Recommit to Your Resolutions
You probably found yourself on New Year’s Eve after a couple of glasses of champagne committing to several new year’s resolutions that sounded great at the time, but now that we are two weeks into the new year it is easy to get distracted and fall back into old habits.
It is traditional for us to set goals, build plans and identify with righteous rewards at the end of one year and the beginning of another. As a sales professional, one of the typical inherent qualities is optimism. So yes, we plan for perfection. The real challenge is that we are NOT perfect and when we get off track, it is emotionally disappointing which leaves us with a feeling that we didn’t measure up. When this happens, it is often easier to ignore the awful feeling of not living up to our expectations and slip back into the comfortable routine of old habits.
What is it about the promise of a new year that makes us think we’re suddenly going to hit up the gym every day, or stick to a strict diet, or make those dreaded prospecting calls every day? Resolutions are tricky because they often involve doing things we don’t find fun, or they require us to break habits we’ve had for a long time.
You may have heard the myth that if you do something for 21 days it becomes a habit. There is no factual basis behind this urban legend, even though it has been floating around the internet forever. The truth is, to create a new habit you must have eight things:
A Powerful Reason
What is the payoff you will get from the new habit and why is it important to you? If the payoff or reward is not strong enough to motivate you to do the tough stuff, you won’t do it. Trust me.
If it was easy, we’d all be super fit, extremely productive and insanely rich. If our goals are unrealistic, we likely won’t reach them, which can make us feel like crap. Instead of saying: “I’ll prospect for two hours every day” perhaps start smaller and say: “I’ll prospect for one hour a day on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.” Instead of committing to holding an open house every weekend, commit to holding an open house the first and third weekend of every month. That way you’ll feel a sense of achievement when you hit your goal and it will keep you motivated to keep going.
What causes you to get off track and slip back into old habits? For instance, what causes you to sleep in rather than getting up to go to the gym? Is it that you stay up late, so you are too tired to get up? WHY do you stay up late when you know the consequences? Perhaps you feel that at the end of a long day, your only time to relax is at night after the kids go to bed and you don’t want to give that up personal time. At that moment in your day, you need a trigger or a reminder of how important your goal is. Perhaps at 10 p.m. your phone dings to remind you to go to bed.
If your personal time is as important to you as your goal of getting up to go to the gym, then you must find another time in the day to carve out going to the gym. If you don’t, it will be a constant battle to go to bed. This application applies to ALL goals, including your business goals. Set triggers throughout your day to remind you to do what’s important and to remind you WHY it’s important.
Build an Action Plan
We often set goals, but we don’t plan the actual steps involved to reach our goal. You must break your goal into small steps, so they’re easier to achieve. For example, if you want to pay off your debts this year, your action plan might look like this:
– quantify every debt you have (credit cards, loans)
– get a line of credit to consolidate all debts into one
– commit to a monthly payment deducted directly out of your bank account
– only use your debit card until your debts are fully paid
Creating actionable steps gives you a clear path to the end result you want.
When you achieve one of the small steps in your plan, reward yourself. Rewarding the steps you’ve taken towards your goal can be motivating; otherwise, it can feel like a slog. Just make sure you don’t treat yourself too often, or you might find your bank account drained, or every day becomes a ‘rest day’ from the gym.
Create New Daily Routines
Good intentions are not enough to change behavior. 45% of behavior is habitual. New habits only get created through repetition, repetition, repetition. Pre-planning your day and time-blocking your week will help you become AWARE. Ensure you create daily priority to do lists that include your goals at the top of the list. At the end of the day, when you reconcile the progress you’ve made, remember it is about progress not perfection. Success is never one giant leap, but a series of small steps compounded over time. Every day do something small to move you closer to your goal. Over time, these small steps, done consistently every day, build new habits.
Plan for Failure
Every one of us will slip. The key is to have plan in place for when we do. When something goes wrong, the next step should be obvious. If you are on a diet, and you slip up and eat cake, rather than feeling guilty about it, commit to going for a walk to wear off the calories. If you know exactly what to do when you slip, you won’t be paralyzed by the guilt of not living up to your commitments. It’s not perfection, it’s progress.
Start each day right
Good habits start when you wake up. Start each morning by hydrating, stretching, 10 minutes of meditating on your goals and a 30-minute walk. Then get to the office by 8 am. Commit to a morning high five (5 sly dials, 5 emails, 5 texts, 5 hand-written notes and 5 social media posts/comments). These daily activities compounded over a month will mean you’ve touched base with 500 people. If I said to you, you need to prospect 6000 people this year that number would be overwhelming, but when you break it down into daily goals it is more than doable.
If you want more information how to make 2022 your best year ever, please visit https://leadersedgetraining.com/agent-virtual-training/.
Leader’s Edge Training