I’m a huge goal-setter — I love to list goals, break ’em down into smaller objectives, and rock them out each day and week and month and year. To help me aim for the right things and make better goals, I’ve listed 5 success principles that I want to apply to my life this year. (Some are new for me, some have been in place for a while now). I hope they inspire you, too:
- Do the hardest thing first: This is something I really tried to adopt in the last half of 2011 and it made such a HUGE difference to my productivity and how much I enjoyed what I do. I want to make this an even more intentional habit this year.
- Persevere without quitting: I always have a million projects on the go — many for clients, many for myself, and many for family and friends. I love being busy but there’s a drawback: It’s easy to get distracted when a project starts to slog. I need to learn to push through in these times. (Confession: This is a HUGE failure of mine… it’s not that I don’t finish things; it’s just that I stop for a while when they going gets really tough and that makes it hard to pick it up again later).
- Find a balance: I love to work and I work hard. But sometimes I work too much. There was a while when 7 days a week for months at a time was the norm… and then I’d burn out. I can’t do that. My productivity and my profitability plummet. I find I’m at my best when I take one day off each week. (Obviously I can take more if I want but I need to make sure I take at least one day! That’s a practice I’ve started to become strict about in the past couple of months and that day to recharge really helps my ability to produce good, consistent work.
- Add value to every relationship: This is a new one for me. I have clients who I sometimes wonder if they’re just clients because it would be too much trouble to find someone else to write for them. Obviously I don’t want that! I want someone to be my client because they find my contribution to their business to be so invaluable that they would fight tooth and nail to keep me. (I said “every relationship” instead of “every client relationship” because I think this is probably a good thing to do with my friends and family as well).
- Go further. There are two components to this fifth success principle. The first “Go further” component is related to accomplishment — I like to think that I work hard but then I hear about people who somehow manage to accomplish so much more than seems humanly possible. They somehow find the time to start several businesses all at once PLUS become champion shot putters… in between the time that they earn a degree and run 2 non-profits. I want that (but I want to do it while achieving the balance of #3). The second component of “Go further” is related to effort — I want to look back on everything I do and see that I went to the limit on my work and then pushed beyond. Did I go further and add something extra to each client project? Did I go further and add something extra to my blog post? Did I go further and add somethign extra to each chapter in my book? I want to be able to answer “yes” every time!
In the comments below, please tell me the success principles that are inspiring you for 2012!
[Image credit: Gareth du Plessis]