Jumping on the Resolutions Band Wagon

by Shaun R Smith on December 28, 2010

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I’m not a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions, but not because I don’t believe in setting goals.  In fact, quite the opposite.  I’m not a fan of New Year’s Resolutions because I think that reviewing where you are and where you want to go should be a regular practice in your business and your life, as I discussed in last week’s blog post.  A major review should occur at least quarterly.

However, the end of the calendar year might invite making some broader reviews and taking on some some challenges.  Peter Shankman (founder of HARO) has very publicly launched a very aggressive goal to lower his body fat from 28% to 10% during 2011.  I’m also starting on a new workout program (today actually).  And while I’m not going to have as dramatic a result as Peter hopefully will (I’m not that out of shape :) , the lessons from this area will work to help create lasting changes in your business also.

Measure what Matters

If you can’t find the perfect variable that is the linchpin for your business, start with your best guess – but start measuring.  I was reminded of this when starting this new online fitness program.  (I purchased a custom 12 week exercise and diet program from Anthony Ellis.  Here’s his site – although I don’t believe he still has this offer available.)  And while reading Tim Ferris’s new book: The Four Hour Body (affiliate link).

In Ferris’s book he quotes Peter Drucker, “What gets measured gets managed.” Ferris is talking about body parts and body fat.  Of course, Drucker was talking about business.  Sometimes it’s easier for us to see how powerful a concept is when applied to a different field.  Ferris gives some great examples of people who improved their bodies just by measuring – in one case the individual was explicitly not trying to make any changes.  What should you be measuring in your business that would create change?

If you were away for a year and could only be faxed one variable on your business to see if it was on track, what would you pick?  Measure and monitor that variable over the next quarter and see what kind of results you generate.

Build Systems of Support and Accountability

As business owners, we’re often frustrated by our team and support – or lack thereof.  At various times, we’re each swayed by circumstances and emotions.  Put structures in place that support your forward movement to the goals you are looking to achieve.  I was frustrated by paper flow in my office for years.  I recently hired a part time assistant just to focus on filing and completion of paper based tasks (most of my world is organized electronically).  This one “system” has cleared my space of clutter and prevented bombs that might be hiding in the mail from exploding.

I have an accountability partner I speak with each weekday to review our top tasks for the day.  I finished my book this year (to be published in the spring) because of this support.

What support do you need and how can you set up a game for yourself that will work to help you take all the little steps that lead to big change?

In summary:

1. Measure what you want to change.

2. Create a system to support the right habits.

Please share your stories in the comments of what’s worked for you.

Photo from Flickr

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