It’s that time again. A time of optimism, renewed spirits and a fresh slate. The gyms and yoga studios are overflowing with people ready to REALLY do it this year. Business owners are planning to achieve new growth and profit targets. Salespeople are going to blow away their quotas. It’s the season to launch New Year’s resolutions.Unfortunately, by April the exercise machines and lap pool will once again be dormant and most salespeople will be formulating creative excuses for mediocre performance and forecasts.
It is estimated that two thirds of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. Approximately 5% of those who make resolutions keep them for the year. 19 out of 20 fail! But we are talking about others. We all know that YOU are one of those special people who always keep your resolutions. Right?
Whether your New Year’s promises involve health, finance, business, sales or relationships, the fact that 95% of resolutions are consistently broken all stems from the same set of core issues. So if you are looking to help your buds achieve their 2012 resolutions, encourage them to follow these simple steps:
1. Let’s be Real: We all behave the way we are behaving because we CHOSE to behave that way and have now developed habits. Habits are COMFORTABLE. People behave the way they are currently behaving because they WANT TO. Changing a habit requires work. It requires a person to leave their Comfort Zone. And people HATE to leave The Zone (just ask any Sales Manager striving to get salespeople to start making more calls). Returning to an existing habit means returning to a happy, comfortable place. One that feels good.
2. Start with Why: Of the 15 million resolutions you could select, why did you pick this one? Is it really compelling? Does it connect so much to your Personal and/or Business Vision that is makes you JUMP out of bed each morning? If not, your chances of succeeding just plummeted from 5% to below 1%. Take a sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle. On the right side, write all of the positive things that you will quantifiably gain and emotionally feel by successfully executing your resolution. If possible, engage all of your senses. How will your new picture look, smell, feel, sound,…? On the left side, write down all of the consequences of failing. Then decide if you are truly committed to your new goal(s). If not, the odds of success are miniscule, so you might want to re-consider and/or go back to the drawing board. Continue with this iterative process until you are ready to Unconditionally Commit.
3. Surround Yourself with Power: You are now ready to succeed. Post your list in front of your desk (and/or on your morning mirror) in a highly visible place so you are reminded daily of the rewards and consequences of keeping your promise. If possible, enhance your list with pictures, screen savers, and props. Visuals and affirmations create tremendous symbiotic stimulus to the brain.
4. Develop Your Success Recipe: Create a specific, written, daily, plan for achieving your goal. If you can’t break your plan into little specific pieces, your odds of success decrease dramatically. As you go through this process, replace current, limiting habits with better, empowering habits. When you begin to replace and overcome small bad habits, the big ones will shortly follow. Most importantly, get into the HABIT of keeping your daily commitments.
5. Change your Paradigm: You have the power to get your brain to believe whatever you want it to believe. It ALL starts with Self-Talk. Hold on, this is extreme… How much would your chances of keeping your new commitments change if failing meant that your children (or others you love deeply) would starve? Would you behave differently on a daily basis? Would your chances of success improve? Is there ANY possible chance you would break your resolution? I seriously doubt it. Planning to succeed from a new paradigm changes everything.
6. Go ALL IN: Decide, Commit and Declare: You have the power to accomplish absolutely anything and to transform your entire world, but remember, your Self Talk rules. You can talk yourself right into exceeding your goals, but you can also talk yourself out of succeeding. It’s your choice.
Make a Declaration: DECLARE to yourself (and to everyone you know) that you have decided and committed to transform (your business, your life, your health, your relationships, etc…). Declare to yourself that you are All-In. Write it down and expect to succeed.
Never say to yourself (or anyone else) that “I’m going to try to (Lose weight, increase sales by 50% this year, etc.)”. Trying is less than All-In. Far less. “Trying” is a built-in excuse. It gives you permission to return to your Comfort Zone. Become aware of your other self-talk excuses. If you give yourself permission, you’ll be back in your The Zone in a heartbeat.
7. Don’t Go it Alone: Enlist Help. You now know your new goal is non-negotiable and that Failure is NOT an option. Your resolution is the single MOST IMPORTANT new promise you are committing to this year. You know that attaining it will bring tremendous rewards and propel you much closer to your personal and/or business vision. Your Self-Talk is so empowering that you are compelled to leap out of bed each morning excited to execute on your new, powerful, valuable habits. So spread the great news…
Tell everyone you know: Peer pressure from those you love and respect will be huge factor in your success.
Find an Accountability Partner: This can be anyone who commits to holding you accountable to your behaviors and thinking, including a professional business or personal coach.
Consider a Peer Support Group.
8. Make it FUN: Be thankful and find joy in what you are doing. Your new resolution is important and you ARE going to keep your resolution, so seek ways to make your success process an enjoyable ride.
If you follow these steps, your journey will be as fulfilling as your destination, so I’d love to hear from you. Please email me with your stories of success as you continue to develop great habits and achieve new heights on your way to exceeding all of your goals.
I wish you abundant success, peace, joy, happiness and prosperity in 2012.
Happy New Year!
Copyright © Joe Zente 2012. All Rights Reserved.