Resolution Revolution! (Uncore une fois)

Welcome back to The Ideal Life Club Podcast and welcome to a shiny new year and a brand new season of episodes!

Wow what a difference a year makes, hey? This time last year I remember mentioning that we’d had the whole family over to The Barn, which was so much fun, and that everyone hung out in the kitchen while we cooked – looking back now we had so much to be so grateful for and little did we realise what was in store for us all.

A lot has changed over the past 12 months and I hope that you and your loved ones have stayed safe and well. But one thing that hasn’t changed is that I’ve been hearing a lot about New Year’s resolutions again. I’ve already lost count of all the conversations I’ve overheard or had with clients and friends resolving to lose weight, get healthy, find a new job or finally feel successful in their businesses this year.

Well for the second time in two years I’m calling TIME on allllll that. In fact, I want I’m recording this episode as an encore to 2020 because I want to rekindle the fire of the resolution revolution I started last January. NO MORE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS.

Ok, I know this is going to make me sound all baa humbug like a New Year Mrs Scrooge but I’m serious because for 92% of people resolutions just don’t work.

Of course there’s nothing wrong with wanting to make change in our lives and businesses, most of us have some sort of fresh start in mind this time of year and I’m all for that, but there are some key reasons why resolutions DON’T work and some very specific steps we can take instead to make lasting change.

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Transcript

You’re listening to The Ideal Life Club podcast episode 68

Hey there, Michelle here, welcome back to The Ideal Life Club Podcast and welcome to a shiny new year and a brand new season of episodes!

Wow what a difference a year makes, hey? This time last year I remember mentioning that we’d had the whole family over to The Barn, which was so much fun, and that everyone hung out in the kitchen while we cooked - looking back now we had so much to be so grateful for and little did we realise what was in store for us all.

A lot has changed over the past 12 months and I hope that you and your loved ones have stayed safe and well. But one thing that hasn’t changed is that I’ve been hearing a lot about New Year’s resolutions again. I’ve already lost count of all the conversations I’ve overheard or had with clients and friends resolving to lose weight, get healthy, find a new job or finally feel successful in their businesses this year.

Well for the second time in 2 years I’m calling TIME on allllll that. In fact, I want I’m recording this episode as an encore to 2020 because I want to rekindle the fire of the resolution revolution I started last January. NO MORE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS.

Ok, I know this is going to make me sound all baa humbug like a New Year Mrs Scrooge but I’m serious because for 92% of people resolutions just don’t work.

Of course there’s nothing wrong with wanting to make change in our lives and businesses, most of us have some sort of fresh start in mind this time of year and I’m all for that, but there are some key reasons why resolutions DON’T work and some very specific steps we can take instead to make lasting change.

Let’s start off with a few of the many reasons why resolutions fail:

#1. We feel we SHOULD make change rather than really WANTING to
The uptick in sales of diet products and online exercise plans is testament to this. It’s easy to feel like we should do something just because everyone else is. And who doesn’t want to be a bit more healthy, right? But when we try to make change without a strong personal motivation, our willpower often isn’t enough to see it through to the end of the month let alone beyond January.

#2 The second reason resolutions fail is that we try to accomplish too much, too soon. It’s impossible and frankly unhealthy to lose 10 lbs in a week and unlikely you’ll find your dream job overnight. Resolutions often lead us to put a lot of pressure on ourselves to make change quickly, almost instantly in fact. But when the inevitable happens and we slip on day 3, we feel like we’ve failed and we give up. This commit/quit cycle is something we can repeat over and over again, until we feel totally demoralised and believe we’ll never be able to make the changes we want to.

#3 We don’t really know HOW to make our resolutions happen. It’s easy to get excited about a resolution, get all fired up and talk about how great it’s going to feel when we’ve achieved it, right? But all talk with no action gets us nowhere fast and not knowing how to get started, what to do first or having a clear plan of the steps you need to take is one of the main reasons resolutions fail.

