The 10 Biggest Reasons Why New Year (Business) Resolutions Don’t Work
- No Why.
There’s not compelling reasons or motivation for doing what you want to do. I’d recommend you think of at least 10 reasons. These will be a mixture of consequences of not achieving your objective and benefits of achieving it. What was painful yesterday becomes tolerable today. We sometimes need to remind ourselves of that pain.
2. No Specificity.
Our objective is just too wooly.
“I’d like to earn more money.” “Oh I see. Well, here you go – here’s £10. Objective achieved.”
“I have written and published a 150-page business book on Client Retention that I will give to prospective clients and will have done this by 31 March 2017.”
3. Big Steps.
Charging off and running out of steam by mid-January. Start as small as possible. The smaller the better. So small you can’t fail. In the early days its not about progress or results, it’s about ‘identity’. Sending out just one direct mail letter each day and proving to yourself that you’re a business developer.
4. Too Many.
Setting too many goals, becoming overwhelmed and loosing focus.
Make a list of 25 and cull this down to less than 5. As Warren Buffett advocates, as much as its vital to work every day on your 5, it’s imperative that you never do anything towards the 20 that you’ve culled.
5. No Plan.
Have a compelling, exciting and specific goal is one thing – having a detailed action-plan to achieve it is something else. One simple, personal new year’s resolution might require just one simple daily action. However, if you setting objectives for a business then you’re more likely to achieve them if you’ve invested some time and thought into creating an action-plan.
It doesn’t matter how you do this. It’s not the only option, but one option is using our annual January planning workshop to generate your plan. Given that I’ve refined a good process and I facilitate that process, you can focus totally on the content. It’s simple, time-efficient and pretty inexpensive.
6. Just A Thought.
Until a goal is written down it remains a thought or a daydream. Writing goals down is the first step to them becoming a living, breathing reality.
7. Too Positive.
So what might go wrong? What hurdles might you have to clear along the way? Even thought the planning process can be a positive experience, its good to play devils advocate and think about what can trip you up. And then think about what you’ll do if that happens. This part of the planning process may stop you reacting emotionally or becoming disheartened if bad stuff happens. However good our planning, bad stuff does happen. That’s just how life is set up.
8. No Progress Report.
Think about what you’re going to monitor and measure along the way and create yourself a simple monitor. We should measure both activities and results (activities lead to results). If we’re not getting the results it may mean we need to relook at how we’re doing the activities. However, in many cases we just need to start doing the activity!
Doing a little something towards our goals everyday is the way to go. We may miss our time-target but if we’re heading in the right direction and doing something everyday we will get there.
Going public and telling other people what we’re going to achieve creates a degree of self-accountability increases the likelihood of achievement. (Again, our planning days are a good way of generating some self-accountability and a high degree of inspiration and enthusiasm.)
11. (10? Always give more than expected!) Going It Alone
As part of your planning process think about what resources you’re going to need along the way, particularly support and accountability. (This is part of what I do on a regular basis for clients).
There are others but if you master all of the above you’ll be flying!
I would say this anyway but our January Planning Days are a geat start to the year. It’s an investment of just 7 hours and not a lot of cash for a great return. (If you can’t afford the time you should definitely consider coming along! And if you can’t afford the cash you really, definitely should be joining us!! We’ll help solve both those things. If you’re spending January in the Caribbean, well done! Respect.