"The Successful Man is the One Who Finds Out What Is the Matter with His Business Before His Competitors Do." Roy L. Smith
Resolve comes easily. Following them, not so easily.
By this time, however, the resolutions made might already be in disarray, compromised, abandoned. And the resolute determination to make this year, finally, the year you stick to ‘em, forgotten altogether.
This is not about guilt concerning this abandonment. Instead, it is about the real reasons resolutions and the determination to achieve them are lost, year after year after year, and to change— yet this year— and get on track to systematically set and achieve new goals.
Big Idea #1: You can’t achieve new goals or make desired changes without allocating time to do so.
A big reason that resolutions never become reality is no room is made for them in the daily schedule! If your days are already full, and you resolve to get in a half hour a day on the treadmill or on your laptop, that 1/2 hour has to come from somewhere. Something’s gotta give! You have to find something or things currently consuming time you can cut 5 or 10 or 15 minutes from.
Big Idea #2: Priorities should govern schedule, schedules shouldn't govern priorities.
In some of my books, I talk about the mistake made by the vast majority of pharmacy owners— they operate like workers instead of bosses and leaders. They report to a workplace, and then they let people, events, and interruptions come at them all day, take control of their day. You have to wrest control away from other’s priorities and govern by your priorities. I often cite day-to-day pharmacy prescription filling as a supposed top priority for owners. I say supposed because it can be done by any pharmacist. Your time and effort should be applied to business building— especially profit building.
Big Idea #3: Resolutions aren't resolutions without resolve.
Only you can decide what really matters to you. You shouldn’t bother with “lip service” faux resolutions, made to appease or satisfy others. Honesty with self is a pre-requisite for success.
Big Idea #4: Resolutions require resources.
Almost anything you decide to do, any change you decide to make, any goal you set out to achieve requires new or different resources. That might be a robot, new training, even professional help to get you out of the hole you are in. Requires new resources— even the reallocation of existing ones. You aren't really serious about resolutions unless you invest in and gather the required resources. Sometimes investment motivates follow-through, too.
Big Idea #5: Daily progress.
Take the objective and break it all the way down to a timeline and to-do list for each day, from now to fruition. In talking about how he built “The Sharper Image” from a college kid’s coffee table start-up to a nearly billion-dollar business, Richard Thalheimer references the Bill Murray movie, “What About Bob,” with the psychologist who advocates “Baby Steps.” Thalheimer says he still approaches every new project that way today. Good enough for a guy running a billion– dollar company, good enough for you. Nothing gets done in occasional big leaps. I wrote two books last year, one hour a day, a handful of pages each day. There are goals and disciplines that are guaranteed certain to move you closer to any goal each and every day: refuse to end any day without doing something, no matter how small, that moves you toward the goal! “The One Thing Behavioral Rule” makes a huge difference.
Big Idea #6: Who motivates the motivator?
Paul Meyer, founder of Success Motivation Institute, posed this provocative question. As an entrepreneur, as the lead, you may be doing a lot of motivating of others, but who motivates you? For the most part, you need to create self-motivation with structure, like Big Idea#5. But you can also get into a coaching program, behavior modification program, hire a one-on-one coach, or just pair up with a like-minded buddy, so there’s somebody to hold you accountable, to report progress to, to get an atta-boy! from. Any professional sports coach will tell you: measurement automatically improves performance, and measurement monitored by someone else further improves performance.
Big Idea #7: Build up to change.
I’ve neglected my cardio glider for a few weeks, now I’m going back to it. Began February 1st. I’m writing this on the 8th and I’m still not 100%. The goal is 30 minutes a day, but if I try doing that out of the starting gate, I’m a goner. So, I’ve started with a measly 5 minutes a day first half of February, 10 minutes a day for the next 15 days, 15 minutes for all of February— and miss 10 days while recovering from some out patient surgery, then 20 minutes a day in March, up to 30 minutes by April. This addresses the tricky balancing act, a desirable and motivating goal but also an achievable goal. So, say you resolve to get up an hour earlier every morning to work on some project. You could start with 15 minutes for 2 weeks, then 20 minutes for two weeks, then 30 for a month, then 45 for two weeks. Be careful about sleep. This is still imperative.
Big Idea #8: It’s not too late to re-group!
You may already have let your resolutions slip away. Doesn’t matter. Today, tonight, tomorrow morning at the latest, block out a half an hour, bolt the door, unplug phone, and re-group. Review the resolutions. Pick one, two, or three that mean the most, and apply the above seven ideas.
Big Idea #9: Make better use of your time.
Resolve weakens under pressure, under stress, when you feel your time is out of your control. That’s the set of circumstances that allows procrastination to gain a foothold. If you want to be more resolute about keeping your resolutions, you must become unwaveringly resolute about controlling your time. A lot of what’s in my blogs has to do with training or re-training all the people in your world to respect your time, to cooperate and facilitate your peak productivity. Delegating, too. Therefore, use offline becomes imperative.
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