New LIFE Resolutions Pt 5: You Might Fail This Year Unless You…

There it is. I said it. You might fail again this year…and its true. It sucks but perhaps you need to hear that. Those goals you are setting for the new year…this is not their first rodeo. They’ve been around but have never been realized. Why? Oh I don’t know…a percentage of the reasons for failure in those areas may be legit. If that’s true for you? Kudos to you for trying again.

However, there are tons of people out there who ARE the reasons why they fail and you just might be one of them. There may be some things you need to fundamentally change not just about WHAT goals you set, but HOW you plan to execute. Your goals may be great but, there may be some fundamental inner-person-deep-mind paradigm shifts you need to make, in order to be successful.
This is the 5th installment in the series (Links to the other 4 are at the end of this) about LIFE (not YEAR) resolutions that make tremendous impact on productivity and achievement well beyond a year.

This is for those folks out there who are pursuing a dream…who are willing to put in the work and who are willing to go beyond making New YEAR Resolutions, into the realm of making New LIFE Resolutions. Resolutions that outlast this year and position the rest of your life for success.

Ok…so in order to set yourself up for success, there are some critical things you need to do or change. You’ll thank me later. Here we go:

1) Systemize Your Goals:

You need a SYSTEM that you can plug your goals into. In other words, you need to automate your life a bit. You want to create PROCESS. So for example. Want to lose weight (for the 4th year right?). Put a system in place…a ROUTINE. One that pushes you a bit outside your comfort zone but not so far that it is not sustainable.

We often do this well with time by putting stuff on a calendar or something but we need to do it with our goals. So if you’re on a diet…what is the Specific – Repeatable – Controllable process by which you feed yourself? So a simple system may sound like: //Pack food for next day the night before- weigh and measure food- pack gym clothes on Tue and Thur- get at least 8 hrs of sleep on Tue and Thur nights-Fish for dinner on Wednesday night-Take the stairs to the 5th floor for my weekly Monday meetings at the office.//

See that?

To achieve your goals, create a system that is  SPECIFIC, REPEATABLE and within your CONTROL. (Tweet)

2) Front load your timeline:

I remember the years I spent in sales. The mantra was always to FRONT LOAD YOUR WEEK. Meaning If you can get a nice chunk of your sales in at the beginning of the week, you actually stand a better chance of hitting your goals that week and if you did, then Fridays can be spent already setting up sales calls and sales meetings for Monday and Tuesday of the following week… so you set yourself up again for success next week again.

This is a critical concept for you in your personal life. If your goal is to do something 5 times next week, do it 3 times by half way through the week. If your goal is to create something within the next 3 months, be 50% done by 1.5 months in. If you want to read 12 books this year, don’t say “oh one a month” NO….read 8 by June…so that  you only have 4 to go for the last 6 months.

FRONT LOAD YOUR TIMELINE! Always be more than halfway done by halftime. Tobi Atte

It does some very powerful things

a) It gives you a critical ingredient to goal success and that is MASSIVE ACTION

b) It protects your goal a bit from the increasing unpredictability of the distant future

c) It really focuses your energy

3) Don’t just learn Time Management….learn TIME RESPECT.

There are many things you have not accomplished simply because you dont respect your time (or anyone else’s for that matter)

I’ll just pause there to let that sink in.

We’ve all heard the sayings “time is money” “time is the most valuable resource” and so on but we still treat it with a little less respect than we should. 

Time management is great and important but I have realized in the last few months of working my tail off to achieve some stuff, that I need to learn (and teach those around me) TIME RESPECT.

Think about it…how many times have you set a goal and people around you didn’t respect the time you allocated to that pursuit. You want to study for an exam but that’s when your mum wants you to wash the dishes and your dad wants you to come downstairs to give him the remote to the TV that is 5 feet from him (lol). You come to practice and it always starts 40 min late. You join telephone conference calls and everyone calls in 30 min late or it finishes an hour after the posted time….EVERY TIME.

Yea there is something wrong and your time is slipping away.

Don’t get me wrong. Poop happens and sometimes our schedules can be interrupted by legitimate reasons…but you must watch out for time thieves in form of people and environment. 

