What???? Yes, I said that!!! But don’t leave just yet, let me explain…
For several years, in fact for most of my adult life, I tried and tried again and again to start a new year “right” by writing down everything I wanted to accomplish.
Yes, that used to make me feel energized and ‘ready to conquer the world’. But, when the new year was not so new, I was back to my old ways. Then, by the end of that year, there I was again trying to remember my resolutions only to feel frustrated because I haven’t actually accomplished much (or any) of them.
Does that sound familiar or does this just happen to me?
I even stopped planning ahead because, in my experience, I knew it would not work anyway… So why try?
However, my consistent desire to grow my small business led me to seek ways to get things done, and get them done better and efficiently (because hellooooo, I have a toddler on my toes all day long! So small efforts with big results is key for me!)
For a while now I’ve been studying and implementing a different strategy.
After becoming a certified transformational coach I’ve learned so many great ways to achieve my goals without the false hope of new year’s resolutions.
Instead of resolutions, I work on setting specific goals, setting myself up for success.
And if you are tired of resolutions that don’t work, here are 2 powerful tips to help you get started today!
1. Bust the “All or Nothing Myth”
With new year’s resolutions we have the tendency to write down -EVERYTHING- we want to change in the upcoming year. Losing weight, eating better, exercise, spending more time with family, making more money, and booking more clients.
We have the tendency to look at all things we want to improve and put them into a list in the hopes that, magically, once the clock strikes midnight, we’ll find the motivation and discipline to accomplish them all.
There’s one thing we need to keep in mind: One of the functions of our brain is to protect us from expending extra energy. Our brain will always find ways to bring us to a routine we are already used to, because then our energy level stays the same.
It’s like we are trying to become a better version of ourselves by changing a bunch of things at once, but our own body is fighting against us, because it wants to prevent us from expending the extra energy necessary to keep up with all the changes…
In the effort of doing it all, we end up doing nothing.
But then how can we consistently improve?
Instead of writing a long list of things you want to change, break the topics down into:
- Order of importance (What changes do you need to see first/immediately?)
- By when do you need to see the transformation happen
- What are the benefits that particular result will bring to you
Then, break them down again, this time into very small goals. So instead of writing “lose 30 pounds”, write “walk for 30 minutes daily”. Once you master that small step, then move to a new goal, like “run for 30 minutes daily”.
You see, when we face the ‘resolution’ of losing weight it seems too hard to accomplish and too vague. That leaves space for our brain to fight against us, as it thinks this task will require too much energy.
But when we see an easy task in front of us, we’ll most likely commit to it and, by repetition, we’ll then establish a new behavior. And ultimately, we’ll lose those desired 30 pounds.
The secret here is to ask yourself: What can I do right now that is realistic? And break that into very small tasks.
Set yourself up for success, start small!
2. Plan in blocks and not for the entire year
This is one of my favorite pieces of advice eveeeeer!!! Last year I read the book The 12 week year and OMG, it changed me, my business and how I plan everything. This book is now one of my favorite books and it’s literally falling apart because I refer back to it all the time.
In short, the book explains that yearly plans fall apart because we will always start by thinking “Well, I can get this done tomorrow, I still have a lot of time until the end of the year”.
Research has shown that we see ourselves better in the future. So for example, if I don’t walk those 30 minutes today I can easily say “ahh tomorrow I’ll have time” or “tomorrow I’ll start”. But when tomorrow comes, another day goes by without us going for that desired walk.
Do you get the point? With standard yearly goals we always find an excuse (good or bad) to push away what needs to be done now because we believe we’ll have time for it tomorrow (or next week, or next month).
The best way to accomplish our goals is to break them into small blocks and commit to the daily tasks we set for ourselves.
Here’s a tangible example:
Main Goal: Offer Wedding Photography in 2021
Ok, let’s now break that into blocks and small tasks
-> By when do I want to announce that I am now a wedding photographer?
Let’s say by March of 2021.
January Goal: Update Website
Small task: Write copy for wedding experience page
Small task: Find a web designer/plug copy into website template
Small task: Choose my best portfolio images
February Goal: Create wedding packages
Small task: Calculate CODB (Cost of doing business)
Small task: Determine my desirable profit
Small task: Write pricing guide
Ok, now we are getting there… but there’s one more crucial step: go back and add a due date for every task. Be realistic here. Consider your kids, your family life, school, work… be realistic but plan accordingly so by March 1st of 2021 you can announce your new offering!
Do you see the difference?
When we have clarity and a strategic plan we-can-get-things-done. Versus just jotting down on a piece of paper our hopes for the new year.
Once one goal is completed, it’s time to move on to the next, following the same system.
Now you have a tangible plan to start the new year well. Go ahead and start today, don’t leave it for tomorrow.
If you need one-on-one guidance to transform your business, you might be a good candidate for my coaching program. I’m currently accepting limited applications and you can see more details HERE.