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Making Changes that Last!

What will you do differently in 2014

It is a New Year, and along with that comes a fairly common theme of making New Year’s resolutions.  Most of those resolutions, despite our best intentions, will quickly become history and we will continue with our lives the same way that we did last year.

Effecting change in your life, whether it is as simple as committing to more exercise or as complex as making a career change or starting a business, is hard!

Here is a video from John Izzo for whom I have great respect.  If you ever get the chance to hear John talk then take it, he always has an interesting and compelling message with regards to human behavior in the workplace.  In this video he explains the science behind the issue of making changes (our New Year’s resolutions) stick.

You can use the information from John to greatly improve your chances of success with your 2014 New Year’s Resolutions.

Here are some ideas …

Large man thinking about new year resolutions while slouching in a chair

1.  Consciously create new routines … the mere act of creating routines will work with your brain, not against it.

2.  Keep it simple … take the “eating an elephant” approach, one bite at a time.

3.  Have a plan … not just a goal, but a plan with action items to help you reach that goal.

If your goal is to improve your exercise routine and you think the answer is to join a gym, then you need to have a plan that you can keep up on a regular basis.  If you joined the gym previously (maybe multiple times) and it didn’t work, then why is it going to work this time?  Maybe going with a workout buddy or a personal trainer will keep you motivated?  Maybe setting aside a specific time of day that will work better for you will work … first thing in the morning works best for me.  Maybe you should save that club membership fee until you find the time that works for you … get out of bed early and go for a brisk walk, do sit-ups and pushups just to get used to the new routine.

It is easier to make small changes and create new routines, than to make BIG changes in your life in one go.  If you can make multiple small changes over time that together add up to meeting your goal, then you will be far more likely to succeed.   One example might be for the sales person who wants to improve their performance … here are some very easy things you can do that together will result in positive change:

a.  Change up your look … buy some new clothes, make yourself “feel good” about how you look.

b.  Add a little time to your workday … another half hour or hour a day, focused on productive activity.

c.  Emulate the activities of the most productive salespeople in your company and industry.

d.  Network with successful people.

e.  Get out more … more client calls, more networking, more meetings with people that can help you.

f.  Work on your time management skills … use a calendar religiously, use To Do lists, keep good notes, maximize your work time with work activities (less chit chat, more work).

g.  Set yourself mini-goals to achieve your greater goal.  e.g.  Number of client calls a week, number of face to face meetings, number of self-development courses/webinars/books etc.

h.  Invest in your self-development.  If you company offers materials take 100% advantage, if not (and even if they do) then spend a few dollars yourself to invest in YOUR career.  (Look into the CPSA… Canadian Professional Sales Association)

i.  Adopt the attitude that YOU are responsible for your own success.

You don’t need to do all of this in one go… but if this is your blueprint to success in sales, then be serious about it and start to make those changes.

The BIG thing about change is that when you see results quickly it is a great motivator, whether those results come in lost pounds, increased sales productivity or just feeling better that you are headed in the right direction you are more motivated to create the new routines in your life.  As John Izzo says we are hard wired for routine, but excited by change… work with that and make 2014 your best year ever!