4 Practical Strategies to Truly Improve Your Body, Life and Business This Year
Building a brighter future starts with laying a strong foundation.
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The new year represents a clean slate for entrepreneurs. Nothing is off limits. But once the newness of the year has lost its luster, many entrepreneurs, unfortunately, begin to slip back into their old habits. What was once a promising year is rapidly evaporating due to the daily grind. It's not enough to merely make a declaration to accomplish a goal and randomly throw a couple of habits behind it.
If you're serious about truly changing your body, your life and your business this year, commitment to the intangibles are a must. And that starts with these four strategies.
1. Stay patient and open-minded.
Jeff Bezos, at the beginning of Amazon's ascension, stated that it was important to "Stay stubborn on your vision but flexible on your details."
What gets you to point A won't take you to point B. If you remain rigid, this will lead you down a one way street of regression. Ever experienced success with a low carbohydrate diet and now you've stagnated for a few weeks? This is a sign to try something different. Is business stuck in the lower six figures? Maybe it's time to look into paid traffic or adding new methods of communication such as podcasting.
While experimentation is a necessity, staying patient and trusting the process are components that are also needed in the concoction for accomplishing your goals. We live in a microwave generation where people expect success-on-demand. However, what comes fast and easy will also disappear in the same manner.
For long term success, think of your goals as food in a slow cooker that takes hours to finish, as opposed to instant food in the microwave.
2. Make a list of things you won't do.
If you're like most people, at the beginning of the year, you set a list of things you're going to do. While it's imperative to know what you need to do in order to accomplish the mission, it's just as important to know what needs to be avoided.
Think addition by subtraction. Successful people may not have all the answers of what to do, but they do have the answers on which actions and habits to avoid. A big part of this simply comes down to being aware of what drains your energy on a daily basis.
Take some time to create an elimination list. What will you not do in order to achieve your goals this year? What will you give up?
Perhaps that's checking email only twice a day. Maybe it's unsubscribing from all your newsletters and avoiding signing up for irrelevant webinars. Perhaps it's limiting social media to only 60 minutes per day.
Related: The New Year Is Your New Opportunity
3. Create a plan for when it gets physically, mentally and emotionally difficult.
Waking up each day and following your plan is easy when you're optimistic, free of stress and have few distractions. But let's be honest, how often will this be the case? Very little.
If you can only perform when everything is going well, you're going to reach the end of this year -- and every subsequent year -- disappointed. Success and exponential growth are forged from the rough moments of life.
We admire the underdog athletes who define the odds -- not those who have all the advantages. It's the same with entrepreneurship and fitness.
A key habit to fail-proof your year is to plan for physically, mentally and emotionally tough moments. What will you do when things aren't going well? Complaining, worrying and panicking aren't ideal choices.
A couple options could be going for a walk, a workout, reviewing your vision or turning some music on.
4. Add high-pressure stakes to your goals.
Many entrepreneurs fall short with their goals due to a lack of urgency. In this case, raising the stakes is a necessity. In "The Art of War," Sun Tzu calls it "desperate ground" and in "The 33 Strategies of War," Robert Greene calls it the "death ground."
In both cases, it's simply a scenario where a situation seems to offer zero options. Your back is against the wall and failure is expected unless you act without unrelenting aggression. There's pressure -- and that's a good thing since your focus becomes narrowed due to the stakes.
While neither I nor you are being faced with imminent death at the moment, increasing the stakes so you can naturally raise your sense of urgency is beneficial. Acting with urgency suffocates your procrastination.
A non-life threatening approach to death ground is to give yourself a deadline with strong stakes attached to it. For some, this will be through money. For others, it will be through social dynamics.
You have the power to change your body, your life and your business this year. It doesn't have to be complicated, but it will require effort and commitment starting with addressing the fundamental behaviors of success.