By John Joe McGinley, ideas and action planning consultant, Glassagh Consulting
Make your ideas come alive with an action plan and written goals, rather than resolutions, in 2017.
So what was your new year’s resolution for 2017? Did you pledge to get fit and lose weight after the festive excesses or even give up drinking after visiting the recycling centre and dropping off those wine bottles?
Personally, I am no fan of New Year’s resolutions, as statistically not many of us stick to them.
A recent study from the University of Bristol found that 88% of people who make their pledges as January 1st approaches fail to be successful.
While research by private health company Bupa was even more damning, and found nearly half of Brits (43%) lasted less than a month, and 66% lasted two months or less.
Staggeringly, 80% of people didn’t make it to the end of March before going back to their old ways.
I don’t set resolutions, as we see most fail and most very quickly. But I am a believer in the power of goals and preparing for the future, whilst harnessing simple techniques to ensure your dreams succeed.
Here are nine techniques I would recommend every individual and indeed business adopts to achieve their goals for 2017 and beyond:
1. Be your very own Nostradamus
Knowledge is power when it comes to planning for your future. Two important steps need to be taken and understood. The first is to know where you are so you have a benchmark from which to move forward for.
Then, it’s about harnessing your inner Nostradamus to see what the future could bring and how you could adapt to meet it or embrace the opportunities available.
When you step back and look at how our world will evolve, then all sorts of possibilities will arise. It is then up to you which you wish to pursue and those you choose to ignore.
2. See what others can’t get and go for it
Success in life or business is about solving problems and sticking to a plan. Yes, many of us have ideas for success, but how many of us have fallen by the wayside as day-to-day events impact upon us and drive us off-course?
If you have an idea and see how it can be implemented write your plan and stay focused before someone else makes your idea his or her reality.
3. Don’t go into battle blind
Would you go on holiday without researching your destination? Would you buy a new PC without working out what you need it for? So why do so many businesses trade without an action plan for their future and why do so many of us go through life without setting goals?
Success in life or business is about solving problems and sticking to a plan
Without a plan, is it any wonder that many of us look back on lost opportunities or feel regret for those dreams that remain unfulfilled?
Life is not easy, it can sometimes be a battle but we have a greater chance of success if we have a plan which is written and which we stick to because we know it makes sense and we believe in it.
4. Pick your battles
It’s no fun being all things to all people and doing everything for everyone! Too many businesses try and do so many things because they have always done them.
An ingredient of a successful person is the ability to say no. To move on from activities that add no real value to your business or hold you back from achieving your goals.
As part of your goals and action plan for 2017, I’d urge you all to list what you know you can stop doing for others or what restricts your personal growth.
It’s not easy, but an exercise well worth doing, that can both empower and energise you and your business.
5. Know who matters to you?
If you have your ideas written down you can then identify the alliances you need to establish to make your plan work. For every alliance you have or make, I’d give you this litmus test: is it a true partnership?
Does it reward both parties and more importantly does it either provide profit for your business whilst delivering a satisfying service for all your clients? If not, is it a partnership worth continuing?
6. Seek out help
The power of hearing the words “I can help you” should never be underestimated. Effective networking is a key element of success in life and business. When was the last time you reviewed your networking strategy?
Yes, I said strategy because networking is a skill and like any skill it has to be practiced and refined even if you feel it comes naturally. A key part of that skill is positivity people respond to positive people.
No matter how you’re feeling, when you meet new connections, remember that people enjoy doing business with people they like. So smile and be happy.
7. Be your own best friend
A best friend is someone you can trust with your deepest secrets, rely on in moments of crisis and celebrate meaningful life events with.
… networking is a skill and like any skill it has to be practiced and refined even if you feel it comes naturally
But developing the skills to be your own best friend means you can rely on your own judgment and be your own source of comfort when you need advice or support. So why don’t you try this in 2017?
8. Don’t be a Luddite
We should not be afraid of any technology that can help us achieve our goals or implement our plans. The secret is to harness it ourselves or get others to do it for us.
Social media is here to stay and I would urge you all to consider how best to use it for your business and personal life.
9. Enjoy the ride
I’d urge you all to plan for the future and enjoy the thrill and challenge of making your ideas a reality and achieving your goals.
In fact, I’d go so far as to give you the challenge of making 2017 the year in which you make your ideas come alive, with an action plan and written goals rather than resolutions we all know we won’t stick to.
About the blogger
John Joe McGinley is passionate and highly motivated marketer and business change consultant with over 29 years’ experience working with businesses helping them with marketing, business change and social media.
After many years working in the UK for major life insurance companies as a business consultant, he has relocated to Ireland with his family and is in the process of establishing his own social media and business change consultancy in the heart of the Donegal Gaeltacht, Glassagh Consulting.
Follow John Joe on Twitter here.