The New Year often brings renewed energy and enthusiasm, and for many, a vision of how 2012 will be different from previous year. Some will even have specific resolutions or goals in mind. The year has obviously changed to 2012 as it was simply a function of time. The real question to ask ourselves is why will the results change? Or more to the point, what will we personally do to change the results?
Without the recognition and belief that for results to change, we must change, the chance of achieving our goals relies on blind luck. I’m not sure about you, but I have not had much success with Megamillions or Powerball yet. Here are a few simple suggestions to substantially increase the achievement of your goals in 2012.
1. Write Your Goals Down and Tell Someone/Everyone. Studies have consistently proven that written goals are far more likely to be achieved than the fleeting goals in your mind, yet only 3% of people have written goals. Make them SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Agreed Upon, Realistic and Time Based. And tell others about your goals so they can help hold you accountable! I’ll be telling my kids about my goal to go from 4-5 sodas a day to 1. They’ll be glad to help. Accountability is key to achievement.
2. Allocate Your Time to Your Highest Value Tasks. We all get 24 hours a day, but everyone uses them differently. The key to productivity and achievement is to identify our highest value activities that drive the results we desire, and schedule those activities into our calendar daily. Firmly commit to this time and protect it fiercely from the seemingly “urgent but unimportant” interruptions that occur daily. My clients and I will be incorporating Brian Tracy’s book Focal Point into the coaching in the first quarter of 2012. This is a great read on time allocation, increasing productivity and goal achievement.
3. Continuously Seek Opportunities for Professional Development. Our minds are like leaking buckets in that we gradually forget learnings over time. If we do not consistently read, listen to educational material and attend seminars, our bucket of knowledge will significantly lessen. Commit to reading a book a month on sales, leadership, marketing or whatever will help you meet your goals. Join www.audible.com and for $149/year you can receive 12 books for your Ipod that you can listen to in the car, the gym or anywhere else. As much as I like ESPN on satellite, I know SNAP Selling by Jill Konrath will allow me to help my clients more than the hosts’ sporting opinions. Set a goal and block the time for consistent learning.
4. Be Willing to Say No Nicely When It Moves You Away from Your Goals. We all experience many personal and professional requests every week. It is important that we feel comfortable declining when the request moves us away from our goals. I often find that business owners have too many commitments that are not passions, and lead them away from their goals. Be generous with your time for loved ones, friends and causes you are passionate about. Be vigilant in protecting your time for activities that drive goal achievement. Saying no is OK. Just be nice.
5. Treat Each Day Like New Year’s Day! What would it be like if we brought the same commitment, energy, enthusiasm, vision and sense of purpose to each day that we bring into the New Year? Resolve to accomplish 3 important tasks each day that bring you closer to your goals. Put them on your To Do List for that day and block the time. These are the stepping stones to your goals. If you follow through on this commitment, you’ll be astounded at the results.
If you’re thinking these 5 tips are simple, you are 100% correct. They are SIMPLE but not EASY. I define SIMPLE as everyone can understand the concept. EASY means everyone can do it. It is definitely not EASY to consistently do these 5 things, but the personal and professional results are well worth it.
I know I have my hands full in achieving my personal and professional goals for the year, but my kids and my business coach will keep me on the right path. Best wishes on making 2012 everything you envisioned it would be.