If you wait until January 1st to make and start your New Year’s Resolutions, you’re missing out on a prime time to be successful.
With just a couple days left in the year, most people are winding down. Take the opportunity to get geared UP.
You want your resolutions to stick; to make a lasting change in your life. Gearing up and preparing to get started gives you the greatest chance for success. I’ve been working up to keep my own resolutions since the middle of December.
I’ve been ramping up. It means I’m gathering momentum before I even hit the starting line. Assuming you’re going to make some New Year’s resolutions, instead of trying to go from 0 to 100 in one day – a day when you’re probably thinking more about relaxing than working – why not try building up to it this year?
Think about racecars. Sure, in drag racing the top fuel dragsters go from 0 to 100 mph in less than a second, but they only go about 1000 feet. They start hard and finish fast. It’s hard on the system: the engines practically get rebuilt between every run.
Here are four things to do today to ramp up in the next few days so you don’t burn out by mid-January.
Reach out to people who will want to meet regularly to help you and themselves.
Accountability group. Mastermind. Whatever you want to call it, get yourself a group of people who are like-minded in that they are also trying to build habits and achieve goals.
You might look for people at the same place in their careers, or who have similar side hustles, or who are an outgoing complement to your introversion (or vice versa). The important thing is to find people who are willing to take the time to meet and share goals and encouragement.
I’ve had success with groups as few as three people (including myself) and as many as fifteen. But the bigger the group, the less committed and the easier it is for people to not get the attention they need and for them to hide if they’re not getting it done.
If you’re already in a networking group like a leads club, chamber of commerce, or service club, it’s tempting to just try to make that work for you. It’s not the same purpose. But here’s a life hack for you: if you can recruit specifically from that group, have your meeting after that meeting.
This is a huge topic in itself, so I’m leaving a LOT out. I created a quick video series on starting your own mastermind group. And wrote an article on starting your own networking group here (but remember, this is a specialized form of networking). You can also comment or message me with specific questions you might have.
Decide what you’re going to use to keep track of your habits and measure your success.
Maybe the word “tools” is on my mind because I’m dipping into Tim Ferriss’ massive new tome, “Tools of Titans.” The tools he’s referring to are everything from mental toughness strategies to exercises and from supplements to books.
Line up whatever tools you’re going to need to help you achieve your goals. You might need to shop for running shoes, pick out some healthy snacks, or set up a new savings account. Whatever it is, get those tools in place before January 1st so all you have to do is pick up and go.
The best tool that I’ve put to use already is a habit tracking app. Most of what I want to accomplish depends on either establishing new habits or taking small actions every single day towards a particular goal.
I’m using Loop Habit Tracker (it's for Android only - sorry Appletinis) which might be too stripped down for your preferences, but I find that the simpler the tool, the more likely I am to keep using it.
Take your resolutions and turn them into the tiniest change possible.
You should also probably reduce your list by a factor of 10. If you’re being ambitious, good for you! But it’s also a great way to overwhelm yourself and fail at some or all of your goals.
Sometimes it’s a good strategy to set huge goals – reach for the stars and you’ll hit the moon – but most of the research on the kind of habits for our New Year’s resolutions show that baby steps are best.
Dr. BJ Fogg, Director of the Persuasive Tech Lab at Stanford University has been studying human behavior for 20 years and he’s learned that only 3 things will change behavior in the long run. One of them is to take the tiniest possible steps.
He’s got a program called “Tiny Habits” (so yes, hat tip). You can also learned more and find Tiny Habits coaches here. If you’re in the Fresno/Clovis area, connect with Tom Cotter who’s a coach and the founder of the Quantified Self Fresno Meetup (and also a kind, patient, and totally relatable human being).
This whole process could be done in just a few hours. The part that will take the longest is getting your group together. But those that are going to need several days to think about joining or not probably aren’t a good fit. Find those who will quickly say “yes” because they too, are ready for a change.
Instead of feeling bleary and lost on January 1st, you’ll know exactly what you’re going to do to be more successful in 2017. You might still need to shake off that hangover (maybe “drink more water” is on your list?), but you’ll otherwise be ready for action and success.
Looking for help with your networking in 2017? Use the simple, powerful, profitable strategy in my book "Networking on Purpose," available on Amazon in print or for Kindle.