So it’s coming to the end of 2017 and people are looking towards 2018. New Year’s Resolutions are sooo 2010 and over the past 3 years I have been setting a word for the year.
They’re about as useful as Resolutions.
I totally understand the appeal of the word. Resolutions take a lot of thought and they’ve gotten a bad wrap over how they don’t work unless you continuously reinforce them through repetition and inspired action.
So this is where the word of the year comes in.
The idea is that it’s an overarching theme for your year. A theme to inspire action, to drive activity, and to move you through 2018.
Not enough for me.
I need something a little more tangible.
I need to see facts and figures.
I need concrete milestones to drive concrete action.
Sound familiar to you?
When I spot and think about it. I spent 5 years working in Quality Assurance. Essentially looking backwards and reviewing action. We had concrete targets to achieve, but our main function was to learn in retrospect and to use that to improve the business going forward.
And here was I wondering why Resolutions and Annual Theme Words weren’t working. It’s no wonder when I have been programmed to look retrospectively and use concrete data to drive progress.
And I know that I can change behaviour. But humour me for a moment as I explain why and how this approach may suit some more than the 100% forwards projecting approach of Resolution and Theme word setting.
In my business, I project my income. I have a projection out for 10 years (now down to 7 as I haven’t made it rolling). It’s based on the first 18 months of growth in my business and now 3 years in, it’s still working. It’s planning for forward growth based on past performance.
I track my income against these projections. I know how much my expected income will be for the remainder of the current year & I know that I will exceed my growth target for this current financial year. You see, I’m a big believer in the saying, “What gets measured gets managed”.
This is planning based on concrete evidenced performance.
In fact, I’m now planning out my income for the following financial year, taking into consideration my expected growth.
So how does this impact on my ability to set a Resolution or Theme Word? Surely I seem strategic enough that I can find a suitable one.
Looking back, as you can see I do, I’ve found that they’ve not been effective. I’ve achieved, I’ve grown, I’ve evolved but not because of a Word or Resolution, but because of activity.
So what am I doing in 2018 and forward instead of yearly Resolutions & Theme Words?
I’m planning more. Through my coaching, I am conducting quarterly planning and projecting and part of that is a word that summarises the activity for that quarter.
So for the first quarter of 2018, I am launching the online version of my Organic Facebook Course. Something I’ve wanted to do for 2 years now; taking my successful face-to-face course and making it available for people outside of where I live. I’m also headed to a Social Media Conference in San Diego, another thing I’ve wanted to do for 2 years.
So my first quarter 2018 is about ‘Action’. Moving on things that I have wanted to do and for various reasons, I haven’t.
Now some will say that this is just the same as setting a Yearly Theme Word or New Year’s Resolution. I would say that it’s retrospective. I’m looking at what I will be doing first to achieve my financial goals and then considering a word which fits that activity. Not a guiding principle to drive my activity.
I think this is key.
For these to work you need a key motivator first. Personally, it’s my financial goals. (Don’t worry, money is not my only motivator, it is a tool to achieve my life I am setting for myself.) For me to achieve the flexibility and family balance, increasing my income is key as it reduces the pressure on my husband and gives our family the flexibility we desire.
So I hope this has helped some of you who may not resonate with New Year’s Resolutions or Yearly Theme Words.
If this is you & you have no idea how to get to this place, then I’d like to suggest the following:
1. If you don’t know what your dream business looks like, read the following blog and download the free workbook for it; then
2. If you don’t forecast & track your financial position, read the following blog post and download the Excel sheet I use; then
3. Grab a sheet of paper and write the months for the quarter you are about to head in to (at writing that would be Jan-Mar 2018) & then write what your top 3 business activities are for the period, what your financial goal is for the period, and the one word that represents those activities. Stick it where you can see it while you work.
I have to be honest, popping this up in my line of sight helps. It helps keep me accountable. However, the main thing that helps is having someone to be accountable to – for me that’s my coach. If this sounds like your missing link, then please book a complimentary discovery session with me where we can chat about how I can help you achieve more in 2018.