I know you’re busy, but today is NEW YEARS EVE! At some point you’ll probably decide on ‘new years resolutions’ that you think you’ll stick to but unless you read all of this post, you probably won’t. Take the time to read this and really understand it, you’ll thank yourself this time next year. Trust me..
You’ve spent hours on your online business, or on working on yourself and you find yourself spending months just ‘watching yourself’ or looking at your stats for changes. I don’t know if I’m the only person who has had this happen to them, but I’m mainly talking about blogging. When you start a personal development blog you are so full of ideas and you just know what you’re going to write about.
You never struggle to think up a post and you’re always ready and waiting for the next time to post something, but then as the months drag on and you express all of your great ideas in your posts you find that you’re not really sharing anything.
You’re just looking at your stats, seeing how many people visit your site and not much more.
It’s a trap I’ve fallen into the last few months, and you may have noticed, (If you’re a follower of my blog) that I haven’t posted anything in ages. This is because I’ve just been watching it. Instead of pushing it forward, sharing new ideas and reaching out I’ve just fallen into the sidelines of my business.
I think this is not just a problem with bloggers, but also with anyone trying to improve themselves. There comes a point where you’re not really trying any more (Or at least, as much as you used to) and you’re just watching yourself.
Looking at your body in the mirror to see if you look better than last month, when you’ve not done a workout for two months..
Do you see the problem? Its so easy to slow down and stop moving forward. It takes a fairly long time to notice though, sometimes months can go by before you finally realize ‘I haven’t actually made progress for 3 months’. All is not lost however, because although this is a problem I’ve had myself recently, I’ve also found a solution to it.
Keep a strict log of your progress and plan ahead
This is a fail safe. If you keep a really detailed log of your progress, and look back every week to see if you’ve achieved your targets and goals, you’ll be far less likely to miss things that would otherwise go unnoticed.
This is probably why sales companies ave strict sales targets, because if they didn’t, who’s to say what the salesmen should be doing? If they slow down and sell less and less, who’s going to tell them they’re slacking? It’s even easier to fall into the trap of slowing down when you’re self employed.
When you’re your own boss, business and employee you don’t have that kick up the backside to speed you up.. To motivate you.
So here’s what I think is the answer..
Start by writing down a list of things you want to have done by the end of the week.
This isn’t a ‘to-do’ list but rather an ‘outcomes list’. You’re writing the things you want to be done by the end of the week, regardless of how many steps there are to achieving those outcomes.
So you might write something like:
- Finish Ebook
- Contact people about advertising on website
- Workout 4 times
And then the step leading you to those outcomes would be something like –
Draft chapters for Ebook > Contact designer for front page > Put together the contents page > etc
And this way you can look back on the week and say ‘I met my targets for this week’ or ‘I didn’t meet my targets, how terrible, let’s try harder next week’.
Doing it this way means you’re accountable and you know where you stand. If you just have vague goals like so many people do, you’re not going to get things done.
I’m posting this on new years eve of 2014 which is basically the perfect time to post it.
So many people are about to start with their ‘New year, new me’ new years resolutions and all that crap but the truth is unless you have a plan, motivation and a reason for doing it all in the first place, you’re not going to stick with it.
Gym memberships go through the roof in January, because multitudes of people decide that the clocks resetting and it’s a new year is the perfect time to finally get their dream body.. Which is nice but how many people are really going to stick to it?
New year, New me?
You probably even remember the last time you made a new years resolution..
What was it? Give up smoking? Drinking? Maybe yours was also to go to the gym every day and get a killer body.. Did that happen? So do you really think this year’s going to be any different..
We’re creatures of habit and unless you really make a habit stick, and do it religiously every day it’s not going to stick and you’ll fall right back to your old ways. This is a reason that when couples who break up go back to each other within a few months they have all their old problems again.
I recently broke up with a partner of two years and although it would have been easy to go back to her and sort things out, I didn’t because the old problems would just resurface again. In order to REALLY change our habits and get things done we need a gameplan.
A plan of attack or at the very least, goals that you can regularly check and know for sure whether you’ve achieved them or not. Not goals like ‘get fit’ or ‘make money’ but goals like –
‘Make £300 extra this month from ‘WEBSITE A”.
That’s a focused and clear goal, one which you’ve either achieved or not at the end of the month.
If I just had my old goal, (From years ago) which was ‘get rich’ I would never do it. Because I’d always have the opportunity to justify any results that aren’t brilliant. If I made £2 a month I could STILL say, ‘well it’s something, I tried’.
But did I really try?
No of course not. It’s only when I made CLEAR, definite goals for exactly how much I wanted to make each month that I started to actually make it. I said ‘I want to make £10 this month from my sites’. I made £12 that month.
So the next month I said ‘This month, it’s going to be £20’. I made £26.40.
So although there is some degree of ‘being realistic’, for example it would be silly to say ‘This month is going to be a £1,000,000 month, because it simply won’t. But to say ‘This is going to be a £50 month’ is more realistic. Last month was £69.70.
I’m not making these figures up, (why would I, they’re not exactly massive) I’m showing you that when you set clear goals, you focus on them more and you have more of a sense of how much work is really needed.
You actually WORK towards them.
When you set your new years resolutions
Here are some things to think about as you engage in the Facebook status ritual of posting your new years resolutions..
1. Is it something you really want? Why do you want to make this change? Is it because you think your friends would like it, or do you truly want this to become a part of you.. To change who you are and what people think of you?
2. Make sure it’s something you can MEASURE! Don’t say ‘Get healthy’. Make it something that has a number or a time period in it.. ‘Lose 3 stone by march’.
3. Be realistic. If you want to have the best success, and be the happiest, set goals that are JUST out of your reach.
It forces you to grow.
Don’t set them so high that you could never stretch for them but do set them higher than you think you can reach. Just a little bit. You’ll be amazed at how much you can really do when you put the effort in.
Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed this, please share it with your friends! It means a lot to me, and you’ll be paying it forward and all that. Have a lovely new year!