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How to Achieve Your Resolutions and Be More Productive This Year

Last updated 3 years ago

I Hope I Can I Hope I Can

I have come to really like January.  I’m rested from the holidays. It’s a fresh start and a new beginning full of hope.

And just like most people, I resolve to change the things I want to improve and set resolutions to become the better me. And also like most people, as time goes on throughout the year, I find those wishful hopes fade off into the distance as I slink back into my comfortable habits.

Well, this year is different, and I invite you to take on the challenge with me!

What’s not different is that I am a productivity nerd. I am always trying to think of ways to be more efficient and better monetize my time.

What is different this year though is I am not going to let the goals be the focus, but instead, let the process be the focal point. Additionally, I’m going to strive to take on small goals, instead of the burden of massive, life-changing resolutions at the start of the year that are practically impossible to achieve without a strategy, a process, to keep me accountable. I’m taking micro bites of action every day, every week, month, quarter, and hope you’ll read on and do the same.

Whether you are looking to grow revenue for your business, be a better leader, increase your productivity, save more money, be healthier, find more time for family, whatever, I am going to highlight a few resources and tools that can help with your journey.

I Think I Can I Think I Can

Okay, it’s getting towards the end of January. You were full of hope a few weeks ago for yourself, your business or career.  So let’s take a few minutes to take stock of where we are, what we want and where we want to be this time next year. Then, let’s focus on a process and tools that can develop proper habits to make resolutions a reality.

Inch by Inch

Early in my career, when I was living in Europe and training with a professional soccer team, I read a lot of sports psychology books that focused on mental toughness, and one saying I picked up has stayed with me throughout my professional career in Sales, Marketing and Consulting… “Inch by Inch, Life’s a Cinch. Yard by Yard, Life is Yard!”

When it comes to goal-setting and goal-achieving, this is a great mantra to live by. Short, sweet and practical!

21 Days to Become a Habit?

Also what’s important to realize is it’s going to take some time for you to change behavior that have become hardened over years. Most research suggests it takes 21 days to become a habit. Others disagree.

The point being, it is going to take time and discipline. So stick with it, and when you feel yourself becoming more uncomfortable and aware, good…it’s working and that’s the time to keep going, not stop!

Develop Your System

Besides being a productivity nerd, I’m also a tech geek. I’ve scoured and practically tried all of the new productivity apps out there…+Gneo, Any.Do, CARROT, IFTTT, Zapierfocus@will, and many others that all have their strengths and drawbacks.

You’ll have to find what works best for you, but two tools that seem to really work well for me that I have consistently stuck with are Clear and Evernote.

Clear is just a super clean and simple to use to do list and uncomplicated task manager. What I like about it is I can create multiple categories (i.e. work, personal, to get, etc,) and if I create one task on one device, like my iPhone, it shows up immediately right in the correct spot on my iPad. This is really helpful!

What I like about Evernote, besides just being a really interesting company, is that it helps to combine the analog and digital worlds really effectively. There is still something about the physical sensation of crossing off a task, or crumpling up a post-it note. Check out how Wade Roush of xconomy has been able to stay organized with Evernote, Post-its and Foamcore.

I think it’s critical that in today’s world we need to leverage the smart pieces of technology in our pocket, BUT, and a big BUT, is to not get too bogged down in the technology itself as life, but the ways it can help us to actually live and enjoy life.

I Know I Can I Know I Can

We all have different personalities and each of us can certainly get to the same desired result using different methods, but I am a huge believer in developing a strategy first and execute second.

Now that’s not to say the system has to be perfect before moving forward with action. I think a 60/40 ratio is appropriate (60% organized and 40% just go for it!). Others may have their differing opinions on that, but the point is to not get stifled with strategy while the world around you keeps moving. Your process will constantly evolve as you move forward.

The point of a strategy is to have something that acts as your foundation. Something you can consistently come back to, utilize the data you collect and go back and improve it.

Having a plan gives you confidence, which in turn keeps you motivated, which in turn gets results.

Here are some great resources for effective strategy ideas:

GTD (Getting Things Done)

Book: “It’s Your Ship”

Inc. Magazine

99U- Insights on Making Ideas Happen

Get Help

According to business leaders, like Michael Alter, the trends for small business owners in 2014 will center on technology and the movement of using more independent contractors and outsourcing

This all leads to being able to increase productivity without having to hire full-time employees.

When finding the right strategy partner, you obviously need to look for integrity, but also don’t get caught in the bad habit of contracting with others who simply agree with you.

A great partner to help with your productivity and business growth is someone who will teach you something new, bring fresh ideas to the table and challenge you on the status quo.

I am a Business Development, Marketing and Technology executive for ReachLocal (NASDAQ: RLOC), and I help businesses better leverage their website and build their web presence in order to stop leaking leads and turn online activity into offline revenue.

We work primarily in the Home Services, Healthcare, Legal, Automotive (Sales & Repair), Education and Real Estate industries with solutions also available for Retail, Wellness, Hospitality, B2B and Specialty Service businesses. Visit www.dontleakleads.com to learn more, or call me directly: (941) 735-3600.

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