In a few hours (literally) we’ll be saying It’s goodbye to 2008 and welcome in 2009.
I’ll leave predictions and portents to the pundits. Whatever 2008 brought for you, 2009, as with any new year, brings new hope. This time of year also brings that now predictable question -
“ So, what’s your New Year’s Resolution?”
To which your response could be:
“To make more money…”
“To grow your business…”
“To lose the Christmas weight…” or just “ lose weight”
“To spend more time with my family…”
Or how about “My New Year’s Resolution is “to go to the gym” or to “do more reading…”
Some people have been known to cross their fingers when saying their resolutions. Because most know they’ve as much chance of making them real as finding a snowflake in summer.
If you want business and personal success here’s the first order of business:
1. Throw out your resolutions.
Yes, you read correctly. Resolutions are great for chit-chat (usually about making new ones and how many were subsequently broken) however they rarely become reality. In fact, by February or March of 2009 most of the resolutions made in January will have already fallen by the wayside, as life crowds in and takes over and people get distracted. Hence the near empty gyms and lower attendance at Weight Watchers by Spring.
If you read books by and about successful people (a must-do if you want to be successful) you’ll find nary a mention of “resolutions.” Why is this?
Because successful people set goals instead. So your second item of business is simple:
2. Set yourself goals instead
Whatever it is you want to achieve, whatever you desire - setting goals is one of the surest (and most powerful) ways to achieve it – or something better.
A goal is specific. The more specific the better. Why? Because being specific helps you zero in and clarify exactly what it is you intend to achieve. A goal is also time-bound and measureable. And since what gets measured gets done you are more likely to achieve it.
“I will make more money” isn’t a goal. It’s closer to wishful thinking, even though it’s a good idea.
“ I will earn an additional $20,000 more than I do today by December 29th, 2009 is a goal.
Likewise “I will lose weight” isn’t a goal.
“I will lose 7lbs by April 15th 2009 is a goal.
While “I will grow my business” is vague and unfocused…
“I will land 2 new clients each worth $30,000 by 6pm, January 30th 2010” is a specific goal.
“I will spend more quality time with my spouse” is a great idea, since if you don’t the divorce court looms.
“I will spend Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday evenings with my spouse every week starting January 10th 2009…” is a goal.
There are many excellent books on setting and tracking your goals. One book I highly recommend is “The Power of Focus – How to hit your business personal and financial targets with absolute certainty” by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Les Hewitt. Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen created the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, so their names may already be familiar to you.
As I set and wrote down my business and personal goals for 2009 over the last few days I felt a sense of power and of purpose. I stopped making resolutions long ago when I discovered how ineffectual they are.
The very act of writing down your goals sets you up to achieve them. You’re focused. You begin to attract the resources, people and experiences you need for success. You act with purpose and you’re in control - because setting goals and a plan to achieve them prepares you for overcoming obstacles. Which means circumstances are far less likely to overwhelm you. And it feels so good to tick off your goals as “Achieved!”
Want success in 2009?
- Ditch the New Year Resolutions. They serve only to tell you you need to do something and they almost beg to be broken. Leave them for talk shows and the like.
- Set specific and measurable goals and set yourself up for business and personal success.
To your success! And to a very Happy and Successful New Year!
You may also be interested in a couple of my guest posts:
As always you’re welcome to leave a comment.