#4 We don’t enjoy the journey. Let’s be honest most resolutions tend to be about changing something about ourselves that we don’t like. Perhaps we’re working too many hours and we want to take more time out for ourselves, or we feel we don’t know enough about something we need for our businesses so we buy 10 books and promise ourselves we’re going to absorb every word. Or we don’t like the way we look and try the latest fad diet in the hope it will finally work. Whatever we decide to do, if we don’t enjoy the process of not just change but GROWTH, we won’t stick with it. And that’s not our fault! Our brain’s are hard-wired to move us smartly away from anything that makes us feel uncomfortable so it’s no wonder that restrictive diet or boring text book is the first thing we drop like a stone.

So what CAN we do if we want to create long term, lasting change?

Taking just one step and making a resolution won’t deliver for you, but there are four steps you CAN take and repeat consistently throughout the year which will super-charge your efforts and give you the best possible chance of achieving your dreams.

These steps echo the pillars of the 5Cs coaching system I use with my clients: Crystal Clarity, Core Courage, Kick-Ass Capability, Calm Confidence and Crush-It Consistency but they also stand alone and you can start them right away.

Step One is REVIEW. Now you might be wondering how looking backwards will help you move forward but while we’re setting our compass for success it’s important for us to understand where we are right NOW. This is about spending some time to take stock of where we are today in our lives and businesses. After all, if we don’t know where we are now, how can we work out where we want to get to?

Now, if you know me well then you know I believe true success is about balance across all areas of our lives - our business interacts with our personal life whether we like it or not. So as well as looking at where you are in your business, I recommend you look at other areas of your life too - like your financial position, health, your mindset, personal growth and relationships.

Here are some questions to help you think about each of these areas in turn:

Your business and business finances:
What has gone well so far this year? What hasn't gone so well? Why do you think that is?
Where have you spent the majority of your time so far this year? What activities, with what people, doing what tasks?
What have you learned? What do you want to change as a result?
Where have you been 'busy' vs productive?
Other things to consider: How is your customer base & retention / email list growth & churn, social media followers by channel, testimonials received and implemented in marketing, stickiness of social media schedule content, content interaction and shares, JV partnership results, affiliate deals review, tech platforms review - email / website / online store / content scheduling, design review, content review.
What products have you launched? What flew? What bombed? Why?
What was your income?
What was your expenditure?
How much profit did you make?
What drove your income? What products or services sold best? What clients did you start working with and how much did they pay you? What marketing activities drove most enquiries / sales?

Health. If you don’t feel well, physically or mentally, it doesn’t matter how it looks like in other areas of your life. Our health needs to be a priority and that includes eating well, sleeping well and staying hydrated.
How do I feel in my body? How do I feel about my health?
What health goals did I work on last year and have I achieved them? If not, why?
Do I feel confident that I'm eating a balanced and nutritional diet that suits my body?
Have I found an exercise routine that works for me and that I enjoy?
Am I staying hydrated throughout the day?
Am I drinking more than the recommended amount of alcohol per week?
Am I sleeping enough? Do I have a sleep routine that sets me up for a restful night?
Are there any health niggles that I've been putting off talking to a professional about?

Mindset. Our physical health is super important but we also need to maximise our mindset and work on any self-limiting beliefs that might hold us back. This can cover everything from self-doubt to your relationship with money.
How did my mindset serve me last year?
Who has been more in control of my mindset - me or my inner cave woman?
What thoughts have I had that held me back?
What beliefs have I been holding on to that I'd like to let go of?
What beliefs and thoughts have served me well?
Have I felt confident enough to tackle the challenges in my life and business?
When things have not gone as I expected, have I been able to have a sense of perspective and bounce back quickly?
Do I feel successful? Do I feel satisfied with my life overall? If not, what goals can I set myself now?

