The last time I wished someone a Happy New Year today, this thought stopped me mid-sentence:
Everyone says it, but do they know how to do it?
It’s difficult not to look at this week as the first week of a new chance to have what you want in your life–to be happy.
So, we make resolutions. We resolve to stop smoking or to finally lose that twenty pounds, or to make $200,000, or to make more phone calls to prospective clients. And for the next few weeks, we’re busy keeping those resolutions.
Health Club and gym owners usually love this time of year. Lots of signups. Lots of people who, by March, will be paying…but no longer using the facilities.
Does this sound like you? If so, make this the year you actually do what you need to do to be happy:
1. Pick one thing you really want to accomplish, write it down for yourself and tell people about it. Writing makes it real for you and telling people about it makes it difficult to quit without embarrassment. When ancient Greek warriors landed on a shore to conquer an island, their Generals motivated them in a powerful way–they ordered that the boats that brought them to the island be burned, so there was no way to retreat. Make it difficult to retreat.
2. Write down why you want it. Why not more, or less? How painful will it be to you if you try for it and don’t make it? How happy will you be if you do?
3. Take a step–right now, today–towards making it happen and promise yourself that you’ll take another step tomorrow and the next day. You don’t need to start with a plan, you need to start with action.
4. Develop a plan that allows you to tackle obstacles as they arise in your path. Start taking action first, then try to “see the battlefield,” as marketing guru Mark Joyner says, and be flexible but be relentless.
5. Don’t do it alone. Do you really want this to be a happy year? Recognize that even the most disciplined of us does better when there is someone to brainstorm with, report to, and hold us accountable. Whether you hire a coach, join a mastermind group, or draft a friend for the job, get help with it. Remember this dialogue from the movie, My Cousin Vinny?…
Vinny Gambini: My problem is, I wanted to win my first case without any help from anybody.
Mona Lisa Vito: Well, I guess that plan’s moot.
Vinny Gambini: Yeah.
Mona Lisa Vito: You know, this could be a sign of things to come. You win all your cases, but with somebody else’s help, right? you win case after case, and then afterwards you have to go up to somebody and you have to say, “thank you.”
Mona Lisa Vito: Oh my God, what a [f——] nightmare!