As I write this, the New Year is about to dawn and tonight many people will proudly announce their New Year’s resolutions only to break them in a few days’ time. So why don’t New Year’s resolutions work?
- Firstly, resolutions are often based on what you (or others) think you should do not what you actually want to do. Forget about what you or other people think you ought to be doing and look at what you really want.
- Secondly, there is rarely any real motivation or commitment attached to resolutions. The problem is that you’re taking something that doesn’t mean anything to you and trying to make it happen. Resolutions that lack a foundation of meaning and personal relevance usually run out of steam very quickly. What you need is something that comes from the inside, something that’s based on what’s important and what matters to you.
- Thirdly, the timing is not that great. Okay, a New Year is a natural punctuation point in your life, but what’s more important is choosing a time which is personally meaningful to you, like following a major setback or some other natural break point such as the start of your financial year.
But if you have decided that now is the time to make some changes, here are a few ideas you may wish to consider:
- Work out what you really want from your business – Unless you have a clear picture in your mind about what winning is to you, you won’t have the motivation to make it happen.
- Commit to a sensible work-life balance – Getting the right balance between activity and rest makes us more productive and effective.
- Delegate with trust – Delegating activity is relatively easy, but if delegation is to be really effective, you need to be able to delegate both activity and responsibility. By all means set up a light-touch control system, but don’t micro-manage. Chose the right things to delegate and the right people to delegate to and let them get on with it.
- Do what you do on purpose – Developing an outcome driven mindset backed up by self confidence and a laser-like focus will significantly improve your chances of success.
- Focus on sowing, not reaping – The outcome (what you reap) is important but to achieve it requires attention to what you can control – your ability to deliver real value to your customers. Do this and the rewards will look after themselves.
- Cut out the small talk – Whilst building relationships is important, idle chit-chat gets in the way of getting things done. What’s more, chit-chat or gossip often involves criticism of others. If the criticism is valid, say it directly to the other person. If not, don’t get involved and walk away.
- Just do it! – Procrastination is the father of failure. What ever is the cause of your prevarication, be it fear of failure or waiting for perfect information, taking timely action is guaranteed to get quicker results.
- Have a plan – developing a milestone driven action plan designed to deliver your strategic objectives will give you focus and direction. This need not be a 500 page masterpiece, but a properly thought through plan built on delivering your unique selling proposition to your chosen market segment is essential.
As an entrepreneur and business owner, you are the boss of you. You are responsible for what happens to you and your business. You are responsible for the successes and the failures. Above all, you must make a commitment and be accountable for the outcome.
Best wishes for the new year. May you make 2019 your best year yet,