Travel insights from Rick Zimmerman, President & CEO, KHM Travel Group

Taking Small Steps Toward a Big 2019

The end of the year can be a hectic time for everyone. Our commitments to family, friends, and work can pull us in many directions, and we end up leaving very little time for ourselves. It’s crucial to set aside some time in the next few weeks to hit pause and reflect on what you accomplished this year.

Whether or not you achieved everything you set out to do in 2018, you’ve made it to December. That means you spent the past 11+ months fielding questions, researching answers, making decisions, and overcoming challenges.

As you plan for 2019, look back at your micro-moments. Skim through your sent emails, your calendar, and your notes you took this year. While these individual situations don’t feel like progress in the moment, the small victories and lessons learned throughout the year are what got you to where you are now. Memory can be a funny thing, and I bet looking at how much you actually got done in the past 365 days will help energize you for the next 365.

When it comes to setting goals, we always encourage our independent travel agents to use the SMART principles as a guide. That means your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Have a reason behind each of the goals that you set. Perhaps one goal is updating your home office. You should consider how you’ll accomplish this, and why it is important to your business. If you aren’t sure why it’s important, or it doesn’t follow the direction you want your business to move in, you may want to reconsider that goal.

Then it’s time to take action. You’ve probably heard some version of Einstein’s famous quote, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Go back to those micro-moments from this past year. What could you have done differently? Is there a better approach to emailing your clients, or a supplier you haven’t worked with that might help you streamline your booking process? Is there someone in your network that you’ve been meaning to reach out to, but you just haven’t made it a priority? It could be something as small as waking up a half hour earlier, to give yourself more time to prep for your day.

We achieve our long-term goals by making tiny changes one day at a time. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to accomplish everything all in the first few weeks, or even the first quarter. Prioritize your goals and allow yourself to focus on just one or two at a time.

With goal-setting often comes a fear of failure. If there’s one thing that will absolutely hinder your progress, it’s being afraid to move in the first place. By taking small steps, making small adjustments, and celebrating your small victories, you’ll be setting yourself up for a big 2019.

About the Author

Rick Zimmerman is the President of KHM Travel Group, one of the country’s leading host travel agencies. Rick joined the travel industry fresh out of college where he worked as a travel agent for a small agency in Cleveland, Ohio. After a 25-year career in the construction industry, Rick returned to his travel roots and helped found KHM Travel Group in 2005. Rick is an active advocate of the travel agent community and serves on multiple travel-related Advisory Boards.

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