Do you want this year to be the best ever?
So do I.
Now that I’ve learned a few things from last year, I have to do things differently this year for a better outcome. After all, as Einstein said, the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
To show my commitment to change, I’m going to publicly state what I plan to do differently for 2015.
1. Break down my lofty goals in smaller goals that are SMART
I have great goals that I want to achieve.
The problem is that the goals are so large that it becomes daunting. It almost feels like some of them may be impossible to make, even if you believe it’s possible.
So I’m going to start breaking down those goals into smaller ones that will get me there. Above that, the goals are going to be SMART:
- Specific: As specific as can be, stating the what, how and why of the goal
- Measurable: There must be a way for me to measure progress to know that I’ve met the goal
- Attainable: I must be able to achieve the goal
- Realistic: The goal must be one that I am both willing and able to work towards
- Time-Based: I will set time frames to achieve each goal
Further I’ll break each goal into the individual tasks required to get it done.
This year is one of action. No sticking.
2. Schedule more time off
For the first time in a long time I took the Christmas holidays off.
I did no work, hardly checked e-mail, and didn’t spend time worrying about what this year (2015) was going to be like.
I visited family and friends. I watched TV. I ate lots of food and cake. And I drank lots of alcohol.
When the year began, I was relaxed and at ease. More than I’ve ever been. It was one of the best Christmases I’ve had in years, and my wife agreed.
The most important part was that nothing bad happened.
My business didn’t collapse. My clients didn’t stop being my clients. And no one died.
All the stuff that I had to do was still there. I was no worst than before, but I was a lot better. All that I feared never came to pass.
So this year I’ll take more time off. Take time to enjoy the life that I work hard for.
3. Keep my commitments
Do you make promises to yourself?
I do. And if you’re like me, it’s easy to break isn’t it. I mean, who am I hurting?
Those promises and commitments were made to improve myself. To make my life, and the lives of those around me, better. By not keeping those promises, I’ve failed not only myself, but those around me.
I’ve already made promises to myself for the year that I haven’t kept, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t start again.
So, this year when I promise myself that I would do something, I will do it. And using #1 above, I will be successful.
4. Create success forming habits
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
I’ve already formed habits when it comes to exercise, eating right, journalling and meditation. Now I will add habits for professional success such as reading and writing.
I’ll start small writing about 50 words a day, and reading a couple pages. And I’ll see where that takes me.
This year I will form habits that would make me more successful professionally.
5. Read more
As a consultant, reading is important.
I have to constantly keep abreast of new technologies, and also learn new things to help me as a businessperson. And to do this I need to read.
I have tons of books, magazines and on-line news sites that I have to read. They remain unread to this day. Some of those materials are about 10 years old, and probably obsolete by now.
So this year I’m going to make a dent in all that material. I’m going to read at least two books a month, and one magazine article a day.
I may need to form a habit first using #4, but I will get there. It’s been there 10 years, it could wait a couple more months.
6. Write more
Writing is a huge part of my business.
I have to write reports, documentation, web site articles, and whatever else I could do to market my business.
But I’ve let it slip. You could see it in the large gaps between blog posts.
I wanted to write at least four posts a week – two personal, and two business – but that never happened. Perhaps I was overly optimistic. Or daunted by the goal. Or just never got into the habit.
But this year I will form the habit, and I will start with a smaller goal of writing two posts a month.
7. Be fearless
I am afraid of some things more than I should.
I am afraid to speak up sometimes. I am afraid to fail sometimes. I am afraid to succeed sometimes.
I want to be fearless when faced with them.
Note the words that I’ve chosen. Not courage. Not bravery. But fearlessness.
- Courage: the ability to do something in spite of fear.
- Fearless: the absence of fear.
Of course I expect to be afraid when I first face these fears. At that time I will be courageous. And I will overcome those fears.
Then I intend to keep doing those things I fear until I am no longer afraid. Until I am fearless.
Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain.
~ Mark Twain
8. Spend more time with my family
We all say that.
I half expected when I started this business that I would have lots of free time. That I could just take off and go to the beach or the play park or anywhere.
But that wasn’t the case at all.
Instead I found myself at the office from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. everyday, including weekends, even when I had no pressing projects going on. I was always trying to catch up on something, or figure out something.
Right now this business is my priority, but I will take the time to also enjoy one of the main reasons why I am working this hard – for the betterment and comfort of my family.
This year I will spend more quality time with my family, in addition to #2.
9. Be more mindful of my wife
I have neglected my wife.
She’s the one who’s had to face much of the family duties as I’ve worked. And we’ve spent little time together.
It’s not that I don’t appreciate her. I am truly grateful that she is part of my life.
But I’ve let things slip, and I will correct that using mindfulness.
Mindfulness is the practice of maintaining a non-judgemental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis.
~ Merriam-Webster Dictionary
This year I will be mindful of not only my experiences with my wife, but also mindful of hers.
10. Be good enough
I am a perfectionist by nature.
Not wanting to make a mistake. Everything should be in order. Everything should be in its place. Everything should go according to the plan.
But nothing and no one is perfect. And I am no exception.
My need for perfection prevents me from moving as quickly as I could. From publishing a post should it not be just right. From approaching a prospect because I may not be perfect. Or taking on a challenge because I don’t know enough.
Instead, I can move quickly and make corrections as I go. I could publish a terrible post, and get better as I write more. I may not be perfect for a prospect, but better than anyone else. And I could take on a challenge and learn along the way (that’s the best way to learn anyway).
So this year I will be okay with good enough. I will not strive for perfection, but strive instead to be better than I was yesterday.
What do you plan to do differently? Prove your intention by making it public in the comments section below.