By Phil D'Amico, Director of Business Development
First, allow me the chance to welcome you to a new decade and a very happy and prosperous 2020. I am not sure if it was just me, but was that one of the fastest moving decades of our lifetime? Always with a new year, come new expectations of greatness and success. As we move into 2020 and the next decade, how many of us will go on to make several New Year’s resolutions in 2020? There are millions of people, in fact it is estimated that 50% of all Americans will make a plethora of New Year’s resolutions every January. Among the top six repeating resolutions year after year are:
- Workout/Exercise more often/Lose Weight
- Limit Social Media use
- Limit or cut back on cell phone use
- Travel more
- Read more books
- Be nicer to people
(My favorite of course is be nicer to people, and I want to scream from the hilltops; “I’M ALWAYS NICE TO PEOPLE!!!” But I guess we can always be nicer.)
Would it surprise you to know that over 80% of the resolutions made every year fail before the month of February even starts? With that said, if you are batting .200 in baseball you can earn the Major League Baseball minimum salary of about $5 million/year; but batting .200 in achieving New Year’s resolution goals can only mean setting yourself up for major disappointment. We simply live in an age where instant gratification takes over our lives. If we try to log into a site and wait longer than a second to connect, we already lose interest. It is estimated on average that it takes over 2 months (66 days to be exact) to form a new behavior habit. In fact, some habits may take over a year, depending on the habit.
The next best logical question is why do so many resolutions fail each year? The top reasons for unsuccessful New Year’s resolution fulfillment include:
- Goals set are not realistic or specific enough
- Too much thinking/ planning; not enough doing
- We think it’s a sprint, not a marathon
- We don’t keep score
- We don’t have a good enough support system in place
With regards to all the reasons goals are not successful, and, for that matter, all the above resolutions that are set, I see a great parallel and alignment in both our personal and professional walks. Many of the goals we set today and/or, in this case, the resolutions we attempt to attain, overlap in our personal and professional lives. On many occasions, the failure of achieving personal or business goals and objectives we set are very much tied to the top reasons that resolutions fail.
With this in mind, here are some simple ways to help achieve those resolutions:
- Goals need to be specific and realistic. It's one thing to say, "I want to increase sales;" it's another to say, "I want to increase sales by 20% over last year," and then also listing specific tasks that you are going to do to help achieve that growth. For example, I am going to increase my outward number of business development meetings, and attend more professional educational events, to bring in a realistic piece of business every week. To put it another way, saying "I want to lose weight in 2020" is too vague; rather say, "I want to lose 50 pounds this year, and I will achieve this by controlling my diet and working out 1 hour every day." Both preceding examples are realistic and specific.
- Measure your progress. Not only do the goal and objectives you set need to realistic and specific, but nothing will matter unless you have a way to keep score. When I think of keeping score, I submit to the long-standing phrase: “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it;” that statement has never been more apparent than in attaining today’s personal and professional goals. What can be accomplished if you don’t keep score by measuring and monitoring the results. You need to make sure you have an accurate depiction and update on the progress or lack thereof that you are achieving with your resolutions. An obvious example of this is using my weight loss example, if your resolution is 50 pounds lost in 2020, you need to average a little over four pounds lost each month. Weekly or monthly scorecards are always a great idea to keep some form of a log.
- Realize that no matter whether it's business or personal, it ultimately is a marathon and not a sprint. Setting yearly goals are just that; they are spread out over one year, thus every day is a step forward to achieve that goal. In the weight loss example, you will set ourselves up for failure if you think that after working out for one week, you will lose the yearly goal you set of 50 pounds and that, if you don’t hit that mark, you are a failure. When you set specific, measurable goals with clear objectives that will be completed over a given time frame, if you stay with it and remember it is not a sprint, you are more likely to find success.
- Less thinking more doing. It's easy to get caught up in the overthinking and over planning part of the resolution. Using the weight loss analogy, how often have you planned out what you are going to do and yet never do the most important part: implement the plan. How many of us have thought “I’ll just get through this week eating ice cream and chocolate cake, and then, yeah, next week come Monday, I'll start my diet and workout regimen.” How many Monday’s come and go with no trips to the gym, and repeating the same old habits? Or, as professional example, "I am just going to clean up some stuff here at work, and then next week I will start setting up more and new business development appointments." Why not today, why not now?
- Support is essential. Finally, and perhaps more importantly, for most goals, objectives and resolutions to be successful, you absolutely need a great support system in place. Surrounding yourself with supportive, positive people that not only inspire you to achieve those goals but are tactical in helping you get there is essential for success. Encouraging words should always be welcomed, but those that can come along to help in the process are valued members of your goal success.
While we have all probably set out own personal resolutions for the upcoming year and start of a new decade, it is not a bad idea to get with people from your organization and set corporate goals. When you do, remember, goals should be measurable, realistic, with hard firm timelines, and be adaptable. I know here at Holladay Construction we simply strive to be the best, most reliable General Contractor that you will work with throughout your project, and come back to for future projects. We continually look for ways that we can improve our service and ability to work more closely with our partners and clients. I know you are going to say Phil, where is the tangible numbers that you speak of, the firm timelines, the specific measurable goals? Well, some things are simply best kept in secret.
By the way, with all this talk of dieting and losing weight, you will find me eating more salads and working out every day this year. That I can say for sure. Happy 2020 one and all, and good luck on those resolutions!