Imagine: It’s early 2017 and many business owners are enjoying the “post-New Year's honeymoon phase.” Yet, very few will have that best year ever that they resolved to have. In fact, almost all of them will end up dashed on the rocks, victims of the triplet siren songs -- procrastination, overwhelm and "it’s always been done this way.”
According to Statistic Brain Research Institute only 8 percent of people achieve their New Year’s resolution. It’s easy to be in the 92 percent who fail. The question is: What are you going to do differently to be in that elite 8 percent?
Shorten your time horizon.
I advise you to focus on the next 90 days instead of all of 2017. Author Michael Hyatt talks about how it helped him become a New York Times best-selling author, as a first timer. Moreover, an accountability group’s members showed much better results focusing on 90-day goals than on the full 365-day calendar year. With 365 days, it’s just too easy to justify procrastination in your own mind. You can say to yourself, “There are still over 300 days left in the year,” or “There’s still plenty of time, the year’s just begun.”
Related: The Power of Writing Down Your Goals
Writing your goals down on paper and/or in digital format is the first step. As a business owner, it’s probably a step you’ve been doing for a while. But you probably still fall short of those goals. I have many times. So how do we stack the odds "ever in your favor?"
Elevate your mindset.
Schedule some “time chunks” several times each week, or preferably once every day, perhaps as part of your morning ritual (I follow Hal Elrod’s in his book The Miracle Morning). These time chunks need be only five to 10 minutes, but I recommend 30 minutes or more per chunk. Here's why.
Elevating your mindset is the most critical thing you can do to grow your business. Getting and staying clear on your vision for both what your business must do and what you want from your life is top priority. You must re-examine your business model and decide what you’ll upgrade during this 90-day period.
Use part of this time chunk to focus on changing and elevating your habitual thoughts. I’ve read different research studies all showing that 60 to 80 percent of our thoughts are the same each day. These habituated thoughts (and the behaviors they inevitably lead to) keep you trapped at your current level of income and business success.
Ninety days is long enough to make positive and lasting changes to your thoughts and behaviors. It’s short enough to compel you to take action and achieve your three-to-five main action items each day. Your mind won't be able to justify procrastination because the shorter time horizon won’t allow it.
Related: 5 Ways to Never Miss a Deadline
Keep your mind open to new thoughts and ways of doing things. Focus on new ways of doing things to activate the reticular activating system in your brain so you’ll notice new ways. This breaks you out of the old saw “it’s always been done this way.”
Be accountable to kill procrastination and overwhelm.
I go against the common advice to ”post your goals publicly and on social media.” I don’t do this simply to be contrarian. Though with the abysmal numbers showing 92 percent of people fail, contrarian thinking is a great place to start. Remember what happened when Seinfeld's George Costanza when he decided to attempt a "whatever I think, I’m going to do the opposite" challenge?
One of my mentors, Scott Shickler, has studied and researched high achievers for the last seven years. He found high achievers don’t post their goals publicly because this gives you almost the same dopamine and emotional boost as actually achieving your goal. Obviously, you don’t want to feel like you’ve already achieved your goal because this saps your motivation and steals the pay off for doing the action items required to achieve it.
What do high achievers do instead? They state and post their goals to their private ”wolf pack,” usually four and six close associates or friends. And a majority of high achievers invest in a business coach to hold them accountable in a one-on-one setting.
If you’ve ever had a workout partner, you know how that helps you stick to your workout regimen. You schedule a work out with them at the gym at 6 AM. You show up even if you don’t feel like it because you made a promise to them and you don’t want to let them down.
You get the same benefit when you commit to your wolf pack and your business coach to achieve your 90-day goals. This eliminates the possibility of procrastination.
Related: 11 Ways to Beat Procrastination
Your wolf pack and your business coach also advise and help you get clarity on the two or three most important action items necessary to attain your goals. This removes overwhelm from the goal-killing equation. Overwhelm victimizes the 92 percent, but you can rise above this group.
Commit to achievement.
If you intend and commit right now to achieving your goals for the first 90 days of 2017, this requires you to do what the 8 percent of high achievers do. Three big obstacles that trap the remaining 92 percent are procrastination, overwhelm and "it’s always been done this way."
I’ve shared with you two basic steps and frameworks to help you climb into that 8 percent. Will you join the high achievers group or stay stuck in your same behavior rut and pattern of thinking?