Picture by Rawpixel on Unsplash
By Uzo Ijewere, Augment Results.
It’s the end of the year; indeed, the end of a decade!
I hope I’m writing early enough to get ahead of the often-misdirecting New Year resolutions. Don’t get me wrong. Resolutions are great, especially if they help you think about the changes that you want to make in your life that will lead you to more of what you want, both personally and professionally.
Honestly though, how long do people stick to their resolutions? One week? One month? Research has shown that by the 14th of February most resolutions set in the first week of January are a distant memory, and people have settled back into their previous behaviours. That’s because it’s devilishly difficult to change. Period!
So, I want to offer a different approach, which has worked for me and hundreds of clients who I have taught to do this simple thing:
Awww, are you disappointed? She’s talking about focus. What’s new or interesting about that?
Focus is one of the hardest things to achieve in the 21st century. The world, and especially the business climate, is extremely noisy, there’s the fear of FOMO (fear of missing out) and there’s new things constantly popping up that can make you feel like the world is leaving you behind.
All these factors, and more, contribute to the huge lack of focus I often witness in my clients, and indeed myself, a lot of the time.
On January 1st, 2019, I decided to revisit the techniques I knew on improving focus. This last year has been unbelievable for my business (I increased revenue 7X), and me personally, in terms of confidence, relationships, generally becoming the leader in my life again.
Here’s the step-by-step guide that will move you to new levels in 2020.
- Build strong, lasting Habits. Successful people use strong habits to help them remain consistent in their approach to work and life.
Your next question may be “what habits (new behaviours) should I develop?” No one can answer this for you. Think about what changes you want to see, identify where you are failing and how you can change this.
Make a list of behaviours that you must develop to get what you want. Do it now! Hey, I never said I’d give you all the answers. My job as a business coach is to ask you the questions that will propel you into action, and then, guide your actions where required.
Now for the main question – “how do I make these habits stick?”
How to Build Habits that Stick:
- Raise your standards – this is what Anthony Robbins says to do. What does he mean by this? Think more of yourself, and then start to demand more from
Ha ha, I can hear the universal groans!
“More! I can’t give any more Uzo. I am working like crazy as it is!”. Well, perhaps it’s time to work more intelligently and not just more.
Raising your standards will mean thinking of, and strongly committing to, changes that are transformational! This in turn leads to you developing new ways of working that meet the new expectations you’ve set.
Revisit that wish list of new habits you just made. Are they what they could be? Did you develop that list with the failures of 2019 in mind? Is that holding you back?
Amend the list if you need to now.
- Set Mini Goals and Use Positive Triggers – I teach my clients to decide on their overarching goal(s)/vision, and then to think of the smallest step they can take immediately.
Why? Because action is essential. Human beings have a tendency to overthink things. Our brains like familiarity and dislike change, so we’ll look for reasons to stay exactly where we are and then blame the situation/people/timing/luck, etc.
By setting a mini goal that you can accomplish quickly, and which is so small you can’t say no to, you’ll move into action. Then by creating a positive trigger to remind you to consistently change that action, you maintain the intent.
E.g. you want to read more. So, you set a mini goal to read ten pages every day and use an alarm on your phone as a positive trigger to remind you to undertake this task.
You’ll likely succeed at this, feel accomplished and happy with yourself, and so you’re more likely to do it again. And again. This is the reward aspect of building new habits that helps us continue the endeavour.
Review your amended habits list. What’s the smallest step you can take towards any of those habits? How soon can you get started?
2. Say ‘No’ More – Warren Buffett famously said, “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything”.
As I mentioned earlier, your brain likes the familiar. You are going to have to control it, focus and break patterns that aren’t useful anymore / holding you back.
What are some of the patterns you fall into time and time again? Do you waste time trying to be all things, and mastering none?
What have you been told you ‘should’ do, but if you stopped and gave it thought is pointless?
Has your routine become a pattern, just occurring whether it adds to your forward momentum or not?
Are there time wasters in your life who, bless them, do not mean harm, but have also fallen into a pattern?
Think carefully before committing your precious time to activities that may no longer align with your (new!) vision and goals, and give yourself permission to say no.
3. Use Systems – this is the final essential weapon to make your 2020 more successful. There are a few steps to systemisation.
One is prioritisation. This often-ignored step is a powerful weapon, which when used pragmatically and consistently makes a huge difference. Check out my article on how you can do this here.
Once, you’ve prioritised your tasks, review the list to see which of these tasks will be repeated on a regular basis. Can you create a system or use existing tools in the marketplace to systemise these actions, so you have less to do?
By systemising your to-do-list (to the extent that you can) you are able to manage your time more effectively and focus your creativity and intellect on the tasks that most require you to.
There you have it. Three weapons to bring you more success in your business and or career in 2020.
Join me live on Monday 6th Jan @8pm GMT on Facebook for a FREE one-hour training and coaching session on this topic. Click here to register and claim your space.
Share your thoughts in the comments section below. Let’s drive change together.
Happy New Year!
Augment Results – Powering Performance. We help companies and individuals adopt better management strategies, improve leadership skills, and be more effective. We offer seminars, workshops, consulting, group and 1-2-1 coaching programmes to lead to overall better results.
Read more articles like this one at www.augmentresults.com/blog/