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Excellent Advice For Achieving Your New Years Resolution

With every New Year Resolution comes new opportunities.  New chances to take a new lease on life, to focus on you, your business, your family, or whatever is most important to you. The excitement of a new beginning stems from my childhood and the excitement the strike of midnight brought with it.  One year gone, another year approaching…

It’s exciting to look back, thinking about what you’ve accomplished, how close you got to last years’ resolutions and then working to establish new goals.  It’s fun challenging others to reach for the stars or to turn over a new leaf.

Whether you met your goals in 2018 or got distracted with life’s events, here are a few tips to help accomplish your 2019 New Year’s resolutions.

New Year’s Resolution Trends

First, it’s imperative that you understand that taking the time to develop a strategic plan and setting your 2019 New Year’s resolution goals is being your own best friend.  You’re being intentional, and with intention, comes direction.

Interestingly enough, Statista conducted a study resulting in a three-way tie for New Year’s resolutions in 2018.

Each weighing in at 37%

  • Eat healthier
  • Exercise more
  • Increase their bottom line

As you can see, based upon this study, the average individual tended to establish a long-term goal when making their resolutions in both their personal and business lives.

The issue with setting a long term goal is that it takes time before people see the rewards of their efforts, so they tend to give up.

Based on a study by Kaitlin Woolley and Ayelet Fishbach, people stick to their goals when they experience success earlier in the process.

The 21/90 rule states that it takes 21 days to develop a habit and 90 days to create lasting  lifestyle change.  If the 21/90 rule holds true, your success rate is dependent upon your ability to stick with your resolution at least 90 days.

Achieving Your Goal

We’ve worked with a lot of people over the years and have found a common trend among what we call warriors, those who frequently achieve their goals.  Warriors create the opportunity to have small wins.

By breaking down your big goal into smaller fragments, you create the opportunity for your brain to perceive the task as achievable.

In both your personal and professional life, you can break down your year to months, your months to weeks, weeks to days, days to hours and then work to make the most out of that time.  You get the drift…

If your goal is to increase your sales and your task is to see more people, make it fun by playing a game that helps get you in-front of more decision makers. For example, instead of focusing on speaking with 60 potential customers in a day, you can focus on 10 customers in an hour or 3 every 15 minutes.  Build in the opportunity to restart when you haven’t met your goal and every time you meet your goal, pat yourself on the back.

That’s the good thing about small wins, they create the opportunity to build moral one win at a time.

As you make your New Year’s resolution, it’s important to note that statistically, 80% of people fail by the second week of February. Given there are only 29 days in the average month of February, you can see why people who do not stick to their plan for the 21 days it takes to create a habit, fail within this time-frame. Interesting fact, now that you are also aware it takes 90 days to gain a lasting lifestyle change. Knowledge is power and with power, comes responsibility. Success demands that you need to responsibly stick to your goal at least 90 days.

Whether your resolution is personal or business related, it’s important to plan.

So sure, scientifically speaking, setting a long-term New Year’s resolution works against you, but when you break it up into bit size steps, it’s definitely attainable.

One of our best friends was diagnosed with diabetes and high blood pressure and ended up in the hospital about a year ago.  He was prescribed a regiment of medications to control his issues, but hated taking medicines, didn’t take time to exercise and was missing his favorite foods.

When visiting him, his blood sugar level was hovering in the extreme 200’s with a blood pressure of 209/107.  It was imperative that he find a way to get his blood sugar levels down and to get that blood pressure as close to the normal as possible.

We explained the Wooley/Fishbach study mentioned above. During the discussion, we also shared the benefits and techniques of using a hard copy calendar, better known as a day planner along with technology to help him get his health back on track.

I know, you’re saying “A day planner?”

Yes, you may believe that noting things into the calendar on your phone, laptop or tablet, or a notes app is the same as writing things down in a planner, but it definitely isn’t.  Massive amounts of research prove when you write things down by hand, your more likely to remember them and create better, more reliable habits.

There’s a plethora of research that shows that writing things down has a multitude of benefits for both your mental and physical health.  Additionally, getting the idea or task out of your head and down on paper frees up your mind to focus on the task at hand.

It’s a well-known fact that keeping a journal not only reduces stress, but improves Memory, overall Mood,  Strengthens both Immune and Emotional Functions.

So it just makes sense that the same thing would apply to your health and financial goals.

As Kasee Bailey says in her article 5 Powerful health benefits of Journaling:

“Journaling is no longer old-fashioned, or just for folks of a certain older-and-wiser age.  It’s something you need to do – now.  Yep, it’s true.  Journaling does more than just help you record your memories or find self-expression.  It’s good for your health.” – Bailey

Our friend was eventually able to gain control of his health by scheduling his activities, planning his meals and then jotting down his daily blood sugars in his planner.  Using the planner combined the best of both worlds, it combined a monthly calendar with journaling capabilities allowing him to easily refer back to what worked in the past and to determine why it worked by analyzing the pages of the journal.

He took both a student and warrior mentality.  He analyzed his progress and setbacks in real time and created the opportunity for small wins, which made the definitive path towards success.

