By Mark Solomons, Managing Partner, Developing Potential
It’s time for those new years resolutions (again). Have you made one?
It’s very easy to set out changes that you would like to make, a bit harder to get them going and according to statistics very difficult to sustain them once you start. In fact research suggests that nearly 90% of New Year Resolutions FAIL and 80% are finished with and forgotten by the end of January!!!
So why do so many fail and how might you make it easier to get what you want? Some reasons are
- We rely on motivation only – people suddenly think that they can find one big motivating trick that will ensure they succeed…yet in reality motivation usually comes from consistent small successes
- We think big…we will lose a huge amount of weight, achieve a massive life change or an enormous goal
- We don’t realise that change (even positive change) means breaking habits, some of them often deeply held (and isn’t about just showing willpower)
So ways to increase success mean
- Prioritise what you want to achieve, for example choosing no more than 3 goals
- Make these challenging (but be realistic) and plan small steps (when losing weight it might be only 1 pound per week)
- Make sure results are easily measurable and you can review them – in fact display them where they are highly visible every day.
- Reduce information overload to allow you to focus on the important actions only
- Learn to say no…we all like to be liked and so tend to take on too many things
- And most importantly find people who will support you (and challenge you when you need it too)
Many of the secrets for achieving the changes you want come through increasing the energy you have. It is energy management and not time management that really makes the difference – just ask any high achiever?
If you are up for something and have high energy then it doesn’t matter if you have little time – you can still do it. If you are exhausted or have little energy or interest in something, then having all the time in the world will not help you to deliver what you want.
So one way you can achieve what you want is to make your resolution for 2013 to develop more energy (and as a result you will build habits that will enable you to achieve other changes you want too).
Energy comes from four distinct quadrants
- How much physical energy you have – the QUANTITY that you have available to draw on every day?
- How much mental energy you have – the FOCUS of it. Is it on the few important things or is it scattered as you try and manage or cope with everything?
- How much emotional energy you have – the QUALITY of it. Is it negative or positive? For example are you wasting your energy worrying about things you can’t control or being fearful or anxious, or are you in control of your emotions?
- How much spiritual energy do you have – the POWER of it. Nothing to do with religion or mystic ways, and more to do with the vision you have for yourself and the meaning and purpose your life has for you. How clear is this and how committed to it are you?
Very successful people are able to tap into not just one but simultaneously into all four separate energy sources.
How you can manage each quadrant?
- Quantity comes from your Body – Your physical side. This is about how you fuel and treat yourself. Do you eat well, hydrate at regular intervals, take exercise and get enough rest?
- Quality comes from your Emotion – This is both emotional intelligence through building and having effective relationships and the emotions generated through your confidence, self-esteem and how much you really like yourself. This is often influenced by past experiences and the beliefs you have created for yourself.
- Focus comes from the Mind – You know what is important most of the time but sticking with that rather than a scattergun approach is a real challenge in today’s world. Having clear goals and plans will help, together with ruthless discipline.
- Power comes from your Spirit – Have a clear vision for yourself and know exactly where you are heading – commit to it and the energy will flow.
So where to start? You should stick to the principles I outlined above that will help increase the likelihood of adopting new habits.
Choose just one or two specific goals from any of the quadrants and start there.
Do you feel that you have enough energy or not? Are you fully committed to the life you have? Is your energy focused on a few important tasks or do you feel overwhelmed by information and what you have on? Are you positive about relationships and tasks or do you find yourself being fearful, worrying about what others think or perhaps running other people down?
Your answers to the above should guide you to the quadrant you might want to focus on first. Plan to take small steps and celebrate achievement.
If you would like to know more about energy management and how this can benefit individuals and organisations (both leaders and employees) then just get in touch by clicking here.
Have a high energy and successful 2013.