As we begin 2013, you may be wondering what the best course of action is to reach your goals this year. To turn New Year’s resolutions into a new year of realities, you must have a plan. That plan needs to consist of laying out a series of steps (large and small) that will guide you down the path toward success over the next 12 months.
Here are suggestions for crafting the outcomes you desire for you and your business this year and some best practices to help you to reach them.
Create Clarity Around Your Goals
“My New Year’s resolution is to do more business than last year.”
This might sound good in theory, but it does nothing to ensure success. A statement such as this is a great starting point, but without creating clarity it can quickly turn into a sad ending. It is vital you define what “more business” means. Try using a specific statement such as, “My New Year’s resolution is to do $10,000 more gross commissions per month than last year.” If you break down that goal into monthly segments, you now have measurable milestones.
Compartmentalize Your Goals
“I will accomplish my monthly goals by adding one new qualified prospect to my pipeline a day. I will close one new client a week and continue to service a third of my A clients with a quarterly review each month, having had a review with all of them by the end of the quarter.”
This is a great way to compartmentalize daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly activities. Turn these tasks into a daily game (with detailed rewards and punishments) to challenge yourself and keep yourself focused and motivated.
Attach Emotion to the Activities
The quickest way to continue playing the aforementioned daily game is to have a very strong reason to win and an even stronger reason not to lose. If you hold yourself to these on a daily basis, you will quickly attach positive emotions to rewards and negative emotions to punishments. These will fuel your activities and continue to provide you with inspiration to complete items rather than procrastinate or avoid them.
Find an Accountability Partner
It is often said that it takes 30 days to turn an activity into a habit. Don’t waste that time trying to do it on your own. Instead, find an accountability partner to report your activities to—both accomplishments and disappointments. You are more likely to succeed by being accountable to each other than by only being accountable to yourselves.
If you follow these steps, you will soon find that you have created a blueprint for yourself and your 2013 goals. And that blueprint—if you consistently follow it—will turn those goals into realities.
Daniel C. Finley
St. Paul, Minn.