If there’s one thing we can guarantee, it’s that, come January, we’ll all be bombarded with ads from gyms capitalising on our Christmas over indulgence and a four-word-question that will come back to haunt us come year-end 2020 (“What are your resolutions?”).
But instead of telling you how you can lose 20 pounds by next week (the same 20 pounds you resolved to lose last January), or how you can pay back all of your student debt in the same time frame, I’m going to tell you five simple things your business can start doing now to ensure, come 2020, you’re setting yourself up to succeed — instead of falling flat on your face.
- Stop it! Schedule some time to look back on 2019 and ask yourself: What did I do that I shouldn’t do next year? Most of the time you’re better off thinking about things you should stop doing, rather than trying to add new habits into your routine. For example, is checking your email inbox the first thing you do in the morning instead of doing something far more productive? Then “not checking email until 11 a.m.” would be a great goal. In other words, stop doing things that are slowing you down rather than trying to do new things to speed things up. To improve, you have to release the e-brake first!
- Stick to one resolution or revolution at a time. Don’t cave in to the urge to create a laundry list of things you want to improve about yourself, your business or your life. Stick to one resolution or revolution at a time; that’s it. Then, review where you’re at every 30 days. If after 30 days or more you’ve stuck to your guns consistently and are on your way to achieving your resolution, feel free to try to stop or add another habit. But never make more than one resolution or revolution concurrently. Not even on New Year’s Eve!
- Think small. Goals and targets often fail because they’re not broken down into small enough steps. As an example, how are you going to run your first marathon if you don’t first set a goal of running your first mile? Avoid making this mistake by breaking down each of your new goals into as many small goals as possible. Ideally, you should have daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly goals, which can keep you on track and will allow you to consistently assess your progress. Don’t just set an annual goal and keep your fingers crossed that you’ll somehow achieve it.
- End with the beginning in mind. If you’re not already ending each day and week by planning out the next one, this is a change you can immediately make that will have a huge impact on your productivity and peace of mind. By ending your day with the planning of the next, you’ll prevent your mind from racing at night, allowing your brain to adequately prepare for what tomorrow holds. You’ll wake up the next day fresher and with a clearer sense of purpose, and will achieve far more than if you’d just awoken with a calendar that looked like a blank slate.
- Be grateful. You know you’re doing really well, right? I mean you’re here aren’t you? Still in business. Research shows that it takes at least 22 days of consistent focus to create a new habit, and six months for that habit to become routine. By focusing on things for which we’re grateful, we make a habit of starting our days by focusing on the things that make us feel happy, alive and vibrant. This allows us to be more resilient, positive and productive throughout the day, and furthermore, creates a more enjoyable work environment. At least that’s the theory…
So, how is your team planning for a productive, healthy New Year?
I’m running a one-day workshop on Monday 27 November called 2020 – The Business planning Event, CLICK HERE for details.