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How I No Longer Fail My New Year’s Resolutions

How I No Longer Fail My New Year’s Resolutions

If you think, right now, of your New Year’s resolutions, what would you say about them? Would you jump up on your feet and enthusiastically start talking about your progress? Or would you barely remember them, thinking that this is yet another year you didn’t keep up with your promises?

If you don’t fire out all your goals straight away, or if you don’t feel really great about your progress, then I encourage you to read some tips on how to achieve your New Year’s resolutions. They really improved my progress, and I hope they will inspire you to make a new, fresh start.

Years ago, I was all excited when the New Year came, talking to my spouse about what I am going to accomplish that year. But a few months passed, and I had already forgotten more than half of my New Year’s resolutions, while the other half had not been even remotely achieved. One day, I stopped, thought about all my goal-setting strategy, and completely changed my approach. I became much more systematic, and the results showed very quickly: now I achieve more than 90% of all my New Year’s resolutions! So what have I changed?

1. Write down your resolutions

When I first wrote all my New Year’s resolutions down on paper, I felt a little bit foolish, thinking, “I know them all anyway, why bother writing them down?” It took me more than half a day! But it was worth doing. Why?

Writing your resolutions down on paper makes you far more committed and far less likely to forget them. Just think of what happens when you go shopping without your list. You forget to bring home half of the things you need.

Statistics show that people who write their goals down are 80% more likely to achieve them than the people who don’t.

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2. Put your emotions into your resolutions

There is a way to empower your goal setting: when writing goals down, put all of your emotions into them. Imagine the happiness when you pass the exam, imagine how you feel when you put your hands on the leather steering wheel of your new car, smell the fresh color of your newly renovated apartment.

I found out that if I can’t feel my goals when writing them down, then those goals are not really what I deeply wish to happen. So, whenever you write your goals, imagine how you will feel once you reach them.

3. Break it down

Have you ever tried to eat a whole apple in just one bite?

It works the same way with your goals. Break them down into small, managable pieces. See what you can achieve in the first 3 months, then what you can achieve in 6 months, 9 months, and finally in a year.

The feeling of succeeding at each step on your way to your New Year’s resolutions is so rewarding that you will enjoy the journey, not just the final victory.

4. Set up specific days

Last year I decided to gain some muscle mass. I knew I had to do my exercises regularly (apart from taking great care with my diet), not allowing myself to make any excuses. So I set up specific days when I would go to work out.

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I highly encourage you to set specific days or specific hours when you do the things which will bring you closer to your goals. You might set up half an hour every morning to read a motivational book, or go jogging 3 times per week.

Stick to your routine, no matter what. Once you get into a habit, the habit becomes part of you, and suddenly you start to do it naturally.

5. Measure your progress regularly

I do my body scan at least once a month to measure my progress in gaining muscle mass so that I can do some minor corrections in my exercise and nutrition routine, if necessary. Measure your progress on your way: how much weight you lost last week, what is the progress of your sales skills, how much money you saved this month, etc.

6. Show your New Year’s resolutions to your spouse/best friend

When you show your resolutions to your close friend, it automatically makes you feel much more committed. I show my New Year resolutions to my spouse and my children, and if you have children, you know that they can be really tough judges!

You can even take it a step further: write some of your goals on your Facebook profile!

7. Use the rule BE, DO, HAVE

We usually think of what we want to HAVE: more money, more freedom, more love, etc.

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When writing my goals I always ask myself what kind of a person I have to BE first, in order to DO things in a certain way which will lead me to HAVE a desired thing. Start thinking in the “BE, DO, HAVE” way, and your effectiveness will significantly improve.

8. Put just a little pressure on yourself

We all procrastinate, sometimes. How can we avoid it?

Pay some cash to your spouse/best friend/your children when you don’t keep up with your promises. If you don’t want to be broke, you better keep doing what is necessary to reach your New Year’s resolutions. I keep my “procrastination money” well in control.

