Firstly, I want to wish you and your loved ones all the very best for 2022. May it bring you great health, happiness, and many rewarding moments of feeling vibrantly alive.
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While life does throw us the unexpected to varying degrees almost every day, I will focus content for you – for us – on what you can control to do your best to leave as little to chance as possible this year. Now is the time to at least have a plan for your best ever year. Why not?
What are the breakthroughs you want this year?
I’d not asked myself this question in previous years and I urge you to do the same. It’s not the same as listing out goals (which many of you have already done by now).
The easiest way to start is by areas of your life:
What would be a breakthrough for you with your health? I like to start with health because we are no good to anyone without it. It has to be a priority, or we pay a high price much sooner in life than we can imagine.
Most of us have been in good shape at some point. Would your breakthrough be to attain a certain level of fitness or a certain weight? Or would the real breakthrough for you be in sustaining good shape?
What would be a breakthrough with each of your closest personal relationships this year?
It’s a wonderful question to consider. Breakthrough is your definition. It could just be a shift from ‘mostly contentious’ to ‘steady’ or 7/10 to 9/10. It could be ‘patient 80% of the time with (person)’.
The key to improving relationships is that they start with you, and they start with verbs – with doing – being more loving, supportive, patient, interested, accepting, empathic, responsible, forgiving etc. I often need reminding that we cannot expect other people to change but we can control what we do, and we can change if we want to.
I also need reminding that almost everyone does the best they can with the skills they have. It’s the same for you and me: what skill area do you most need to work on?
What would be a breakthrough for your business this year? Your finances? Your level of fun? You get the idea.
Write them down if you’ve not done so already.
You will probably want to prioritize your list and only work on a small number at a time as it is not realistic to focus on multiple anything and do it really well. As the Chinese proverb says: He who chases two rabbits catches none.
You might need to experiment with the ‘right’ number for you. I love this concept because it gives me permission to make mistakes, change my mind and not be perfect about it. A-types typically try to do too many at once and usually get frustrated and give up – I’ve done this far more times than I’d ever care to recall. Experiment and if you are trying to change too much too fast, re-prioritize, shorten your list, and make a note to revisit your list in a future month. We have to go to the gym forever, so whatever you decide, IT’S OKAY. Just stay in the race!
What your responses will reveal is that to get a breakthrough and some really rewarding outcomes, it is going to involve strong habits. Big self-discipline muscles. Consistency.
The first one-three weeks of the new year are fairly easy, but after that is when most people start to wane and give up because:
We all-too-quickly start to talk ourselves out of it
The unempowering hard-wired subconscious beliefs and stories have not been exposed and denounced
Our sense of worthiness is not high enough
Our hope that we’d see quicker positive results gets dented
We realize it’s going to be hard work
Our grit levels are too low
We start to remember past failures as proof we are wasting our time
No one else is supporting us in our efforts to change
We may be trying to change too many big things at once instead of making small incremental change
We get demoralized by watching the news
We compare ourselves to others when scrolling through social media and feel envy at their pretend-perfect lives and ‘genius’
– and this may only be the start of the list.
How do you avoid this? Be aware of these pitfalls and get specific about daily and weekly habits you need and ways to monitor your progress or keep your breakthrough top of mind. The daily battle is to make it as easy as possible to keep your thinking focused on what you want and what you’re doing right to get there to keep your thinking off the above traps.
We underestimate how much effort, strategy, planning, and tools this requires.
That’s why I recommend using a Daily Habit Tracker (attached below or email for a pdf) as one tool that helps. It is easy to use with measurable habits such as ‘exercise for 30 minutes and ‘make 5 prospecting calls.’ For skill areas that are less tangible to keep track of, use the daily question format:
On a scale of 1-10 today, did I do my best to…
Be patient with my children?
Be loving with my partner?
Be empathic with my clients?
Not take things personally?
Make healthy food choices?
These questions are quite powerful. Assuming these are areas you need and want to improve on, after about two weeks of continued mediocre scores you will usually either be so embarrassed that you start to make a change, or you will give up and take it off your list!
Lastly, if you’d like a breakthrough to be happier this year and enjoy your one life, well that’s a different balancing act between wanting to achieve more AND enjoying the present and what you already have.
It helps to have a daily question as a reminder that ends with:
Know I am enough already?
Life is too short to strive all year and not enjoy yourself along the way.
To your breakthroughs in 2022!
Founder & President
Matt Anderson International
1177 Oak Ridge Drive, Glencoe, IL 60022, USA
Phone: +001 (312) 622-3121