How are you feeling about entering a whole new year?
I think the fact that we’re about to enter a whole new decade just makes it even more exciting!
You’ve probably seen in your feed, lots of posts about goal setting and new year’s resolutions.
There was a recent study done by the University of Scranton, and they discovered that only about 8% of people will achieve their new year’s resolutions.
There has been lots of research that has gone into studying why new year’s resolutions don’t work.
My personal observations of why people don’t achieve them boils down to this…
1. They haven’t chosen the right goal for them. They’ve chosen things that they think they ‘should’ do, not things they really want to do.
2. The goals aren’t aligned to their values. They haven’t really taken the time to ask themselves “What is important to me? What are my values and how can I set goals in alignment with who I am as a person?”
3. They haven’t created an effective action plan. Many people set a goal but don’t make a plan for the achievement of their goals, including the necessary skills and habits.
Often, people set goals that are someone else’s goals and they’re not even consciously aware of it. It could be their Dad’s or Mum’s, Brother’s or Girlfriend’s, it’s usually those influences that we have around us.
Sometimes we can shift our goals according to other people. For example, there was a guy who every year set his new year’s resolution to have abs….
…He really wanted a six-pack, or he thought he did. He would buy the latest ab cruncher, whatever the latest fad was at the time and it would just sit in his lounge room…
…and he would walk past it every day, but just wasn’t taking the action to get on these pieces of equipment and get the abs.
After a few months went by, he was being coached and the coach drew out of him that, he thought he wanted abs, but he realised that was his dad’s goal.
His Dad always said to him, you’ve got to exercise, and you’ve got to be healthy. He was trying to live up to his Dad’s expectation and had convinced himself he did want abs.
But the reality is, if you’ve had something on your new year’s resolution or goals list for years and years, the most likely conclusion we can draw from this, is that it’s not really that important to you or you would have done it by now.
When you really want something and you’re why is strong enough, you will find the how. You’ll find a way to do it. If you keep setting the same goal year in, year out and you haven’t done it yet, then we need to have a look at whether it’s the right goal and maybe if you’ve set too many goals.
My friend Natasha today was talking about trying to catch five tennis balls. If you try to catch five tennis balls, you’re probably going to miss them all. It’s that old Chinese proverb of if you try and chase two rabbits, you’ll catch none of them.
This is the biggest one that I’ve been guilty of. I don’t know if you’re the same, but when you set too many goals for every single area of your life, you become split focused, you don’t have a singleness of focus.
Napoleon Hill talked about having that definiteness of purpose, that single focus, and that burning desire for one thing and by going after that one thing, you channel all your energy into that one thing, and that concentrated energy makes it happen.
Whereas if you dilute your energy across a lot of things, then it’s probably likely those goals or those new year’s resolutions aren’t going to work.
I’ve seen this a lot with my clients as well, where they’ve either set the wrong goal, they’ve set too many goals or they have set the right goals, the right amount of goals, but they don’t have an action plan and the action plan has to include a review.
Rather than waiting till the end of the year, and going “Did I/didn’t I?”, regularly review your actions if you want to make sure that they succeed.
I recommend that you do a review at the end of every single day. Just a very short review – What worked well, what didn’t. Am I on track? Did I do the actions? If not, why not.
Get into the habit of reviewing every single day and looking at the progress that you make. Happiness is attached to progress and we can’t be fully content and happy unless we’re progressing.
Besides a daily review, also do a weekly review, and a quarterly review where you set goals for a quarter, instead of only thinking about the full year. Every quarter, I put aside three full days to review that quarter and make sure that I’m on track and if not reset for the next quarter.
It makes it less overwhelming, do it in chunks instead of saying I’m never going to do this again or I’m going to achieve this amount of income, or I’m going to get to this weight that we’ve given us a whole year to do….
…whereas when we chunk it down into very small goals, where can check in regularly and have that review, we’re way more likely to achieve it.
So, here are three effective alternatives to new year’s resolutions:
1. Skill Acquisition
There are other ways of setting goals that are a little bit different, but powerful and proven. The first one is skill acquisition. What skills do you need to develop in the coming year? What skills do you want to master in order to get that result that you want?
Think about your perfect life, your perfect year. Think about your ideal year – imagine it’s New Year’s Eve 2020 and you’re sitting with a friend having a drink celebrating the year. Think about that person that you’ve become, the characteristics of the person that you want to be that you’ve evolved into.
What kind of skills do you need to acquire to become that person? Not the outcome or the results but the person you want to be. What are the skills that you need to acquire?
For me, I’m setting three skills that I want to acquire and develop in 2020. Marketing, communication and time management.
1. In 2020, I’m going to be putting time, energy and money into skill acquisition around marketing, specifically Facebook ads.