9. Make a dream board

Go to Google, find out all the nice things you want to be, want to do, and want to have. Cut out a perfect body you want to have and stick the photo of your face on it, find a beautiful car you wish to have, whatever you wish. Place your dream board somewhere so that you can see it every day.

My dream board is hanging on the wall of my bedroom so it always reminds me where I want to be heading towards.

10. Reward yourself

Whenever I reach a significant step on my way to my New Year’s resolutions, I take my family to a nice restaurant. (My children always remind me if there is too much time between celebrations).

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Never forget to reward yourself when you reach a milestone on your way. It will make you proud of yourself and will increase your confidence.

11. Use visualisation every day

Every morning, I wake up half an hour earlier just to visualise all my New Year’s resolutions. I see them one after the other and I try to see all the details. I repeat the process when I go to bed.

Tip: When visualizing your goals, don’t make only static pictures, like a car and nothing else. See yourself moving in your pictures, see yourself driving that car. This technique was developed years ago by Russian athletic teams, and it is really powerful.

12. And finally: Find a mentor

If you have really high goals, you need some guidance. There is no better way to achieve your goals than to have a mentor who has already walked the way you are on.

This doesn’t mean that you need to have your mentor in person. I have a mentor for online marketing, but I have never spoken to him in person. I take advice from him via webinars and newsletters. You can even find your mentor in books or YouTube videos.

Put these things into practice, and I am sure that in a short period of time, you will notice significant progress on your way to accomplishing your New Year’s resolutions like I did. And when somebody asks you about your resolutions, you will jump up on your feet and excitedly talk about your great progress.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on March 15, 2019

How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

When I began managing people 15 years ago, I thought having a fancy title was synonymous with influence. Over time, I learned that power is conferred based on likeability, authenticity, courage, relationships and consistent behavior. When leaders cultivate these attributes, they earn power, which really means influence.

Understanding influence is essential to professional growth, and companies rise and fall based on the quality of their leadership.

In this article, we will look into the essentials of effective leadership and how to be a leader who is inspiring and influential.

What Makes a Leader Fail?

A host of factors influence a leader’s ability to succeed. To the extent that leaders fail to outline a compelling vision and strategy, they risk losing the trust and confidence of their teams. Employees want to know where a company is going and the strategy for how they will get there. Having this information enables employees to feel safe, and it allows them to see mistakes as part of the learning journey versus as fatal occurrences.

If employees and customers do not believe a company’s leadership is authentic and inspiring, they may disengage, or they may be less inclined to offer constructive criticism that can help a company innovate or help a leader improve.

And it is not just the leadership at the top that matters. Middle managers play a distinct role in guiding teams. Depending on the company’s size, employees may have more access to mid-level managers than they do members of the C-suite, meaning their supervisors and managers have greater influence on the employee and the customer experience.

What Is Effective Leadership?

Effective leadership is inspiring, and it is influential. Cultivating inspiring and influential leaders requires building relationships across the company.

Leaders must be connected to both the teams they lead as well as to their own colleagues and managers. This is key as titles do not make a person a leader, nor do they automatically confer influence. These are earned through trusting relationships. This explains why some leaders can get more out of their teams than others and why some leaders experience soaring profits and engagement while others sizzle out.

Eric Garton said in an April 25, 2017, Harvard Business Review article:[1]

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“… inspiring leaders are those who use their unique combination of strengths to motivate individuals and teams to take on bold missions – and hold them accountable for results. And they unlock higher performance through empowerment, not command and control.”

How to Be an Inspiring and Influential Leader

To be an inspiring and influential leader requires:

1. Courage

The late poet Maya Angelou once said,

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”

Courage is required in the workplace when implementing new strategies, especially when they go against professional norms.

For instance, I heard Lisa TerKeurst, bestselling author and founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries, explain her decision to move away from her company’s magazine. While the organization had long had a magazine, she saw a future where it didn’t exist.

In order to make the switch, she risked angering her team members and customers. She took a chance, and what started out as a monthly newsletter, has grown into a multi-dimensional organization boasting half a million followers. Had Lisa not found the courage to change the direction of her organization, they undoubtedly would not have been able to experience such exponential growth.

