Your willpower and determination may have kept your resolutions going so far. But willpower is a fickle friend and tends to ebb and flow. It’ll let us down at some point. Here are some strategies that will increase the likelihood of keeping those resolutions going.
Whatever you’ve resolved to achieve – double your business, secure more funding, spend more time with the family, go on a 3-week long-haul holiday, attain a target weight, run a marathon – the reality is that you’ll be getting there by adopting some new daily activities and routines. That might be more prospecting calls every day or more time on the treadmill or fewer pies at lunchtime.
We’ve identified five proven ideas to keep those daily activities going. (We’ll share another five in a couple of weeks’ time. We know that it’s best to pick just one idea and run with it; and then come back for a second, and a then a third,…. Little and often is the name of the game.)
- Just For Today
Doing something everyday for months or years or even the rest of our life can be daunting to say the least. The truth is, we only have to commit to doing our activity just for today. We can decide tomorrow morning if we want to do it again. Periodically it’s good to think about the future – but for most of the time keeping ourselves within these wonderful little compartments called days can be a very useful mindset. Tomorrow will look after itself.
- Use Your Calendar
Deciding when we’re going to do something and then putting it in our calendar significantly increases the likelihood that we’ll do it. Typically we just put our meetings in our calendar and our 10 prospect calls might be in our heads or perhaps on a To Do list. Actually putting Prospect Calls in our calendar for tomorrow between 10.15am and 11:00am increases the chances of us making those calls. If you’re going to the gym, put it in your calendar.
- Something is Better Than Nothing
Your perfectly scheduled day collapses. You can’t make your 10 client catch-up calls. Then just do 1 or 2. What’s important is the routine of doing something everyday. Doing something everyday creates the habit. (Depending on what it is and who you are, it’s more likely to be 2 months than 3 weeks). In the early days it’s important to convince yourself with daily repetition, however few the reps, that you’re the person who keeps in touch with clients. In fact, far better to start with very few reps. So few that you can’t fail!
- Get Back Up!
So your day really does collapse! Those pies look fabulous. And you might as well have a piece of cake too. And a Mars Bar from the garage when you’re paying for your petrol because you’ve totally blown it now. However, tomorrow is another day. You can wake in the morning and choose to adopt a healthy eating regime just for today. We all fail and fall. The real key is to get back up again.
- Pinch Your Children’s Star Chart
When you’ve spoken to one of your team for 10 minutes about how their work’s going, reward yourself with a star. Create a grid that shows the days of the month and your daily activity and each time you complete it put a tick in the box. Put you chart where you can see it. It’s a small thing but you’ll get used to seeing the ticks or stars and will want to keep them going.
What’s important in the short term, more than anything else, is to establish the routine of a specific daily activity. Complete the activity well and you’ll get better at it, you’re likely to do more of it as you get better at it, and in time the results you’re aiming for will materialize. Adopting one or more of these five ideas will help – guaranteed.
Mark Dyble is a seasoned Business Coach and author of Your Guide to Building a Successful Business.