How To Start Out The New Year Right
We know what’s on everyone’s mind as the year winds to a close. Especially after a year like we’ve had in 2020, we’re all turning our thoughts to January and wondering how to get off to a good start in the new year.
“To the person who does not know where he wants to go there is no favorable wind.”Seneca
Starting off the new year right is simple, set goals and create a plan to accomplish them, right? But, no matter how you shake it, if you want to get off to a good start in 2021, you need to plan and then execute the plan. It’s that simple. Difficult, but simple.
One of the biggest reasons that goals fail is they are not based in anything that powerfully motivates you. Your “why” must be strong if you’re going to follow through on your goals.
When I say “goal intentions,” I mean that you need to have strong reasons for why you are setting the specific goals you want to accomplish. The intent of your goal is important.
For example, if you want to grow your business by 25% in 2021, then “making more money” is most likely not a strong enough goal intention to actually motivate you. Powerful goals intentions focus around our core needs as human people.
“In the absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily acts of trivia.”Unknown
Here are some ideas for powerful goal intentions to fuel your plans for 2021.
- Your family and their needs, the life you want to give them.
- Your legacy, what you will be remembered for.
- Your health, a long life free from disease and sickness.
- Those in the world less fortunate than you, the poor and outcast.
- Those who are suffering because of COVID-19 and the economic and social damage that has occurred this past year.
These are just some examples, your goal intentions will be most powerful when they are yours. The point of a goal intention is to connect your goal with an underlying motivation that will sustain you when the temptation to quit comes.
Staying Motivated In 2021
This year has been exhausting for all of us. Mentally, emotionally, in some cases even physically, many of us have been pushed to our limits and beyond. We’ve been so focused on surviving, we’ve lost sight of proactively pursuing the plans and dreams we want.
It’s in times like these that our motivations are tested the most. We really have to ask ourselves, “what am I fighting for?” If the answer doesn’t make us super excited to get up and get working then we need something new to motivate us.
Setting SMART Goals
Once we have the motivation figured out, it’s time to address the goals themselves. You may have heard of this before, but setting SMART goals is the best way to make sure you’re being realistic and giving yourself the best chance at success.
Setting specific goals means you know what you’re trying to accomplish and can clearly put it into words. “Make more money” is not specific. “Increase sales by 12%” is.
If you can’t measure your goal, you have no idea if you ever achieved it. If you’re trying increase sales conversions, you need to know what your current conversions are and the specific actions that are involved in sales conversions. From there you can tie metrics to those activities and measure success or failure.
A goal is just a wish if you don’t believe you’ll ever achieve it. I can sit here and wish I was 6’7″ so I could play in the NBA. I’ll never achieve that, so it can’t possibly be a goal of mine.
I know it’s completely possible for me to lose 15 pounds in the next 6 months. If I don’t complete that goal, it won’t be because it wasn’t attainable.
This is incredibly important in the goal-setting mindset. Relevant goals are goals that matter to you. Setting arbitrary goals just because you read about it somewhere is a recipe for disaster. Any goals you set have to be relevant for you, they have to actually matter in your life and business.
If you read in GQ that Bill Gates suggests you read 2 books per month in 2021, that does not make it a relevant goal for you. Do you like reading? Do you want to read 2 books a month? Will reading 2 books a month make any difference in your life or business?
This is probably the most important part of a SMART goal. Goals without a time-frame are nothing but dreams. At the same time, the time-frame needs to be attainable, like the goal itself.
If you’re a $1M company and you want to get to $2M in one year, that’s likely not going to happen. If you want to add 10 new clients in 6 months, that sounds doable. The point is, you have to have a point in time where this goal becomes reality, otherwise you’ll never get there.
Winning In 2021
The victories in 2021 will go to the mentally strong. We’d all like to see the struggle of 2020 simply fade into the background, but the uncomfortable truth is staring us in the face. 2021 is not going to be a walk in the park.
If you can find your motivation, set SMART goals and consistently follow through on your plans, you can come out on top in 2021. It won’t be easy. It will take hard work and dedication, but you can do it.
Here’s to 2021. May you start your year out right!