Dear New Year’s Resolution,
Well, it was fun while it lasted,
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
The End of Year Confidence Crisis.
There is a couple of major problems with setting resolutions. We love to reflect at this time of the year. However, we all have a tendency to focus on the negative.
What am I bad at? What am I doing wrong? Well, starting next year, I won’t be bad at that, and I won’t do that wrong.
And as we all know, the resolutions set for New Year and beyond, seldom last.
Because the results take too long to appear. Most of these resolutions are long term aims, that will require genuine dedication to them.
Like, commitment that lasts longer than just the month of January.
We get disheartened. We get down. We give up. We resort back to previous state, and tell ourselves it will be different next time.
Last year I made a resolution to read more books. I literally read every day that this process would make me smarter and improve my life tenfold. Fuck, it probably will. So I decided that 2018 was going to be the year I consumed books like some kind of reading machine.
I think I managed like 2.
Maybe this year…
New Year, New Startup
Startups and founders fall into this trap as well, myself included.
Every year, the new year bells ring and we move the goal posts.
This year we will make a million pounds. This year we will ditch the website, and make an app. This year we will ditch the app and make a website.
And so on.
Why do we change our goals?
Because we haven’t seen the returns we think we should have. The outcome is usually “fuck it”, lets do this instead.
Here is the problem.
Long term goals are great to have. As long as they are reasonable and they are achievable, they will serve as a great guide for your business, or your life.
Yet they also serve as distraction from the ‘now’.
I only ever look around 6 months ahead. I set targets and time for evaluation in the summer, and before Christmas. No five year plan. Just reachable, tangible steps.
So this new year, why not set goals that can be tackled and achieved, daily, weekly and monthly?
What if you could remove the year long, try and give up cycle, and replace it with aims and resolutions that can return real results, right away?
Focus on Progress Points.
Don’t just put the project deadline in the calendar, and stare it with a feeling of dread, as it slowly creeps closer.
Set up daily ‘progress points’ that need to be achieved.
These could be things like getting an initial design sketched out. It could be tying up some details over email with a client.
They are tasks that can be done in a short space of time. The more of these you can get done in the day, the more you can chip away at the overall work. Not only will this allow you to keep your work focused and stay on target, but it will build up momentum and positivity.
These little goals, these little wins, build up fast.
The daily points lead, in turn, onto weekly progress points.
These involve larger components of the project, such as a certain part of the programme being coded, or a chapter of a book being finished. If you are working in a team, the daily points everyone was working on individually may pull together to form this weekly target.
All of a sudden, shit is getting done. Those aims you left way in the distance, start to draw nearer.
Who would have thought it?
Momentum is everything in a startup, and the only way to build this is by achieving daily goals.
The tortoise and the hare.
You know the story.
Taking smaller steps, one by one, never stopping, will win you the race.
Try It For Yourself.
Below is a tool you can use to break down your long term aims, into reachable and achievable steps, that can be tackled daily, weekly and monthly.
- What is a long-term goal of you and your startup?
(6 months — 1 year)
2. What ‘progress point’ could you get done this month that’ll get you one step closer to achieving that goal?
3. What ‘progress points’ could you get done this week that’ll get you one step closer to achieving your month’s progress goal?
4. Lastly, what ‘progress points’ could you get done today that’ll get you one step closer to achieving your week’s progress goal?
If you can stick at this and build up some serious momentum, 2019 could be your most successful year yet.
Now that, is a resolution worth keeping.