It’s that time of year…
The time when people set goals and make resolutions, only to abandon them (for the most part) in three weeks or so.
When you set a goal, what you’re really aiming for is a change. You might want to be healthier, happier, wealthier, enjoy new experiences, or learn new skills.
The problem with New Year’s goals is that change isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it type of thing. You can’t just think about what you want to be different at the beginning of the year, jot down some goals, tuck them away, and expect anything to be all that different by this time next year.
Making changes is an ongoing process — one that takes daily attention… and that often involves regular setbacks and recommitments. It’s a rewarding process, but one that can also be frustrating.
So, whether you set goals, make resolutions, or pick a focus or guiding word to be the theme for your year, I have a few tips you can use to successfully bring about change in your life.
A Daily Review Habit
What if, every day, first thing after breakfast, you whipped out a couple of 3×5 cards with your most important goals written down on them? If, instead of setting goals and reviewing them periodically (and less and less frequently as the year wears on), you looked at them every single day?
Do you think that daily reminder of what you’re trying to accomplish — and why — would help you stay on track to making the desired changes? It certainly wouldn’t hurt your progress.
Think about the goals you’ve set or the things you want to change. Pick the three most important and write each one on an index card along with a sentence about why the goal is important to you. Then read those cards every single morning.
If you build this single habit, I bet you’ll see a big difference in your stick-to-it-iveness this year.
Speaking of Habits…
One of the problems with measurable goals like earning a certain income or losing a certain amount of weight is they tend to be cumulative. It’s only natural to break this type of goal into 12 parts. If you want to earn six-figures, you plan to earn $8,500 a month. If you want to lose 30 pounds you plan to lose three pounds a month, give or take.
But it takes time to get into the groove and find what works to hit those numbers. If by June, you haven’t cracked $5,000 a month, your brain starts doing the math and you realize that you need to make $10K plus a month for the rest of the year to hit your goal… and that can feel pretty daunting.
Instead, consider pointing yourself in the direction you want to go and come up with three daily or weekly habits that will help you make progress toward that aim. If you want to earn more money from your writing business, you might set your habits as publishing a blog post each week, sending a pitch each day, and attending a live, local event each month.
When June rolls around, you’ll be able to see how well you’ve stuck to those commitments and whether they’re starting to pay off. If they are, then you can bet you’ll be further along toward your income goals by the year’s end. And if not, you can adjust your course.
What Kind of Person Are You?
Another way to move the needle is with “I’m a person who…” goals. Instead of setting the goal to finish your book by the end of the year, consider an identity goal: “I’m a person who writes every day.”
Or “I’m a person who walks every day.”
Or “I’m a person who goes out of my way to meet new people.”
Even if it’s not true now, if you want it to be, write it down, and remind yourself of it every day. Pretty soon, you’ll find you’re closer to the kind of person you want to be… and closer to reaching your goals, too.
In Case You Missed It…
In her newest Reality Blog, Jennifer Ayling walks you through the process of building out your personal brand statement. This useful exercise can give you clarity on your audience, your messaging, and where you want to focus your marketing… all of which will make it easier to land the types of clients you’re most excited to work with. Give it a read!
When you know the statistics about your industry, you can write more powerful, more compelling marketing materials. In her latest column, Michele Peterson walks you through the most exciting and promising statistics associated with email marketing… and gives you several ideas for how to incorporate them into your marketing messages. If you write emails for your clients, be sure to check this out.
Were you able to join us for the live review of welcome email messages? If not, give the playback a viewing. You’ll learn about a fun, easy project that’s perfect for getting your foot in the door. You can access your playback here.
Mark Your Calendar
January 9: Next week, on Tuesday, we’ll be having our first Monthly Member Update webinar of the year. During this live event, I’ll share some insights into how you can make more and better connections — these strategies can make marketing fun and more effective. Plus we’ll look at what’s new on the site and what’s coming up. And we’ll finish out with a live Q&A. I hope you’ll join me!
3 Things I Thought You Might Enjoy…
If you choose a word as your yearly theme (or if that idea sounds intriguing to you), give this post from Content Marketing Institute a read.
For a bit of fun, check out HubSpot’s roundup of 55 funny commercials.
If you want more tips for good goal-setting, check out this post from BetterUp.
That’s all for now. Have a great weekend!