He added technology to the process by setting the alarm on his phone to check his blood sugars, to know when to exercise and to take his medications when scheduled.

At this time a year ago, he didn’t think this would be possible, but with focus, was able to gain control of his health within a mere six months.  I am happy to report that after making that 180-degree lifestyle change, he has continued to live a more productive, happy and medication free life.

When you set goals, you should be honest with yourself.  Make sure that your resolution is something you sincerely want to accomplish.

The great thing about this is that by succeeding, it becomes something you can look back upon and say to your future self, I am glad I made these choices and I know now I can achieve anything I set my mind to.  Your choice needs to be an existentialism issue.  Sartre said it and we believe it….“Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself.”

Planners We Like

The goal of a resolution is to focus on you, to help you meet your goal or vision.  We find that many people are so busy working in their business, they can’t work on their business.  They are so busy taking care of life, they don’t have time focus on living it.  So, it’s important that you really establish a solid game plan.

We find that many people focus on 100% of their goals, rather than the 20% that move the needle, those that make the difference in their lives.

We’ve identified a few planners we like as they allow you the ability to set and track your goals.  They give you the ability to stay organized, even if your not an organized person and are relative easy to just pick up and start using.

For someone new to planning and journaling, we like the At-A-Glance weekly planner.   The planner is relatively small, easily manageable, allows you to track your yearly goals or resolutions at the front of the planner and has built in tools for goal tracking.  The item number is 6099-905g.

The planner also allows you to track your daily and weekly tasks. Remember, what is measured can be managed and what can be managed, can be accomplished.  Additionally, the planner is laid out so you have sections pre-built to allow for monitoring those activities.

We also like the Franklin Covey planner because you have the ability to add sections you feel are relevant to your goals, so you planner can be as detailed or as vague as you would like.

Keys to Success

When you start to use a planner, it’s imperative that you schedule your calendar.  Don’t let it schedule you.  The goal is to take control, your calendar should help, not hinder your quality of life.  Here are a few keys to success we’ve found over the years.

  • Schedule your drive time, your lunch time, your exercise time or any other personal time you need and do what you can to keep that time on your calendar. You may need to move it a little on occasion, but the goal is to take the time you need.
  • Identify your goals, put them to paper. Give them 24-48 hours to marinate in your head and then revisit them.  Now, scratch out the ones that are nothing more than busy work.  You’re objective should be to work on the 20% of your goals or tasks that will move the needle, that will take your goal to the next level.  If you own a business, these are the ones that make money.  Once you have them identified, get them documented in your planner.
  • You are the priority, what is important to you should high on your list of priorities.
  • Break down your identified resolutions into bit sized goals – build in the opportunity for small wins and then track your plans in your planner.
  • Spend 10 minutes at the beginning of each day planning your day. Move unfinished task from the previous day to your daily tasks list. If the items isn’t a necessity, and doesn’t move the needle, scratch it.  We’ve found that spending these 10 or 15 minutes at the beginning of your day will save you 2-3 hours of lost production time throughout the day.
  • Identify your opportunities to multitask….can you brainstorm new ideas with your team while walking on the treadmill? Can you listen to pre-recorded classes while on the drive to or from work?  You might be surprised at where you can multi task.
  • Track your performance on a frequent basis. We recommend tracking your sales performance, medical results or weight, whatever you are measuring, with a number and an associated up or down arrow.  Place real time notes in the journal about what you did, even if you don’t know how the results will turn out.  If your dieting, you may identify that you don’t lose weight when you eat certain foods.  If your tracking business marketing tactics, you might determine over time that some tactics work better than others.  That’s one of the benefits to tracking and journaling your activities on paper, you can easily refer back to them.
  • Take advantage of the note sections, track random thoughts you think of. I can’t tell you how many times we had a great idea and then struggled to remember it because we got distracted.  Once we started tracking the ideas, no matter how minuscule, we started seeing success.   The important thing is to get them documented so they can marinate….some ideas will drop from the list, some will turn out great.
  • Color code your activities – one color for work, the other for personal. Take a few minutes here and there to analyze your work life balance.
  • Once you’ve set your goals and established a direction. It’s really important to shield yourself and to say “No” to anything that doesn’t move you in the direction of your goals.  Friends, family and coworkers can unknowingly distract us.
  • Reflect regularly – are there items that should be scratched from your work list? Are there some that can be delegated?  What time of day are you most productive?  Should you rearrange your task to account for your most productive times?
  • Use the section that states “this planner belongs to” and offer a reward if found.

Own Your Resolution

New Years resolutions are awesome.  Meeting or exceeding your resolution is even better!

A well thought out New Year’s resolution with the proper tools, mindset and reward system will increase your chances of exceeding your goals.  Take the time to be your own best friend in 2019, create a new you this year.  Resolve yourself to the fact that your New Year’s Resolution will be successful.

Be intentional, celebrate your wins and improve on your opportunities.  Just keep at it and remember it’s okay to rewrite and revise along the way.

New Year, New Resolution, New You!  You got this!

 

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