The Key to Making 2021 Your Best Year Ever

I went to the shopping mall during the holidays. My goal was to enter through the automatic doors at the main entrance.

I conducted an experiment to see what I could do to get the doors to open for me. First, I sat in the parking lot, closed my eyes, and imagined the doors opening. It didn’t work.

Next, I got out of the car, walked up to the main entrance, and just stood there. I repeated positive affirmations like “The door will open for me,” and “I’m in the mall already.” It didn’t work.

From there, I pulled out my smartphone, accessed my goal poster app, and added a picture of the open doors. No matter how long I stared at my poster, it didn’t work.

Finally, since what I was doing wasn’t working, I changed my approach.

I moved forward in the direction of the door, and then it opened. So, what does this have to do with you and your shop?

Your goals are like automatic doors: you won’t get to where you want to be until you start moving towards them.

If you plan to make this year your best year, your moves must be directionally correct.

By now you may be thinking: “Cute story coach, but I need to know how to make directionally correct moves!”

Keep reading, because implementing these strategies can open doors for you! 

Ideas to grow your businessNon-ATI Members: Discover more valuable tips and strategies for how to reach your goals, improve your bottom-line, and grow your business in ATI’s shop owner events. Register at www.atievent.com.

Fast Forward to Your Future

In his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Dr. Stephen Covey coined the following phrase: “Begin with the end in mind.” This represents habit #2 of the seven habits and it refers to the idea of having a clear vision of what you want.

This is great advice, but the challenge is that we tend to become detached from goals that are off in the distant future. A distant desire will lack the emotion that drives you into action. Therefore, you must fast forward to your future.

Imagine that it’s December 2021 and you are talking to yourself. You say “Self, this has been the best year ever!” What three to five specific things would need to happen for you to feel this way? These items would represent your goals for 2021.

Next, ask yourself why you want these goals. Don’t stop asking why until you get down to how it will make you feel.

For example, your goal of hiring a replacement for your shop will give you a feeling of freedom. Your goal of $2.5 million dollars in sales will give you a feeling of security. Becoming an ATI Top 12 Shop will give you a feeling of accomplishment.

These feelings are what will inspire you to act. You can connect to these feelings by fast-forwarding to your future. 

Focus on the Process

At this point, you’ve imagined yourself in the future state, asked why you want your goal, and drilled down to the feeling behind the goal. So now you’re ready to have your best year ever, right? Wrong!

Stopping at this step is like standing in front of the automatic doors waiting for them to open! Next, you must focus on the process.

I recommend focusing more of your attention on the process than the outcome.

For example, if your goal is to hire a general manager, focus on the process of interviewing at least one person per week.

If your goal is to improve your Average Repair Order by $100, focus on the process of doing the daily repair order audits.

If your goal is to improve your car count by 25%, focus on the process of updating your marketing calendar with the daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly activities that will get you there!

Please understand that focusing on the process doesn’t guarantee that you will achieve greatness this year. It’s a risk. I get it.

But get this: The easiest thing to do is nothing. By choosing the easy path, you are guaranteed to miss out on the opportunities on the other side of the door.

The failure to focus on the process can result in you reflecting on 2021 with feelings of regret!


So, there you have it. When it comes to goal achievement direction is more important than perfection. 

Non-ATI Members: For more tips on how to focus on the process, move in the right direction, and run a productive, profitable shop, check out our shop owner events at www.atievent.com.