It also takes courage to give and receive feedback. When leaders see employees who are not living into the company’s mission or who are engaging in behavior that may undermine their long-term success, one must risk temporary angst and speak candidly with the colleague in question.

Similarly, it takes courage to hear constructive criticism and try to change. In business, as in life, courage is necessary for being an inspiring and influential leader.

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2. A Commitment to Face Your Internal Demons.

If you feel great about yourself, enter a leadership position. You are likely to be triggered in ways you didn’t think possible. You are also likely to receive feedback that may leave you second-guessing yourself and your leadership skills.

The truth about leading others is that you get to a point where you realize that it is difficult to take people to places where you yourself haven’t gone.

To be an influential and inspiring leader, you have to face your own demons and vow to continually improve. Influential leaders take their personal evolution serious, and they invest in coaching, therapy and mindfulness to ensure that their personal struggles do not overshadow their professional development.

3. A Willingness to Accept Feedback

Inspiring and influential leaders are not afraid to accept feedback. In fact, they actively solicit it. They understand that everyone in their life has a lesson to teach them, and they are willing to accept it.

Inspirational leaders understand that feedback is neither good nor bad but rather an offering that is critical to growth. Even when it hurts or is an affront to the ego, influential leaders understand that feedback is critical to their ability to lead.

4. Likability

Some people will argue that leaders need not worry about being liked but should instead focus on being respected. I disagree. Both are important.

When team members like their boss and believe their boss likes them, they are more likely to go the extra mile to fulfill departmental or organizational goals. Likable leaders are moved to the front of the line when it comes to being influential.

Relatedly, when colleagues feel management dislikes them, they experience internal stress and can spend unnecessary time focusing on the source of their manager’s discontent versus the work they have been hired to do.

So, likability is important for both the leader and the people she leads.

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5. Vulnerability

Vulnerability is critical for being an inspiring leader. People want the truth. They admire leaders who can occasionally demonstrate vulnerability. It promotes deeper relationships and inspires trust.

When leaders can showcase vulnerability appropriately, they destroy the illusion that one must be perfect to be a leader. They also demonstrate that vulnerability is not a dirty word; they too can be vulnerable and ask for a helping hand when necessary.

6. Authenticity

Authenticity is about living up to one’s stated values in public and behind closed doors.

Influential leaders are authentic. They set to live out their values and use those values to guide their decisions. The interesting thing about leadership is that people are not looking for perfect leaders. They are, in part, looking for leaders who are authentic.

7. A True Understanding of Inspiration

Effective leaders are inspirational. They understand the power of words and deeds and use both strategically.

Inspiring leaders appropriately use stories and narratives to enable the teams around them to see common situations in an entirely new light.

Inspirational leaders also showcase grit and triumph while convincing the people around them that success and victory are attainable.

Finally, inspiring leaders encourage the teams they lead to tap into their own genius. They convince others that genius is not reserved for a select few but that most people have it in them.

As explained in the article True Leadership: What Separates a Leader from a Boss:

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“A leader creates visions and motivates team members to work together towards the same goal.”

8. An Ability to See the Humanity in Others

Inspiring and influential leaders see the humanity in others. Rather than treating their teams as mere tools to accomplish organizational goals, they believe the people around them are unique beings with inherent value.

This means knowing when to pause to address personal challenges and dispelling with the myth that the personal is separate from the professional.

9. A Passion for Continual Learning

Inspiring and influential leaders are committed to continual learning. They invest in their own development and take responsibility for their professional growth.

These leaders understand that like a college campus, the workplace is a laboratory for learning. They believe that they can learn from multiple generations in the workplace as well as from people from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Influential leaders proactively seek out opportunities for learning.

The Bottom Line

No one said leadership was easy, but it is also a joy. Influencing others to action and positively impacting the lives of others is a reward unto itself.

Since leadership abounds, there is an abundance of resources to help you grow into the type of leader who inspires and influences others.

More Resources About Effective Leadership

Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Harvard Business Review: How to Be an Inspiring Leader

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