Here we are, January 15th. Time to stop and take a breath now that the new year is steadily underway.
Something I noticed recently is that there has been a lot of talk and media coverage about setting new year resolutions. The debate appears to be about whether to set them or skip them altogether. As I read through the coverage, I am disappointed with the general negativity surrounding new years resolutions this year. It seems like a bad choice to be so negative right off the starting block.
To me, whether or not someone sets a resolution in January isn’t really all that important. Who wouldn’t want to lose 20 lbs, exercise at top speed daily and save $20,000 this year. I get it, resolutions have a bad reputation for being unattainable for many people, discouraging them from even trying. But as I see it, the problem with resolutions isn’t that people are weak. It is that we set unreasonable goals for ourselves. So, what is a person to do? Try this approach:
- Don’t go it alone- select someone with similar goals and a positive attitude to help you along. This may be a friend, colleague or hired professional in the area you wish to improve upon.
- Manage your time reasonably- take immediate action on your steps. Don’t let excuses get in your way. Make appointments, phone calls and other touch points a priority.
- Have a specific plan- write down very specific goals and the individual steps you need to take to achieve the goal.
- Keep it visible- place reminders in your calendar at regular increments to remind you of the specific actions you need to undertake.
- Limit how much you plan to do- it is better to do one thing well than give up on everything.
- Keep track and reward success- no matter how small your incremental success is, take a moment to enjoy it and reward yourself accordingly.
- Be accepting of yourself- we are only human. If you mess up, get back on your feet and start over. Don’t give up because you mess up.
Resolutions needn’t be the bad guy. Behavioral changes take time and persistence, not will power. Keep it small and manageable. Once you attain a goal, immediately set an other to build upon that goal. Maintain the effort you put into something and it will eventually become a habit.
Happy New Year!
December 31, 2012 is just 10 short weeks away from today. Wow… how did that happen? Like many of my friends and clients, I am starting the annual ritual of reflecting on what took place over the last 10 months. With the end of the year facing me, I always want to complete the year on a strong note, checking off some of those proverbial “boxes” along the way. So where to begin? Here are a few suggestions for making the most of these last ten Mondays:
- Review your marketing plan. Establish what you have accomplished and what is left on your plan. Trust me on this one, but no one has accomplished their entire marketing plan! There is always more to be done, but take a moment to be pleased with your progress.
- Prioritize your goals for the last ten weeks. You can’t take on too much in this timeframe. Select one or two priorities and create an actionable plan for working towards those goals.
- Book ten, thirty minute time slots in your calendar, one each week. Spend those precious minutes on forwarding your marketing and business development plans. Do not reschedule these ‘meetings’ with yourself. Make them a priority!
- Review your contacts list; make sure it is up to date and get it ready to use.
- Reach out to one or two of your contacts each week. Email or call specific individuals to see how they are doing, ask about their year and offer helpful information.
- Decide on how you will reach out to your contacts this holiday season. Do you have an annual holiday message? Start writing it now. Make a date on your calendar for sending out your communication.
- Revise your current marketing plan and position yourself to take action in 2013. Confirm your goals and break them down into simple steps that unfold over time.
- If you haven’t been using social media yet, start now. If you consistently use this tool now, by the end of the year you will have created a habit in time for the new year.
When you review your marketing plan from 2012, embrace your success and expand upon it for 2013. If you haven’t made the splash you hoped to achieve last January, recognize that it isn’t too late to make an impact. Choose to make the most of these last few months of 2012. Ten weeks is plenty of time to set yourself in motion. Make a solid effort to consistently reach out to your contacts and maintain important relationships. Most importantly, be sincere in every connect you make. No doubt, you will see your successes lined up when you review your progress in January. Good luck!
The 4th of July always gets me thinking about independence and freedom. Americans are so fortunate to have the freedom to make choices, lots of them! With Independence Day fresh in our memories, I encourage everyone to act upon their right to choose in these specific ways:
- Choose to be successful. Success is not about luck. It is achieved through deliberate behaviors and decisions. If we choose to set goals, execute upon strategies, and follow-up on our plans, we are essentially choosing to be successful.
- Choose to market your business. Attend events, use social media, maintain websites and network within your industries are all options to choose to participate in.
- Choose to maintain relationships. It takes a conscious effort to build relationships over time. It is important to make an effort to work at the relationships that are important to your personal and business lives.
- Choose to be happy. Being happy in our work is probably one of the most important choices we have in life. If we enjoy what we do, we will choose to work hard at it and reap the benefits.
When celebrating Independence Day this year, reflect upon all of the choices that you have made over the years. Understand why you have been successful and then choose to repeat that behavior. You can’t possibly lose! Happy Independence Day!