So we are now entering the 3rd week of January and already I have noticed that there are fewer cars parked outside the gym which I go to. On the 3rd of January I was parked 4 rows from the entrance but now it seems that there is space to park in the 2nd row for me. The gym is still busy though but clearly not as busy as it was that 1st week of Jan.
When it comes to New Years Resolutions, stats tell us that only 8% of people achieve them. In fact the Washington Post Reported that before the first month of the year has even come to an end, most people have given up on their annual commitment to themselves
Often the reason for this is that we are trying to do too much at once. Lets use health as an example (Health is the most common resolution people make). We decide this year we are going to lose weight! In January we make the following commitment:
- Run 20-30 minutes every week day
- No Carbs
- No Sweets or fizzy drinks
- Go to gym 3 times a week
- Start an eating plan to monitor calorie intake
- Drink 3 litres of water a day
This is just too much and we get demotivated. It is like drinking water out of a fire hydrant and at the end of it you are soaking wet and still thirsty. The best bet is to select one or two of the items on the list to focus on. For example: Say we choose Point 1. Run 20-30 minutes and Point 5. Start an eating plan. After 2 to 4 weeks monitor progress and then ask yourself the following: What must I start doing, what must I stop doing and what must I continue doing. This allows us to make small changes, that over time, have a lasting impact on our results. In the example above, we chose Point 1 and Point 5, after 2 weeks we may now decide the following:
- I will start doing park runs every Saturday to compliment the training. This means I include the family who can walk or run the route with me
- I will stop eating sweets and fizzy drinks during the week to compliment my eating program
- I will continue to do my 20-30 minute run every week day
The fire hydrant is now a tap that we can open and drink from as and when needed. Now we are feeling better about ourselves. Monitoring our process means we will see gains. A fitness expert shared on social media not too long ago that we need to note the following: When we are training it will take 4 weeks for us to feel good, 8 weeks for us to see a results and 12weeks for others to notice. We need to remember then, change takes time.
This process of START, STOP, CONTINUE applies to our work goals too. Create the goal and set the vision: If one of your goals is to become more strategic in the business (as an example). Then you need to ask yourself the same 3 questions: What must I start doing, what must I stop doing and what must I continue doing. An example could be
- I must start writing an article every friday
- I must stop doing tasks that are the responsibility of others in the team (it is demotivating for them).
- I must continue looking for talented people to join my team
Reflecting on the START, STOP, CONTINUE concept every week will ensure that we are focused on the activities that will generate the results we want. We can also very quickly see what is not working for us and then make a decision to change the desired outcome. In the words of Will Durant – We are what we repeatedly do. Go out and focus on your goals and make 2019 the best year ever.