Like me, you have no doubt been inundated with emails, newsletters, Facebook posts and tweets about New Year resolutions and goals. To be honest, they all carry some useful hints and tips and try and motivate us to keep those resolutions and achieve those goals. At least the ones that you read did and no doubt, like me, some you skim read and some you just deleted …
I always find it fascinating that invariably the emails start off with something like “85% of New Year resolutions will be broken by 19th January” and if that’s the case then why bother to carry on reading? I doubt that any of us can honestly say that every resolution we’ve made we stuck with? And if you have then I’d love to interview you!
So this week, we’re doing to explore what the difference is between success and failure for your goals and New Years resolutions.
Sháá Wasmund, author of “Stop Talking, Start Doing” neatly distinguishes between resolutions and goals where a resolution is a wish or desire to do something and invariably there is no action plan to make it come to life. Whereas with a goal its something we commit to and have an action plan. And that’s one of the key things – how committed are you to your goals and resolutions whether they are business or personal?
And when you made those goals and resolutions how did you do it? Where were you at the time, what language were you using when you made them? Did those goals and resolutions come from a place of authentic desire or were they needs, musts, shoulds and ought tos?
Now don’t get me wrong, in business and in life there are certain things that we have to do otherwise there are significant consequences e.g. complete tax and VAT returns and pay the bills and do your admin. But when it comes to things where we have “free will” what feeling do you have about something when you’ve decided to do it because you should? Or did you do it because everyone else is and says it’s the thing that you really should do for your business?
If you just check in on yourself I have no doubt that anything that’s been marked as “should, must, need or ought to” (especially if someone else has told you that it’s the thing to do) you don’t feel excited about and you don’t feel truly connected to. If you are anything like me then something I don’t feel connected to or excited about doesn’t truly resonate with me and is less likely to be achieved – unless I can find a way to turn those thoughts and feelings around or recognise them for what they are… just thoughts and feelings.
So perhaps it’s worth just taking a look at those goals and resolutions; checking how you truly feel about them and how much you really believe in them? If they are activities that would help your business, and you know deep down they will, but it’s not something that you really are personally committed to physically doing, then perhaps now is the time to find someone who does? If it is going to make that much of a difference to your business then using someone who is really committed to delivering that task or service for you will pay for itself several, if not many times, over.
Consider what is it that you really want to do and to achieve? What is it that you have an authentic desire to do?
Take a few minutes to sit quietly and just day dream of where you’d like the business to be in 3 months time, 6 months time, 12 months time and then 3 years time. And don’t just view from afar, be part of the day dream – see what’s going on around you, who you are working with, where you are working and what you doing; hear the conversations and feel it too.
Now take one step back from that three years achievement. What was that one step that took you to that place in 3 years time where you had achieved your goals? And then take another step back and see what you did immediately before that. Working backwards can be a very useful way of understanding the steps that need to be taken to achieve a goal or resolution.
And now come back to the present and take the first step that you need to take. When I say take the first step, I don’t just mean visualise what that might be – actually do it.
If we don’t take the action then all those goals and resolutions will be no more than notes on a page or ideas in our minds. Action, action, action really is the name of the game and that’s committed action where you are committed to achieving those goals and resolutions.
But its more than being committed to them its also being accountable for them: speaking them out loud and sharing them with people in the business as well as people who support your business is very important. As is being accountable to someone else other than yourself. Whether it’s a colleague, a mentor/coach or someone who acts as your accountability buddy. Who ever it is needs to be someone who will nudge you when you aren’t taking action and your commitment halo has slipped a little. And if things were to get tough, or you become distracted elsewhere, they will pull you back and remind you what you have committed to.
When it’s something that you have an authentic desire to achieve it will feel easier, you will enjoy doing it. Remember to celebrate when you’ve achieved the goal or resolution or a milestone towards the successful completion.
Remember that if you do stray that it’s not the end of that goal or resolution, just start again from where you were. I’d suggest checking in with what happened as it could be that things have changed slightly and things need tweaking or simply that you lost sight of your commitment.
“the more obstacles you face and overcome, the more times you falter and get back on track, the more difficulties you struggle with and conquer, the more resiliency you will naturally develop. There is nothing that can hold you back – if you are resilient”
And that resilience is key; where you are supported, committed, recognise that from time to time you might stray a little but don’t beat yourself up about it, know that some days you might not be able to see the wood for the trees but tomorrow it will be different.
Any goal and resolution for your business should also align to your personal life. If it doesn’t then there will be too much of a tension and this will simply not be useful and you are less likely to achieve what you want to achieve.
It is OK to review your goals and resolutions on a regular basis, not just to check in on the progress but also to make sure they still fit. Things change in business – and in life – and so priorities can change and a goal or resolution can become less relevant, or may need tweaking.
I once read of a business owner who takes his partner for a lovely meal on a quarterly basis where they review his goals for business and life and check in on what’s been achieved, what can be done better and that they are still relevant and whether anything else should be added to the list. He carried the list around with him at all times and looked at it every day. Now that’s not a bad model to follow is it?
“yesterday is already a dream, tomorrow is only a vision but today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope”
Ancient Sanskrit proverb
So live today well, follow those authentic desires and you will achieve those goals for you and your business. Want to talk more about anything I’ve mentioned here? Call me on +44 (0) 1296 681 094 or click here and ping over an email and I’ll get back to you. You can also leave a comment below.
Until next time …