Each new year is laden with possibilities like the pages of a new journal. At the beginning of a new year, many of us make resolutions. However, we often make the resolutions quickly with very little thought as to what is or isnít working in our lives. As a result, the resolutions usually fail, sometimes even before the holiday decorations are taken down and packed away.
Instead of haphazardly making resolutions that are almost certain to fail, why not try a new approach? Why not look over the past year, or even five years, and take an inventory of your life and business? Just as at the end of a meeting, you determine what went well and what didnít, you can look at the big meeting that just ended (the last one to five years) and decide what is working and should be continued and what isnít working and needs to be changed.
With New Yearís resolutions, we often reflect on those areas in our lives that are problems for us and we would like to change. What about considering what is working in our lives and should be continued? Often we never pay attention to these areas. Most of us do some things very well and if we find ways to do them even better, we can easily improve the quality of our lives and success of our businesses.
For instance, do you find it easy to talk to others? If so, maybe you can become even more adept at this skill by taking a communications course or volunteering for a position in one of your professional organizations that will allow you to interact with people with whom you would not normally come into contact? Either approach would allow you to take something you do well and improve upon it. Very often our strengths, especially if we work to continually improve them, can overcome many of our weaknesses.
Now what about those areas that could benefit from some improvement? One of the problems with creating resolutions in these areas is that we want to make major changes in a very short period of time. The task then becomes overwhelming because it requires us to make too many changes at one time, so we give up in frustration. Instead of trying to make major changes, why not opt for a series of minor changes? Minor changes are easier to accomplish and the success we achieve at each level often leads to future successes.
If you want to increase your sales revenue for the year, start by increasing your number of customer contacts. When you are comfortable with this, begin to apply new sales techniques in your presentations. Then begin to ask for referrals after your client tells you how thrilled he is with your service. Do these steps, one at a time, until you achieve a level of comfort, then add additional steps. Each small change will lead you to your ultimate goal. As the saying goes, ďHow do you eat an elephant?Ē -- one slice at a time. You make long lasting changes the same way -- one step at a time.
So the pages of a new year are blank and ready to be filled with the continuing adventure of your life and business. Consider what you do well and improve upon it. Decide what you want to change and proceed to do so, one step at a time. You can make a conscious choice as to how to write your book so it can be filled with those things you truly desire.
Della Menechella is a speaker and trainer who helps organizations achieve greater success by improving the performance of their people. She is a contributing author to Thriving in the Midst of Change and the author of the videotape The Twelve Commandments of Goal Setting. She can be reached at 732-985-1919 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.dellamenechella.com for other free articles about how to achieve peak performance.
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