It’s that time of year again. “New Year, New Me,” right? Wrong! It’s really not enough to want it, say it, or claim it. That’s merely the starting point. Transformation, in our lives and business, starts with pulling up roots – underlying issues we rarely think about and quite honestly don’t want to address.
For the best of us, change can be really hard. But the good news is nothing is impossible for you. So, here’s a look at ten tangible goals to help you crush it in the year ahead, why they are important and how to get there:
Decide what you want.
It’s not uncommon to feel lost … to feel like you’ve lost your compass and North Star. But when you experience this feeling it’s important to ask yourself: What do I specifically want? Surprisingly, the answer may be “I’m not sure.” If that’s the case, before you make grand plans get crystal clear about what you want in life and in business. For me, it’s helpful to focus on five areas: spiritual, mental, emotional, physical and financial goals. Each year, I revisit this framework and it helps me move forward with clarity. More importantly, it frees my mind to succeed at life.
Commit to the hard thing.
In business you have to do the hard things. Business strategist, Dan Waldschmidt shares insanely good insight into what those hard things look like: “You have to make the call you’re afraid to make. You have to get up earlier than you want to get up. You have to give more than you get in return right away. You have to care more about others than they care about you. You have to feel unsure and insecure when playing it safe seems smarter. You have to lead when no one else is following you yet. You have to invest in yourself even though no one else is. You have to look like a fool while you’re looking for answers you don’t have. You have to grind out the details when it’s easier to shrug them off. You have to deliver results when making excuses is an option.” So, tell me. What are your hard things? Write them down today; and come hell and high water let’s commit to a lifestyle of ‘doing’!
Clear your mind of can’t.
Growing up my mom always told me that “can’t” wasn’t in my vocabulary. It’s an important lesson that has fortified my life and business pursuits. It’s a belief that you’d be wise to put into practice, too. The story you tell yourself, about yourself, guides every single decision you make.
If you say you can’t sell, guess what? That’s why your bottom line looks like a black hole. It’s not some new age, jedi mind trick; it’s fundamental to everything you will ever create in your life. Write down what you think you can’t do. Next, write down what it will take to turn that can’t into a can. Then start seeking out resources to fill the gaps and cancel out your weaknesses.
Make happiness a priority.
You and I both are not guaranteed happiness. However, we do have the inalienable right to relentlessly pursue it. Happiness is a choice. There will be days in business that will make you feel supremely unhappy, but it’s essential to bend your will and the situation, if applicable, to produce a better result. As the late Maya Angelou would say, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” Find your happy place – people, places, and things – a space that makes you want to be all you were destined to be.
Stop trying to fit in – stand out.
Cut against the grain. As an entrepreneur you have to find your unique voice and refine it. Conformity strikes a punishing blow for entrepreneurs – resulting in a slow and unprofitable death. Greatness demands that you desire to like yourself, first and operate from a place of uniqueness. Does it happen overnight? No. But you can start today.
Ask yourself, “Will my efforts to ‘fit in’ produce the desire results I want in my life?” If the answer is “No”, your quest for self-confidence begins. Leaders are not born to fit in, leaders are “the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… (Steve Jobs)” Who will you be?