We’re three weeks into the new year and all that motivation we had on January 1 is waning. It’s easy to look at a new year and commit to a bold new plan. But sticking to it is a different story. If you find yourself already slipping in your resolve, here are four tips to keep you motivated.
1. Make sure you know why
Research has shown that it’s the why that gets people motivated. Wanting to go to the gym everyday isn’t something that motivates people, but fitting into a wedding dress is. The same is true for your business. When you’re staring down a resolution like “make 5 cold calls a day” you can quickly find yourself avoiding it. Keep bringing yourself back to why you’re doing it. It’s not because you need to make cold calls, it’s to generate leads, to makes sales, and to ultimately add to your bottom line. Maybe it’s even more than that. You could be saving for a new piece of equipment, hoping to become profitable, or you want to use your profit to take a family vacation. Make sure your resolutions are tied to strong whys and you’ll find that you stay motivated.
2. Plan your work and work your plan
When you’re moving forward at pace it can be hard to keep your goals in sight. Take some time out of every day (many successful people do this first thing in the morning) and review what steps you need to be taking to get to your goals. Not only does this keep you on track, it can also show you instantly if you’ve been devoting time to something that isn’t moving you to where you want to be. Once you know your next steps, you can easily make a daily plan to execute them and keep up on your resolutions.
3. Be accountable
When all internal motivation fails, look for external motivation. This can be in the form of a business owners group, a mentor, or just a like-minded friend you catch up with for coffee. Tell these people your goals and make sure they follow up with you and hold you accountable. If you don’t have anyone like this in your life, this could be another business resolution. Look online for business groups you can join, or check local coffee shops or your library. Find other small businesses in your community and reach out to the owner and ask if you can chat. Seek out small business resources in your city and if they don’t have a group already, offer to start one. Not only will this keep you motivated, it could also improve your small business community as a whole.
4. Ditch them
No, don’t ditch all your resolutions. But don’t get tied to something just because you said you’d do it. If your new plan isn’t working, or your resolution wasn’t the right one for your business right now, don’t be afraid to change it. There’s no point in seeing something through to the end if it’s not getting you the results you hoped for. Your time is a precious resource, if your activities aren’t high yield, find some that are. The best thing you can do for your business is constantly find ways to move toward your goals, whatever those ways are.