New Year's resolutions - bleh

Thank you for a great 2017 - you rock!

This is my last article of 2017. As is traditional at the end of each year, we should be taking stock of how the year went and start thinking about what 2018 is going to look like.

I'm going to take the opportunity to do some of that in this article, but I also want to give you some pointers for looking forward into 2018 and make your goal setting a little easier, a little more practical and little more fun.

Taking stock of 2017

We're 10 days short of the end of the calendar year, and many of us will be taking time out to spend with our families and friends. During this time, take some time out to reflect on 2017  and how it went.

What were your biggest successes - in business and in life?
The year is almost over and when we look back we should be looking for the things that we are most proud of and most pleased with.

Without a doubt, the Tornado Method is at the top of my business list. The thing I'm most proud of - and pleased with - are the personal anecdotes from people who have attended the workshops or downloaded and used the methodology. Comments like "it was the first day that I really got stuff done" to "I'm now going to take time off every week to spend with my family" make all the work worth it.

What do you have to be grateful for?
Even when times are really tough we have a lot to be grateful for. Our health, a supporting and loving family (and yes, I know all families are a little dysfunctional), our quality of life and more. Make your own list.

At the top of my personal list of stuff to be grateful for is my relationship with my wife. She is my rock, my friend and my partner.

What were your biggest failures?
There are no failures. Seriously. There are only things that that did not work - and we learnt from each "failure". The fact is that we don't learn when things are going well - we only learn when things don't work.

On my list, I learnt that I really suck at trying to sell stuff that is not close to my heart. If my passion is not in it, I am not able to transfer my enthusiasm to potential clients. So I stopped doing that (not without a couple of bruises along the way).

New Year's Resolutions - bleh

It's also traditional to start thinking about New Year's resolutions around now - or at least as the New Year approaches.

I've certainly set my share of New Year's resolutions, and like most other people I've failed to meet many of them. There are lots of articles out there that talk about why our resolutions fail, but here are the reasons I've seen:

We try to boil the ocean.
Many of my New Year's resolutions have been grand and ambitious. When I look back, I realise that I would have had to spend inordinate amounts of time every day to reach those goals - so setting them as grandly as I did was practically impossible.

Our goals are vague.
One of my perennial goals is to "get fit". But that's really vague - and easy to forget, play down or trick ourselves into believing we've achieved them.

They're going to take too long
When we set a goal that is going to take months or even years to achieve, we've already set ourselves up for failure. Life is going to take over, other priorities are going to appear and before we know it that goal is forgotten.

So how can we plan better?

A better way to make New Year's resolutions

Now that I've pointed out why things go wrong, I have to of course offer up ways to do it better. Here are my guidelines for 2018:

Put yourself first
Your relationship with your clients is like your relationship with your children (or family):

If you're always showing up stressed, late, unprepared or in a hurry, it ain't going to be much fun for anyone.

So to have a great relationship with your clients - and your children / family - you have to be prepared, relaxed and focused when you show up.

And to do that, you have to put yourself first. You have to make sure that you've had enough sleep, enough time to prepare, that you're energised and ready to deliver your best.

Putting yourself first does not mean that you have to put off other important things. It may mean that you have to take on less so you can be better at the things you do take on. This is tough, but you already know what the alternative is.

Maintain your balance
Whether your motto is "I live to work" or "I work to live" or somewhere in between, leaning all the way to one side will have negative effects on you, your business and your relationships. Maintain your balance so that you can do justice to each area.

Set smaller goals
Losing 20 pounds is a big goal and will take some time to get there - and maintain it. However, losing 5 pounds is a lot more achievable without being trivial - and a lot less distressing if you don't get there in the time you set for yourself.

Rather set a series of smaller goals than one big one.

Set shorter-term goals
This is similar to setting smaller goals. If a goal is going to take 6 months to achieve, break it down into smaller goals that each take no more than 2 to 3 weeks to acheive. That way, you have more positive feedback when you reach those goals and more motivation to keep going.

Reward yourself
I love this one. Reward yourself when you achieve a goal. The reward does not have to be huge - it should be relative to the size of the goal. But reward yourself - otherwise it all just becomes a grind.

Thank you for a great 2017 - you rock!

Thank you for all your support, encouragement, advice and sometimes stern words that have helped me have a great 2017. I hope that I've been able to contribute in some small way to your your success.

In particular, thank you to:

  • All of you - the subscribers on my mailing list. Your comments on my articles helped me realise that I am making a difference.
  • My Friday mastermind group - Sean, Michael and Carrie. That sticky note is still up on the wall.
  • My friend Anthony who alternates between friend, mentor, fan and critic in the best way possible.
  • The team and cohorts at ATB X. You guys are changing the world.
  • My wife and family. It's great coming home.

What you should do now

First, take some time out - you deserve it. Recharge, reflect and get ready to rock some more in 2018.

Keep an eye out for the release of the Have a Life 2018 planner. This will be a great tool for helping you plan your 2018 to get more done, work less and enjoy your life.

See you in 2018 - let's rock some more!

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