You may well be wondering if I’m just late to the party talking about new year resolutions and goal setting 2 weeks after the event! But there’s method in my madness!
Are you faltering yet?
Most people have given up on their new year resolutions by the second week of January. Now is a good time to capture the energy you had when you set your new year goals, quickly revisit the goal setting session and then do something you might find more practical.
Why do you set goals?
Many people set goals (and that’s all New Year resolutions are) because everybody else does! That might explain the faltering! How about you? On the other hand you do want to improve your business and taking the change of year as a reason to start afresh seems good. I have an idea (see final paragraph) that big loud goal setting may be an extrovert thing (would love your opinion).
Use your “new year energy” quickly.
Before your resolutions are forgotten and the good energy you had when you made them fades away. Try this quick review before moving on to the future.
- What made last year unforgettable?
- What did I enjoy the most?
- Who am I most grateful to?
- In what way have I grown the most?
- What surprised me?
- What was my biggest achievement?
- What’s the 2 biggest things you learnt about your performance?
Now to look forward
- What 1 thing would, if you achieved it would mean the most to you?
- What 1 thing would, if you achieved it would make your closest friends most proud?
- What 2 habits, if you did them daily, would get you there? Remembering habits are things you will do, that will make things happen. Outcomes (e.g. “Get two new clients”) are not actions you can take, so they’re not on your habit list!
That’s it. Just do the habits, doing things consistently is more important than having a goal! So get started today.
Creating a new habit
A habit doesn’t have to be forever, ask yourself which new habits you need for the next stage of your development. Thinking of habits as a bridge between where you are and are going maybe useful.
It’s best if your new habits are clear, simple and that you know how to do them. You may need help and support to get them in place but focusing on regular actions is more effective than just considering ‘goals’.
Support for new habits
Motivation plays a huge part in this and only you know what motivates you. What has worked for you in the past? I am a fan of my Fitbit (a watch that counts my steps every day), it also tells me how much sleep I get, what I’ve eaten, drunk and how much I weigh. It helps me with breaking habits (eating and not exercising), and supports new ones with a constant supply of data (one of my motivators) and accountability (it’s always looking at me from my wrist). You might need a different support!
- Rewards: Some like a clear reward when they implement the new thing
- A business coach: I know, I had to say it. But seriously, somebody that keeps in front of you and each month holds you accountable and works with you on your motivation and results.
- A spreadsheet: Filling it in once a week, or once a day with the most important information about your performance (KPIs – key performance indicators). The trick is to not make your KPIs just about output (mainly finance) measures. KPIs should be about your actions, which is how they help you get a new habit (e.g. one person called each day from my network). You may like a chart on the wall instead, but then…..you may not like such big outward statements.
- Colleagues: You’re an introvert, you’re not likely to tell everybody what you’re doing. But do you have a close colleague who could inquire how you’re doing periodically?
- A checklist: Checklists can be a great way to keep yourself going until you have developed the new habit, making you do the new things. I tick off each meeting I attended, where I had two new conversations
What consistency, accountability and reassurance would help you with your business development habits?
What’s this got to do with introverts?
The steps in this article will (and do) help anybody. However, having spoken to many people that dislike “goal setting”, most of them were introverts! I’d love to know your feelings on the subject, is shouting about your goals more of an extrovert thing?
Either way, use your energy now, develop good habits and create your amazing year before it’s too late.