Last week I got you to write down your goals from 2013, how well you performed against each goal and then the truthful reason as to why you didn’t achieve everything. This week we are going to use that information to help you do even better in 2014.
Step 2 – what can I do differently?
Have you got the list you wrote out last week? I want you to look at the reasons you wrote down as to why you haven’t achieved the progress you were after. Invariably two main reasons come up at this point…
1) Not enough time.
2) It was outside my comfort zone
In my experience these two reasons are totally interrelated. Telling yourself you haven’t got enough time is a great way to let yourself “off the hook”. We all know that we’ll make the time for something we feel is important enough so basically you didn’t feel those tasks were important enough to get done. When you need to push yourself out of your comfort zone it’s a great “get out of jail free card” to decide the timing isn’t right and this results in no action being taken.
These same two issues will come up in 2014 unless you get some real clarity on how to avoid those barriers derailing your progress. Both of them come down to mind-set. If your vision for 2014 is truly compelling to you, and you have totally bought in to the transformation you want to achieve then it will be much easier to stay focused on taking the required action.
If you can sense yourself putting up barriers to taking action because it’s outside of your comfort zone then think about what’s the worst that can happen if you actually do it. Invariably the worst thing that can happen is that someone says “no”. Well in all fairness that’s not actually that bad!
Step 3 – 2014: what do I want to achieve?
Ok, let’s now focus on more positive things. What do you want 2014 to be like for your business? What growth are you after? How will that be delivered? Do you need to develop any new products/services? How will that growth change your day to day life? What level of work-life balance would you love to achieve?
Get it all written down. Write in a way that’s compelling to you. If you are a very visual person then use images to illustrate it. Do whatever you need to do to make it as real and exciting to you as possible. If you have people in your life who will be positively impacted by it then talk it through with them.
Step 4 – what could prevent you from achieving it?
Logically, if you didn’t quite achieve everything you were after in 2013 the same could happen in 2014. We now understand why you didn’t quite deliver on all your goals so now I want you to take a piece of paper and draw 2 lines down it to make 3 columns. On the left I want you to write down your 2014 goals. In the middle column I want you to write down what could stop you from delivering it. Be honest! On the right, write down what you can do to make sure you do get it done! How can you protect yourself from your own diversion tactics? What are you going to do differently in 2014 to get different results?
One of my favourite sayings is ”If you always do what you’ve always done, then you’ll always get what you’ve always got” and it’s so true. If you want different results in 2014 you need to do things differently. Personally I find incentives work well to drive my behaviour. What works well for you? What “carrots” can you metaphorically dangle in front of yourself to encourage you to take the required steps? Only you can take the required action to push your business forward so what are you going to do?
We are all capable of amazing things. The only obstacle we need to get round is ourselves. What would you do if there were no limits to what was possible for you next year? How different would your life be? How would it feel to run the business of your dreams? What steps are you prepared to take to help you achieve that dream life?
Our brains are fantastic tools. What we don’t always appreciate is how much it does without us even being aware of it, especially our sub-conscious brain. How many times when you have been car shopping have you started to notice that particular type of car when you have been out and about? When my children were babies I used to constantly see a certain make of pushchair. Realistically these items haven’t suddenly increased in number but what is happening is that our sub-conscious brain has realised we are now interested in that item and is pushing the info through to our conscious brain. Normally our sub-conscious brain filters it out as background noise. This same phenomenon works with your business goals. By writing down your goals it triggers the sub-conscious brain to stay on the lookout for things that will help you achieve it. The more you can focus on what you want to achieve the more opportunity will appear as your brain will be more receptive to it. I know it sounds a little whacky but it’s true!
So go and write out that vision for 2014. Create it in a way that works for you. Get clear on what could de-rail you and how you will protect yourself from that occurring. Then get that brain working for you! Have a great 2014!