John Joe McGinley of Glassagh Consulting in Co Donegal says goals, not resolutions, can drive results

So did you set a new year’s resolution for 2020?

Perhaps you pledged to get fit and lose weight after the festive excesses or even give up drinking after visiting the recycling center and dropping off all those wine bottles?

Personally, I am no fan of New Year’s resolutions, as statistically not many of us stick to them.

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A recent story from U.S. News & World Report highlighted that the failure rate for New Year's resolutions is said to be about 80 percent, and most lose their resolve by mid-February.

Now, I don’t personally set resolutions, but I am a believer in the power of goals and preparing for the future. I find that by harnessing simple techniques you can make your goals succeed while resolutions fall by the wayside.

Here are some common-sense ideas that cost nothing, that I would recommend every individual and indeed business adopts to achieve their dreams in 2020 and beyond:

Increase your knowledge and learn something new

Knowledge is power when it comes to planning for your future. Two important steps need to be taken and understood. The first is to know where you are, so you have a benchmark to move forward from.

Because you know where you are, it’s then about harnessing your knowledge to see what the future could bring and how you could adapt to meet it and embrace the opportunities available.

When you step back and look at how our world will evolve, then all sorts of possibilities will arise. It is up to you to decide which you wish to pursue and those you can choose to ignore.

Write down your ideas

Success in life or business is about solving problems and sticking to a plan. Yes many of us have ideas for success, but how many of them have been abandoned or put on hold, as day to day events impact upon us and drive us off course?

If you have a good idea and can visualize how it can succeed, then write your plan down and stay focussed before someone else makes your idea their reality.

Create an action plan for the future

Would you go on holiday without researching your destination? Would you buy a new PC without working out what you need it for?

So why do so many businesses trade without an action plan for their future? Why do so many of us go through life without setting goals?

Without a plan, is it any wonder that many of us look back on lost opportunities or feel regret for those dreams that remain unfulfilled?

Pick your battles

It’s no fun being all things to all people and doing everything for everyone!

Too many businesses try and do so many things because they have always done them.

An ingredient of a successful person is the ability to say no and to move on from activities that add no real value to them or their business. These can only hold you back from achieving your goals.

As part of your goals and action plan for 2020, I’d urge you all to list what you know you can stop doing for others or what restricts your personal growth.

It’s not easy, but an exercise well worth doing, that can both empower and energize you and your business.

You can also begin to say "No" more effectively and honestly.

Nurture partnerships

If you have your ideas written down you can then identify the business and personal alliances that you need to establish to make your plan work.

For every alliance you have or make, I’d give you these litmus tests. Is it a true partnership, or do you provide more value to others? Does it also provide profit for your business whilst delivering a satisfying service for all your clients?

If not, is it a partnership or alliance worth continuing?

Seek out help

The power of hearing the words “I can help you”, should never be underestimated. Effective networking is a key element of success in life and business.

When was the last time you reviewed your networking strategy? Yes, I said strategy, because networking is a skill and like any skill, it has to be practiced and refined even if you feel it comes naturally.

A key part of that skill is positivity. People respond to positive people. No matter how you’re feeling, when you meet new connections, remember that people enjoy doing business with people they like. So smile and be happy.

Be your own best friend

A best friend is someone you can trust with your deepest secrets, rely on in moments of crisis and celebrate meaningful life events with. But developing the skills to be your own best friend means you can rely on your own judgment and be your own source of comfort when you need advice or support.

Explore new technology

We should not be afraid of any technology that can help us achieve our goals or implement our plans. The secret is to harness it ourselves or get others to do it for us.

Social media is here to stay and I would urge you all to consider how best to use it for your business and personal life.

Enjoy life

I’d encourage you all to plan for the future and enjoy the thrill and challenge of making your ideas a reality and achieving your goals.

In fact, I’d go so far as to give you the challenge of making 2020 the year in which you make your ideas come alive, with an action plan and written goals rather than resolutions we all know we won’t stick to.

So why don’t you try these ideas in the months ahead?

Read More: Why goal setting can open doors for you

John Joe McGinley, Glassagh Consulting January 2020. Follow McGinley on Twitter at @glassaghconsult.

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