Let’s face it. New Year’s Resolutions to work out, eat healthy, spend less time at work and more time with your spouse/kids usually last a few weeks and then our well-ingrained habits take over and it’s back to life and business as usual. The exercise gear sits neglected, and you become a victim of crises at work, long hours and/or the resulting exhaustion on evenings and weekends. Ditto kids and spouse.
Last year, I focused on REVOLUTIONS, and saw huge impact and positive outcomes – things like a #1 Best Selling book, an amazing business team, a record year in terms of financials, 15 fewer pounds, and about 13 weeks of vacation. So this year, I’m doing it again. Once again, my goal is to eschew good intentions and commit to just a few things that will deliver great impact. Some fresh thinking is taking my approach to a new level, and these insights may work for you too: Scott Jones, Life Hacker at TEDX Vancouver talked about his Fuket List – things you decide to say NO to. And Ken Kragen, the man behind We Are The World, recently shared his perception that the word NO simply means Next Opportunity – powerful stuff for those of us who say yes too often. Here’s a useful resource that may help you kick off your New Years Revolutions.
Here are my New Year’s Revolutions – what do they inspire you to do?
Create more up-time with more downtime: I’ve already mapped out my 2016 calendar so that I can tack on a day or a weekend to the front or back end of my business trips, and re-energize with some downtime in interesting places instead of experiencing rush-for-the-plane burnout. I expect to return to the office pumped for my up-time. All summer, I’ve scheduled 4 and 5 day “work-ation” weekends on my boat where I’ll finally record the audio version of my bestseller, and perhaps even work on getting book #2 ready to launch in 2017. And I’ve blocked 4 weeks in the Fall to finally take a long-planned trip to Europe. Turning work into play is a revolution I’m committed to in 2016 – are you?
Have my fitness program work for me rather than me working for it: I’m saying “NO” to the gym and NO to trying to find time to use the various bits of fitness gear cluttering up my home (they’re on Craigslist as we speak). I’m saying YES to walking at noon on every not-pouring-rain day in Vancouver to give myself a mental break and spiritual renewal. I’m saying YES to doing a simple 7 minute workout I found online, every time nature calls during the day. No, it doesn’t happen in the bathroom, but it can be done just about anywhere else thereafter. It’s infinitely portable when I’m in hotel rooms during client work or speaking engagements, and totally portable to my “work-ation” days on my boat in the summer. My Revolution is building fitness program I can stick with because it effortlessly fits into my life, instead of being a burden and an effort.
Connect in real time instead of cyberspace. I’m eschewing the quick and easy out of email and replacing them with the authentic connection of a phone call or face-to-face, and leaving the bare minimum of handling social media to my wonderful assistant. It doesn’t mean I won’t still use email, just that I’ll find a better balance between authentic connections and FYIs. I had some interesting experiences this Fall when people simply picked up the phone and called me…
- In one case, I became a client again after leaving the supplier years earlier. I’d changed; they’d changed – it made sense. But if he’d pitched me via email, I likely would not even have read it.
- In another, what could have been a simple email referral became an exploration of shared synergies that lead to a much larger business opportunity for us both.
- Finally, a long-ago fellow board member picked up the phone to ask me to speak at his annual Sales Meeting, and we hammered out the objectives and content much more quickly and easily than an exchange of emails would ever have facilitated.
I learned from the outreach of others… and as difficult as it will be not to just dash off a quick email, my Revolution for 2016 is to pick up the phone more often and have an honest-to-goodness and meaningful exchange with a client, prospect, colleague or friend.
I’m creating a door that swings both ways – clients and prospects who want to accelerate their results can now schedule an Accelerator call directly my ecalendar at their convenience without the usual endless email exchange of suitable dates and times. Inasmuch, as I’m reaching out to them, they can reach out to me. How much more business would you do if you replaced email with a more personal and mutual form of communication?
Next week, I’ll share a couple of revolutions I’m committed to make in my business which is going to take me to an entirely new level. You’ll find parallels for your own business, so stay tuned!