Get Your Year Off To A Flying Start
Here are a few top tips to help you start the year as you mean to go on…
Set yourself up for success
‘Ask yourself what you might do each day that will allow you to feel more alive during your waking hours.’ David Baird
- Build on last year’s successes – think about what went well last year. What are you most proud of? How can you build on this in 2006? What strengths can you draw on during this year?
- Drop activities or behaviours that are no longer serving your long-term goals, your health or your happiness. Maybe you have got into the habit of doing certain tasks or activities that you no longer want or need to do. Maybe you have decided that sometimes your behaviour is hindering your progress. For example, I have realised that to avoid getting overloaded and to be able to focus on the things that I really enjoy and inspire me, I need to delegate more and stop volunteering for so many new responsibilities!
‘Success is 99 per cent failure.’ Soichiro Honda
- Micro steps – sometimes tasks or goals can seem so big and far off that they end up being daunting and demotivating. By breaking them down into easily completed micro steps, you will quickly get a sense of progress. For example, when I decided to start this monthly email newsletter it seemed too big a task to organise while working with my clients. So I broke it down into stages, starting with the bit I like best – writing the content – which then encouraged me to do the boring bit of sorting out the email list!
What micro steps can you take today towards your goals?
‘Start small - celebrate - and build from there’ Anne Dickson
- Written goals – this is not just about making a written commitment. Written goals can be revisited during the year to monitor your progress; you can adjust them if your situation changes and you can celebrate your successes as you progress through the year
‘The power of principle-based goal setting is the power of principles – the confidence that the goals we set will create quality of life results, that our ladders are leaning against the right walls.’ Stephen R Covey
- Visualise success – research in sports psychology (there always seems to be a lot of research into success in sports, compared to business!) shows that those sports people who visualise success (getting over the hurdles, getting the ball into the back of the net), as well as physically practice, are more successful that those who purely practice. So look up and see yourself going through the steps to successfully completing your goal. Feel what it feels like, hear what there is to hear and see yourself succeeding.
- Reminders & rewards – our goals can easily get lost in our busy day to day lives so reminders in your diary, on your computer or office wall can help to keep you on track. I am also in favour of rewards – not just at the end, but on the completion of major or even minor milestones – to keep you motivated and moving forward.
- Determination – when we are determined to do something we are likely to succeed regardless of obstacles that we might encounter. Listen to how you talk about your goals are you saying ‘I will try to delegate more this year’, ‘I will try to exercise more’, ‘I will try to spend more fun time with my kids’. Or are you saying ‘In 2006 I am going to delegate more, in order to free up time to exercise 4 times a week and spend more fun time with my kids every week.’ There is a certainty in the latter statement that is lacking when we say we will ‘try’ to do something.
Words influence how we feel and behave. The word try has an invisible ‘but’ after it. ‘I will try to delegate more, but I don’t see how’, ‘I will try to exercise more, but who knows how I will find the time’. The dictionary defines try as ‘to attempt to do something’. Rather than just attempting to do something I prefer to set determinations, as when I am determined to do something, I make sure it happens. The dictionary defines determination as: ‘the ability to act on firm decisions; that which is resolved on; direction to a certain end; fixedness of purpose’. My determinations have a clear intent in them and an enthusiasm to achieve them no matter what.
What are you determined to do this year?
‘The best way to predict your future is to create it.’ Stephen R Covey
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