearly and in vivid detail. Then begin to write down the steps necessary to achieve it. (And make those goals BIG!) It’s amazing to see what can happen if you merely try…and keep trying.

I have personal goals that I write down at home as a constant reminder of what I want to accomplish. And it’s very similar at work. I meet with my two departments and get total involvement of what every one of my employees would like to see happen. Whether it’s new capital equipment, initiating a new process, obtaining a goal in inventory or sales, or whatever they would like to see accomplished. Together, we pick the top 5 or 6 and put them on large poster boards for all to see. We hang the boards in our office areas and warehouses as a constant reminder of what we all committed to do and where we’re at throughout the year.

As we reach a goal, we’re able to celebrate by placing a big check mark showing our progress. At the end of 2013, we had met over 90% of all goals, with the others still in progress. We are meeting next week to do the same and hope for similar results. It’s a great feeling to accomplish a goal you thought about and made happen. I’d love to hear back from anyone that sets a goal and accomplishes it…it’s an inspiring and positive thing.

And speaking of goals: Why not make one of yours to join with hundreds of your fellow IR professionals at our 80th Investment Recovery Seminar & Trade Show in Scottsdale! Instead of shivering as much of the U.S. is doing right now, the Arizona sun will be shimmering come early April. Just like any other goal: Write it down. “April 6-9, Scottsdale, Arizona.” Imagine yourself in the gentle warmth of an Arizona evening…conversing with others who (just like you) find themselves immersed in a profession that is adding huge value to their organization, while helping to make a healthier, more sustainable planet. Now THAT’S a goal worth achieving! See you in Scottsdale!

Regards, Todd Thompson CMIR, Colorado Springs Utilities President, Investment Recovery Association