For those that worked with me in the past 6 months on anything, if I was running a meeting, there was an agenda, there was a deliberate effort to keep to time and there was an intentional effort to respect time. Both theirs and mine. In order to succeed at your goals, you must respect time and here are few ways to start doing that:

a) Be efficient with your time. NO ONE will respect your time if you don’t

b) If you are interrupted (It happens) or you are pressed for time, politely say something “Hey John I can certainly talk tomorrow at 2pm but I’ll have a window of 15 minutes …is that ok?” It’s polite but still gets the message across.

c) Don’t commit to things before you check your schedule and when you do commit, take 2 seconds to put it in your calendar so YOU don’t become someone else’s time thief.

d) If you have a busy household or noisy household or one where you are always interrupted, post a schedule on your door and politely tell folks about it. “Studying 2pm-4pm, Mon – Thur and at 2 oclock …you better not be chatting away on the phone with your bestie… or in the living room watching TV Otherwise those people at home will scoff at your schedule.

4) Get tooled up!

Use tools to organize your life!!!! Stop relying on your memory to juggle the million things going on in your life. There is no excuse for you to be disorganized and just flapping through time.

There are so many tools that make your life easier and your goals reachable. So tool up. Here are a few of my favorite. I actually use ALL of the in varying capacity. (Nothing I write here will do these apps justice so you can and should read up on them and watch video on what you could use them for and see which ones work for you). PLUS….They are all FREE. Click the names to go to their websites.

Todoist: This is perhaps the best tool I know for managing To Do lists and tasks. I LOVE this app. Keeps me organized. I can organize my to-do lists in to different projects or areas of life, it has reminders and so on. Syncs across multiple devices and even has a web extension.

Evernote: It’s amazing for someone who takes a lot of notes on the go. It syncs on multiple devices, has reminders and voice notes. You can clip web pages to view later, write blog posts, make make presentations straight form it and a million other things. Even has a desktop version you can sync to as well.

Pocket: How many times have you come across any online content (articles, web pages, videos etc) that you couldn’t read or watch right then and there? How do you save it for later in an organized manner? Pocket. It lets you clip web content and organize it in the app so you can come back to it later. Amazing

Trello: Working on some important personal projects? Starting a company? Working with a team? Creating a product? Want to be able to visualize your goals? It is simply one of the most amazing personal project and life management tools out there.

5) Don’t compartmentalize your goals, CONNECT THEM.

You hurt your chances when you separate your goals from each other but you increase your overall chances when you see the connection between them…because they ARE connected.

Being physically fit is not in isolation. It will give you more energy, it can affect your emotions, it can affect your family life and your career. Having a goal to be financially better is not in isolation, it is connected to your family life, emotional well-being, stress level, hence your health, and so on.

Starting a business is not in isolation. Its connected to your time, which is connected to your family well-being, its connected to your emotional and financial life.

So when you set your goals, expand your thoughts on the impact of those goals and see how they are interconnected with the important areas of your life. It will increase your urgency and focus.

6)Ditch advice and just do it:

I just recently came to this place and it is working wonders for me. Read this VERY carefully.

When you are starting anything, a new venture, new health plan, new goal etc, it is important to get a lot of advice. Even the Bible says in proverbs 11:14 that “Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” And in Proverbs 15:22 it says “Without counsel, plans go awry, But in the multitude of counselors they are established.”

What happens to us is that we use the abundance of counsel as a crutch for inaction.

Counsel and advice is critical for your success. Wait..i just said earlier to ditch the advice… So which is it??

You see, what happens to us is that we use the abundance of counsel as a crutch for inaction.

Your intake of counsel must be hand in hand with your output of work!

We want to do something so we watch a thousand hours of tutorial on YouTube. We attend gazillion seminars, we devour a library of books and talk to three hundred spiritual leaders…but we don’t actually do it.

What I am saying is that your intake of counsel must be hand in hand with your output of work!

We tell ourselves that we just waiting to get it perfect but what is really happening is that we are scared to start and unwilling to admit it. We are feeling good because of all the “Activity” at the expense of “Productivity”. It’s like getting a sugar high from icing and not eating the cake.

There comes a time, when you have enough information to begin and maybe even finish and so the consumption of additional advice is of little use.

I’ll use the economics theory call the Law of Diminishing Utility. I’ll explain it this way:

In the hot sun, your first bottle of cold water feels like heaven. By the 4th bottle, you’ll rather use it to wet the flower next to you.

Stop using the consumption of advice as a crutch. You have so much info already. BEGIN. DO THE THING.

Have a great year ahead and see you at the top.

Here are the links to the other parts in the series. Read them and knock your goals out!

  1. New Life Resolutions Pt1: Why personal goals and resolutions fail and what you should do about it
  2. New Life Resolutions Pt2: 8 Things you must resolve to do in order to immediately start living a more fulfilled life
  3. New Life Resolutions Pt3: The Paradigm Shift on Resolutions
  4. New Life Resolutions Pt 4: Before You Run Off To Set New Goals