Please do not bother making ANY resolutions at the beginning of this year.
Yes, the small business strategist who loves to ensure you are setting goals, planning and thinking big is telling you NOT to make resolutions.
Because they don’t work. So you are wasting your valuable energy.
Here is what you can do instead:
Before you get all excited that you are off the hook for making resolutions, stroll down memory lane for a few resolutions you might have made in prior years.
Remember when you decided that you wanted to lose 30 lbs? You bought a gym membership, joined an online weight lose plan, and bought a whole bunch of equipment, clothes and support tools that were going to help you lose the weight.
I bet the videos are still sitting in your closet, the gym has smiled all of the way to the bank because you paid for a year membership and only went for one month, and you might have even gained 10 lbs in the process.
Or how about the year that you decided to get serious about getting out of debt. Because you looked at the bills and decided it was time to get serious about getting out of debt for once and for all.
So you told the family that you are going to be making some SERIOUS changes – no more frivolous spending, no more eating out, no more social engagements that are costly, no expensive presents, etc.
And that lasted for a week. Right about the time that your boss made you soooooo mad at work that you came home and ordered out pizza for the family dinner because you were too stressed to cook. And you totally justified it thinking…well it’s just $20. And $20 lead to $30. Which lead to $50. Which took you $100 and right back to your poor spending habits.
There are hundreds of resolutions that I could poke fun at. I’ve been plagued by the “I’m getting out of debt” and “I’m living stress free” one myself.
But here’s the reality check – they don’t work. You need to commit to a minimum of 30 days for your new habit. And if you try to start a new habit without examining why you had your old habits….you won’t make it until January 15th.
So here is the new thought process- spend the first month of this year observing your habits. Write them down. And commit to not changing anything.
Yes. Don’t make any new habits. Observe what you are currently doing without making any changes.
It’s hard to really make complete and fundamental changes in your life. Not I’m not allowing you to play the victim here or say we are incapable of doing great things. But if you depend on just your sheer will to make changes – chances are great that you won’t succeed.
So do a new thing. Just observe what you do. Write it down – every day – 30 days.
And if you think this doesn’t relate to small business – oh you bet your bottom dollar that it does. Because if your small business is not operating as well as it could, there is probably something that the owner needs to do differently. Don’t ask me how I know. But I’ll bet if you talk to myself or others that strategize/coach small businesses about the biggest business challenge you are having – it’s related to something in YOU that needs to change.
And that’s not a judgment call. Because personally I KNOW you would change if you knew how. But similar to New Year’s Resolutions…change is not something easy to do.
So let’s tackle it differently.
Observe your patterns for 30 days in ONE area of your life that is not working for you. Commit to not making changes. And don’t judge anything. Just write down everything related to your pattern – the thoughts that pop into your head, the things that irk you that others say, your related actions – both positive and negative, positive things you hear others say or read, brainstorms you have, etc.
On Feb 1st, go back and read what you wrote.
Something powerful will start to happen. Bigger than any resolution that you could ever make. You’ll find that you won’t be fighting to make changes with sheer will power. Something will happen internally that is ten times more powerful and will lead to lasting change.
So share in the comments the areas of your life that you want to observe this year and let’s touch base on 2/1 to see what happened with this activity.