Does Your Bright Shiny New Year Eventually Leave You Feeling Defeated and Depleted?Jan 02, 2023
Yep, it's that time of year for
- Eliminating Old Habits
I LOVE the beginning of a new year. So much bright, shining hope in front of me. I get out my habit trackers, my sticky notes, my flip charts and markers, and my BIG empty calendar (digital and paper) and start fresh!
First I go through my "What I didn't complete/accomplish" list. That's never pretty...imposter syndrome starts knocking on my door wanting IN. That's why I create that list, first. I quickly move into my accomplishments/celebrations/milestones list. Feeling like a Shero again I create my multi-colored, sticky-note calendar and launch my new year!. But, too soon I start to go off track. Life intervenes, resolve weakens, defeat sets in, excuses become rationalizations and justifications, and I'm depleted with the life-sucking energy of "not-enoughness." The year turns into a slog of "gotta do's" instead of "get to do's!" Sure I had spikes of productivity and getting things done and many of my goals were met. But, many weren't. Some would argue I had too many. I would argue the oomph of goal setting had fizzled and I needed something shiny, something new just like the new year.
All that changed when I changed my method....I don't create goals I Build New Habits.
Don't get me wrong I still have goals and a vision (and boy is my vision BIG this year for my manufacturing company CastCoverz!!). But, instead of the quantity numbers (revenue $, # of subscribers, # of miles walked, # of carbs, how many minutes I play the piano, ...)
I focus and protect the HABITS that make my goals happen n-a-t-u-r-a-l-l-y.
Good habits produce results. SIMPLE. Bad habits produce poor results. Pretty simple, isn't it? But not always easy. Here's a 3-step process to get you started:
1. DETERMINE WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE and schedule it in my calendar.
2. DO THE THING I NEED TO DO (that's the meat)
3. PROTECT THAT TIME* as if it is sacred. Because it is.
Here's a tangible example: increase revenue in your company 10%. Ask yourself these questions:
- What has to happen? Increase revenue 10%
- What do I do now to make that activity happen? PPC, Press, Social Media, Tradeshows, Discovery Calls
- What really works? Social Media, Discovery Calls
- What doesn't (low ROI, can't be automated) ? Press, Tradeshows
Result: set time in your calendar to make discovery calls (it can be a full day, 2-3 hours p/day, 1 hour p/day assess what really works for you), never miss your allotted time for this priority. You know this needs to be done. SO DO IT. Nike was so SPOT on with that logo!
Here's an intangible example: have more energy for the entire day.
- What has to happen? Have more energy throughout the entire day and even into the evening
- What do I now to make that happen? Energy Drinks, caffeine, catch a cat nap in my car, sleep
- What really works? a good night's sleep
- What doesn't? Energy drinks, cat naps, caffeine
RESULT: Make a good night's sleep a sacred priority. Read what works. For example, exercise during the day, stop any screen time 1 hour before bedtime (WHAT?! ), cool room temperature. Don't go to bed on a full stomach or have caffeine, alcohol, or sugar 4 hours prior. Scary to consider, huh? Yep. Haagen-Dazs and I had to break up. :( But, energy and good moods that came from a great night's sleep were more important than Vanilla Swiss Almond. BONUS: I didn't miss it much after a couple of weeks. A new habit was put in its place.
Bottom line: eliminate or do less of what doesn't work AND DO MORE OF WHAT WORKS. It's that simple. May not be easy but it is that simple. Don't obsess about the # of calls or the hours of sleep. Just think, "I'm creating a good habit." A good habit is knowing what you need to do, scheduling it, doing the thing at that time*, and protecting that time as sacred.
Join me this year as I swap my old system of goals and resolutions and habit trackers and calendars with Building New (and Better) Habits.
Your Success, My Support
Annette de Lancey
*Medical emergencies, natural disasters (earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes) are the exceptions.