Ep. 208: Why 80% Won’t Keep Their New Year’s Resolutions

5 Tips for How to Keep New Year’s Resolutions

Many of us make new year’s resolutions for our personal growth, but what about for growing our businesses? And how can we make sure we reach our goals?

Whether you’re searching for how to stick to new year resolutions, how to reach your goals, or how to keep a promise to yourself, the advice from experts is relatively the same.

  1. Select S.M.A.R.T. goals.
  2. Develop a plan to get you there.
  3. Plan for problems.
  4. Be patient and get support.
  5. Find a way to re-motivate yourself.


Be S.M.A.R.T. about your goals

The S.M.A.R.T. goals acronym stands for:

  • Specific: The more precise and simpler your goal, the more you’ll be able to focus on it.
  • Measurable: Tracking your progress is a source of motivation and shows your progress.
  • Achievable: You can stretch yourself a bit, but don’t set yourself up for failure. Be reasonable.
  • Relevant: Make your goal important to you. Connect it to your values and your priorities. To help make your goal relevant and serve as a source of inspiration, make a list of all your reasons for achieving your goal—what you’ll gain and what you might lose if you don’t reach it.
  • Time-bound: Give yourself a deadline. It will help you focus, know what you are striving toward, and avoid procrastinating.

You can find some examples of S.M.A.R.T. goals that can help you grow your business here.

Having (a) specific and simple goals, (b) which are important to you (c) and give you a reasonable chance for success, (d) and that allow you to measure your progress (e) with a clear end in sight, will give you the best chance at achieving them.

Determine how you will get there

If you want to reach a goal or keep a new year’s resolution, you need to have a plan that will point the way.

First, you need to know exactly what must be done to achieve your goal. The best way to do that is to reverse engineer them.

When you reverse engineer your goals, you start with the end point in mind and work backward.

If, for example, you want to increase new leads by 10%, how many opportunities will that take?

First, you need to determine what a 10% increase is. For ease, let’s say you get 100 new leads a year. To increase that by 10%, you’ll need to find another 10 new leads.

If it typically takes you 10 opportunities to create one new lead, then you’ll need 100 opportunities for the year or 8.34 opportunities a month.

What do you need to do to get 8.34 opportunities a month?

  • How any phone calls do you need to make?
  • How many prospects do you need to farm?
  • How many website visits need to happen?
  • How many Facebook ads do you need to run?

Your plan should be a detailed accounting of everything you need to do to reach your end goal. If you reach these milestones, your goal is in the bag.

Use this free lead calculator and free marketing revenue calculator to help you determine your goals and the marketing budget you’ll need to reach them. Simply plug in your numbers and the math will be done for you.

Be prepared for obstacles

If 2020 taught us anything it’s that businesses need to be prepared for the unexpected. While we can’t plan for every eventuality, you will be more likely to reach your goals and be able to maintain more control if you have a contingency plan in place.

Write down what might reasonably be expected to happen that could throw your business off-track. Then make a plan that still gets you to your goal (or at least close to it).

For example, if your goal to get 100 new leads is thwarted by a new competitor, what can you do to compensate for the added competition?

The more proactive you are in getting ahead of and preparing for problems, the more likely you’ll experience them as bumps in the road rather than as immovable roadblocks.

Be patient and get support

Whether you’re learning something new, taking a chance, or changing a long-standing habit, it’s going to take a while before you reach the finish line. You’ll get much farther if you are patient with yourself and you get some support.

Luke once commented in an episode that people will spend thousands of dollars to get a college education they may not use, but they won’t pay for a business coach who could be the inspiration and source of much needed and practical advice.

Maybe this is the year you decide to get that coach.

Re-motivate yourself

For the first few days or weeks, keeping a resolution may not be difficult. You’re hyped and confident, you’re not feeling deprived, nothing hurts, and you’re looking forward to victory.

But after a while, running at 5 a.m. becomes a drag, chocolate becomes harder to resist, and headaches from nicotine withdrawal make you seriously cranky.

This is exactly when you need to remind yourself of your why . . . why did you make your resolution in the first place?

Whether you decided to set a goal because you wanted something different for yourself or because you’re doing it for someone you love, trust, and respect, now’s the time to revisit your source of motivation.

Look again at your list of reasons for what made your goal relevant.

What do you stand to gain by reaching your goal? What you will lose if you don’t?

Try to add more reasons to your list. The more incentive you have, the more you are likely to achieve what you set out to do.


Key Points

  • Reverse engineer your goals to find out exactly what you need to do to achieve them.
  • You have the most opportunity to reach your goals when they are S.M.A.R.T. goals.
  • The goals that have an emotional connection with what’s important to you are the ones you’ll be motivated to meet.

Action Item

Plan your goals and tie them to something emotional that will motivate you.

Connect | Resources

Twyla Tharp, The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use it for Life

James Clear, Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

Ep. 117: Tom Ferry—The Five Things You Need to Build a Thriving Business

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