“Greatness is a lot of small things done well, stacked up on each other.” Ray Lewis
Does this sound familiar?
It’s New Years day. All of the chaos from Xmas is done and dusted, and you feel ready to take on the world again. So it’s time to make a few New Years Resolutions.
However there is a problem with this scenario which is? You never actually completed any of the resolutions from last year did you? But this year will be different you tell yourself, this year I am going to make them stick.
Really will you? I mean how many times previously have you made New Years Resolutions that you have actually kept? At this point if you are still reading I have to say I am impressed. Why?
Because up until now I have been quite blunt in an attempt to weed out those that don’t want to take responsibility for themselves, and are quite happy to use any old excuse to fail again.
That is not you though, because you know deep down that you need to change what you are doing to get a better result. You are still reading because you want to know if this is the thing that can bring about that change for you right?
By the way, not for one minute am I claiming to be immune to failing or straying off track with goals and resolutions. Hence the countless hours I have spent this year learning what I am about to share with you.
How do I know this works then you must be thinking? I mean I have just admitted to not being a goal achieving guru or possessing some sort of super willpower. Goal achieving guru I may not be, but I did manage to pull this off.
Every year since 2008 I have participated in a program called the Thirty Day Challenge and guess what? Before this year I have never fully completed it. That was until this year when the challenge this year was to?
Write and publish a book on the kindle store in under 60 days. No easy feat let me tell you. So by now you have well and truly established why you want to do this, so let’s get into how you make this happen.
First things first. Pick the resolution that is going to make the most difference in your life, work on it get it under control and then work on the next one.
My Dad used to say bite off more then you can chew and then chew like hell. Now he gave me tons of excellent advice during his lifetime, but that particular piece has been disastrous for me. In fact that very habit lead to me burning out twice and pushing my body into chronic fatigue. All my fault I made the decisions, I am just saying is that it doesn’t work.
Do this instead.
Bite off small chunks that you can chew up and spit out quickly. Meeting milestones regularly (no matter how small) does wonders for you confidence, and quickly builds momentum. For arguments sake lets say that you want to write a book just like I did. This is what you need to take into consideration before you get started.
What does this project look like when it is finished?
- How many pages does it have.
- What type of book will it be.
- What market am I writing it for.
What purpose will it serve. Email lead generation, build authority?
- What needs to be done?
- Write the outline.
- Write the content.
- Find images.
- Edit the book.
- Upload and publish.
- Market and sell it.
What is the quickest way to get it done?
- What do you need to actually do?
- What tools could speed up the process?
- What can you delegate or outsource to someone else?
Next step is to make appointments with yourself. That is not a misprint. If you are serious about writing this book you need to block out a specific time each day to work on it. It doesn’t have to be a huge amount of time, just block out ½ hour each day to focus solely on completing your book. You should also aim to make it the same time every day.
Here is a quick old school tip to block this time out and to track how well you stick to your plan. It’s a strategy that Jerry Seinfeld uses. What he does is set himself a goal to write one new joke every day. He tracks his progress on a calendar by marketing a red cross through every day he does this.
His goal is to never break the chain of red crosses. Added bonus of using the calendar is that you have a visual representation that you can look back through later to find your strengths and weaknesses. Another great advantage this strategy provides is that you can mark events (birthdays, trips, holidays etc) on it that are likely to derail your momentum. When you can see they are coming up you can plan for them and ensure that your chain doesn’t get broken.
So now you have a system to personally track your progress and keep you on track, it’s time to really turn the heat up on you with peer pressure. There are two excellent online programs that you can use to do this, they are stickk and I done this. They work along a similar train of thought, but the one we are going to focus on today is I done this.
What is I done this?
I done this is a collaborative online platform where you can manage team performance. It is used by companies such as American express, shoppify and foursquare.
How does it work?
Every evening you (and your whole team) gets a reminder email. All you need to do is reply to this email with your achievements for the day. The next day your whole team gets a digest of what everyone achieved the day before.
Why does I done this work so well?
Because there is no where to hide. Everyone in your team is watching (peer pressure), and you don’t want to be the slacker that dropped the ball and let the team down do you? So instead of making some lousy excuse for sitting in front of the TV and not putting in that ½ that you promised yourself into your book. You make damn sure that you get it done!
Last thing before I go. If you need just a little more inspiration to help you decide on your goals for 2014 then the video below is awesome. When you have decided what your first goal is, drop a comment below letting me know. That way I can put some peer pressure on you to make it happen!