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Have you broken your New Year’s Resolutions yet?

set-goals

If you have, you’re not alone.

In 2007, FranklinCovey surveyed 15,031 of their customers about their New Year’s resolutions. Surprisingly, they found that 35% of people break them before the end of January, with another 42% breaking them at some point after that.

I’m surprised, because I would have thought those numbers would be higher.

In my 30+ years’ experience working with over 2,000 small business owners, entrepreneurs and salespeople, I’ve found that people who only set goals once a year just because it’s the socially-accepted thing to do are not truly goal-oriented – or results-oriented – people.

I personally don’t believe in making “New Year’s Resolutions” that are, for the most part, either casually made or routinely broken – or both.

I believe in getting serious about setting goals and making plans all year long, and I work with my clients to do the same.

It takes discipline and forethought, but for me it’s the key to massive, sustained achievement and success.

Here’s my own personal system…

First, I block off all known dates in an annual calendar – events, projects, tasks I get done on a regular basis.

Then I add in all related tasks – including the marketing, planning and follow-up for each of my scheduled events, projects and tasks.

I include time for non-business interests, such as recreation and relaxation.

This alone gives me “something to do or get done” for about 80% of the days of the year. Then, I look for ways to fill in the remaining dates with other opportunities that either come along or are purposefully pursued.

For each event, project and task, I write “To Do” lists. Throughout every day I am constantly crossing items off my list. Then, at the end of each day, I prepare my schedule for the next day, listing each task and the time I allot to it. Most importantly, I stick to my schedule.

As the world’s #1 small business-building expert, Dan Kennedy says:

If you don’t plan your day, someone else will plan it for you.

That goes for your week, your month and your year as well.

We live in a world where people are constantly fighting for our attention, with most people choosing to be vulnerable to near-constant interruption by way of any number of technological means, including email, cell phone, text messages and social media – just to name a few.

But at the same time, most of us know that single-mindedness and focus are the keys to getting the most out of our time and talents.

So the question is: How do we stay focused in an ever-increasingly fractured world?

In my opinion, one of the most effective ways of ensuring that we stick to our plans – and therefore accomplish our goals – is to dedicate ourselves to constantly setting, evaluating and updating our personal goals and action plans to get us to where we want to go.

Not to make vague, casual, once-a-year “resolutions” out of thoughtless habit or just because “that’s what everyone does this time of year.”

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