When you are a busy professional running your own business, it can often feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish everything. Being strategic with your time is the best (and possibly the only) way to achieve all of your daily tasks. If you are...
2021 Resolutions, A Scorecard
Last year I shared how I came up with resolutions to meet my business and personal needs in my blog post, New Year’s Resolutions, Once More Unto the Breach. I broke my 2021 resolutions for 2021 into three areas and scored them as follows:
- Have five coaching Clients on annual contracts.
- Have 14 Vistage Clients.
- Start every day with affirmations and plan the day’s events around the 5 x 5 framework.
- Migrate all non-value work to outside services, e.g., accounting, calendar control.
- Stick to marketing plan for:
- Social Media;
- Blog Posts;
- Newsletters; and
- Walk five miles four times a week.
- Do yoga three times a week.
- Stick to a new diet of limited dairy, carbs, and sugar.
- Work on Spanish 30 minutes a day and start having online conversations in Q2 once a week.
- Read/listen for an hour every day for books on my booklist.
- Take a two-week vacation with my wife in 2021.
- Take a long weekend vacation once a quarter.
- Speak to my children once a week to support them and not solve their issues.
- Develop a calling plan for “old” friends to be called through the month.
- Ensure that I am truly present when I am with my wife, children, or friends. I have put electronics away, emptied my mind of the usual distractions, and focused on them.
If I had to score myself on my achievement of the resolutions, I would give myself the following scores on a 0 to 10 scale:
Not great, but not bad. However, I looked over my resolutions; I realized that little had changed in my plans, and my 3HAG was still basically the same. Thus, the goals I had set myself were still appropriate.
So the real question was how to ensure that I do better. Listening to a podcast with social psychologist Wendy Wood, she said that you need to tap into your unconscious mind if you want to change your life. Wendy is the world’s foremost expert on habits and the author of “Good Habits, Bad Habits: The Science of Making Positive Changes That Stick.” According to Wendy, research had shown that the success of achieving resolutions had little to do with willpower but sticking to the plan. Contrary to popular opinion, it takes three months to develop a new habit, not three weeks. So if during three months you fail, don’t give up. Commit to it again and keep trying to stick with it; the longer you do this, the more successful you will be. Furthermore, To adhere to it, you had to do two things.
- Minimize friction that stops you from achieving it. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, and the reason you fail is you eat the wrong things, then get rid of all the “bad” items in your house, which will minimize the chance of your missing your goad.
- Increase friction for those things that lead you not to do it. For example, if your goal is to increase how much you read. Then make where you read inviting and comfortable and get rid of distractions, so don’t bring your phone with you and remove the TV.
So with all my resolutions, I have looked at how to change the friction involved. I need to ensure I don’t miss those items I succeeded with last year. However, to show how I am looking at friction, I thought I would provide examples of those resolutions I failed most.
So let’s look at last year’s resolutions where I failed and determine what friction I can minimize and maximize to ensure better success.
Have five coaching Clients on annual contracts.
This resolution I failed as I have far fewer than five on a yearly contract. However, last year, I had about five clients who hired me for short-term periods, i.e., three months to work with them. While admittedly, annual contracts would be better, I have found that these engagements were very positive. I was able to help clients with specific problems and improve the relationship between myself and my clients, leading to more repeat business and referrals.
So what is the friction involved?
- Friction to reduce. A mindset that I had to sell an annual contract, rather than a mindset of fixing the client’s issue and seeing where the relationship would lead us.
- Friction to increase. Don’t propose anything until I know the prospect’s most significant issue and only focus on that. So I have built a questionnaire, and until I can answer it, I don’t propose a solution or relationship.
Do Yoga Three times a week.
So last year, I did yoga three times! Quite a fail, given it, was a resolution. So again, what caused me not to do it? Only with that knowledge can I fix it? There was a multitude, but primarily I realized that they all came back to allowing insufficient time. So what frictions do I need to change to ensure I get it done.
- Friction to reduce. Not planning time for yoga meant I was trying to fit in when I had a gap in my time, which doesn’t happen. So I am now booking it in my calendar every Sunday for the week. I can’t preplan it on an annual basis as other things come up which change my availability. Still, I can set aside an hour and twenty minutes for yoga and shower three times a week, every week, if I plan accordingly.
- Friction to increase. I am committing to a friend to do this and sharing my calendar with them. Then they can check on me and hold me accountable.
Develop a calling plan for “old” friends to be called through the month.
Again, my performance on this item was mediocre at best. I called a few people but not nearly enough. Looking at my results, I realized that I would primarily forget. So what frictions do I have to change.
- Friction to reduce. Make a calendar appointment every week to call some old friend. To assist, I have a calendar entry and put in their name and phone number, so I don’t have to decide whom I will call and then look for their number. Helping in this regard, I look on social media to see whose birthdays are that week and try to phone the day to wish them a happy birthday and let them know I am thinking of them.
- Friction to increase. I am reaching out on social media, e.g., Facebook, Whatapp, or LinkedIn, to let them know I plan to call them that week and hope we will talk. I am also leaving a message to say that I called and hope they will call back.
Next year I look forward to reporting back and letting you know my progress. I hope you will look at your goals for 2022 and see how changing the friction involved will help you achieve them. If you want to have someone hold you accountable over them, then feel free to share them.
Feel free to reach out if you want to discuss this with me.
Copyright (c) 2022, Marc A. Borrelli
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