2. I want to get masterful at communication. How I present, how I speak to one on one clients, how I speak to groups, how I speak on camera. That’s a skill I want to get better at.
When you want to develop a skill, you must invest time, energy and money into it. Otherwise, the skill won’t grow. If you really want to get better at let’s say attracting clients, what are the actual skills you need when you break it down?
If you want to have a successful business, say you want to earn five figures 10 figures a month, when you’ve got that kind of goal or result that you want, break it down to what are the skills that are going to get you there….
…and if you’re not quite sure, I would recommend if you have a financial goal in your business for yourself, and you want to attract a certain number of clients and earn a certain amount of income.
Then you need to know marketing skills, you need to know sales skills, and not just know them but practice them. The more time and energy and resources that you put into it, the more you’re going to get out of it, the better that you’re going to be at it.
If you want to be excellent at something, you’ve got to invest time, energy and money into it. Maybe you’ve already invested money, you’ve done a course but now you need to apply it, you need to practice it and you need to embody it…
…because it’s one thing to say “I’ve read that” and another thing to actually be able to teach it, and until you can teach that skill, you don’t really know it. You might understand it intellectually, but you don’t really know it because you haven’t embodied it.
3. The skill of time management. Being a super high performer, being productive and performing at the highest level that I possibly can.
What are some of the skills that you want to develop in 2020 In order to get the result you want?
Maybe the results that you want is to have a fully booked calendar of clients, you might want 10 clients a week. What are the skills that you need to get there?
Maybe you need to learn copywriting – which is writing to influence. In quarter one you might focus on studying it, practicing it and observing other people’s copywriting.
I learned how to write copy by putting out a piece of copy and seeing what works, seeing what people engage with, by reading other people’s copywriting, and by reading Facebook ads. I also learn it by other people reviewing and giving me feedback on my copywriting.
2. Habit Forming
Number two is habit-forming. Whenever you want to make a change, it’s always about thinking – how can I build it into my habits? How can I do it until it becomes automatic like brushing your teeth or driving a car?
We need to put things into our life as habits but the more habits you try and change at one time, the less success you have.
If you try and change one habit, you’ve got around a 90% chance of doing it if you just focus on that one habit…
…but if you try and change two habits at the same time, it drops from 90% to around 60 to 70%. And if you try and change three habits all at once it drops to less than 50%.
Knowing that, maybe you want to change one habit and give yourself 30 days to do it.
You might say my one habit is meditation or my one habit is daily movement. If you just focus on that for 30 days and then once you’ve mastered it, you add the next one.
This is what I’m doing with an accountability buddy of mine. And the habit that I’ve committed to is journaling, morning and night, every single day, no excuses. If I miss one day, I need to start the 30 days all over again. That’s my January habit.
If you think about it, if you do one a month for the whole year, you’ve got 12 new amazing habits. Instead of trying to change 10 all at once and just throwing the whole thing out the window, you’ve got 12 new habits instead of no new habits by the end of the year.
I recommend that you have an accountability partner for this as well. That same study that showed that only 8% of people will achieve any new year’s resolutions also discovered that if you do it with a group, or you do it with other people, or you join a supportive community, it boosts your success by 46%.
That’s a massive amount. There’s the proof that it works. Instead of just privately having your goals, staying accountable to other humans is powerful.
3. Output Commitments
Number three is what I call output commitments. Instead of saying “I want to earn this much money”, visualise that amount. I recommend that you make it a habit.
The classic book ‘Think and Grow Rich’, talks all about visualising that exact amount that you want, and every single day visualising that amount, but also knowing the result you want, and really using repetition on that result that you want.
Have a commitment to specific outputs.
In 2019, my output commitment was 50 articles on my website, and I did 53. That was an output commitment. I made it public in December last year. And because I made it public, it was a commitment and I did it.
A lot of people don’t set goals because they don’t want to fail. But it’s good to make your goals public because when people ask you about them, you don’t want to let them down and it becomes a good way to stay accountable to achieving them.
Think about what you want to output. Maybe you want to make a certain amount of sales calls every single week. Maybe your output commitment is a certain amount of Kms that you’re going to run every week, or a certain amount of Facebook live videos, or a certain number of webinars or meetup events.
You might even want to just set one for January or set one for quarter one – it doesn’t have to be for the full year. I’ve enjoyed doing it for the whole year because it really made me commit to something for a whole year, but you can also set it for per day, week or month.
So, to recap, my three alternatives to new year resolutions are:
- Skill Acquisition
- Output commitments
Want to know how to attract and sign up more clients in 2020?
My next 1-day client attraction workshop is happening on Saturday, 1st February 2020.
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💎 The BIGGEST mistakes Coaches make in their marketing and how to avoid them
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If you want to grow a profitable coaching business, this workshop is a must.
2020 is the year to finally let go of what’s holding you back and create the life you dream of!