Ok let’s move on to your personal Growth and personal goals. Personal goals can involve everything from your interests, such as sports, dream trips or a desire to play a musical instrument to losing weight or making more time for fun and relaxation.
What personal goals did I set for myself so far this year and have I met them?
What has gone well? What hasn't gone as well as I expected?
What have I learned from my experiences? What have I learned about myself?
Where do I need to keep learning?
Where can I share my knowledge to help others?
What has made me happy / fulfilled / content?
How am I building 'brand me'?
How have I worked on 'legacy building'?
What am I grateful for?
What successes can I celebrate and how?

Relationship Goals. Most of us want to share our success and happiness with the people that are most important to us and have people who can support us in difficult times. Relationships don’t just happen, they take work too - from that special someone to our family, friends, colleagues and so on.
Did I spend quality time with the people in my life who are most important to me last year?
Was there someone special that I've enjoyed spending time with?
Have I had people there to support me through the tough time?
Are there any relationships that have not been as positive as I would have liked?
Am I happy with the level of intimacy in my life?
What are some of the best moments I've had in my relationships this year?
Are there any relationships / circles that I need to work more on?
Are there any relationships / circles that I need to let go of?
Have I been the partner / friend / daughter / sister / mother / aunt / grandmother that I wanted to be?
Have I supported and encouraged those around me?

Now don’t worry if you haven’t manage to scribble all those questions down because you will be able to download a transcript of this podcast on the shownotes page at michellereevescoaching.com/68. So for now just consider what came up for you as I asked those questions.

Ok, before we move on to step two, I want to quickly talk about a key reason that people struggle to achieve their goals which is that they don’t create space in their lives to work on them. We’re all so busy working IN our businesses that it can be hard to work ON them. So I’d also recommend that you spend some time considering how you’ll clear space in your life and business to work on the new measurable, manageable and actionable goals that you’re going to be setting instead of New Year's Resolutions - specifically what you will STOP doing, what you can START doing and what you will CONTINUE doing.

For example, if you tend to get distracted by social media (and let’s face it that’s true for a lot of us) you could make a conscious plan to remove that distraction and set aside specific times of the day where you can do some deep focussed work. But at the same time, if there are habits you’ve already built into your day, like a strong morning routine for example, that is likely to be something you’ll want to continue.

Ok, let’s move on to step 2.

Once you’ve reviewed each area of your life and business, you can take those learnings and use it to help you decide which of these areas you want to work on this year - specifically, where is there a GAP between where you are now and where you want to get to by the end of the year. (And incidentally if that feels like too long a time period, you can totally do this same process just for quarter one, so for the next three months).

So how do we know where we want to get to? Well this is the fun bit because we’re going to take a journey into the future! Setting goals and making plans is crucial to helping us reach our ideal life but if we don’t have a clear vision for where we want to get to we’ll get all bogged down in the ‘how’ which can quickly lead to overwhelm - and as we’ve talked about already that’s a key reason that resolutions fail, so we want to avoid that here for sure.

So what you’re going to do in step two is think about the areas that you review reviewed in step 1 and imagine what you’d like to see happen in each of them.

Close your eyes and picture what you’d most love to see happen by the end of the year. Don’t get caught up worrying about not knowing HOW you’ll make it happen, just focus on WHAT that looks like for you right now.

Who are you in that vision? What qualities/skills do you have? How are you dressed? How are you feeling? Who are you with? What work are you doing, with who, where? How much money are you making?

Move through each area you want to cover until you have a vision for all of them.

Ok, now you’re going to look at each of those visions and decide which ones excite you the most. Which ones make you want to get started right away? Don’t worry if they’re a bit scary too, that just shows that they’re stretching you beyond your comfort zone, which is a good thing because we don’t grow when we stay inside our comfort zone, only outside it.

Moving on to step 3, once you’ve picked the areas of your life and business that you’re excited about working on this year, it’s time to get down to some goal setting.

But first I want to share 7 common mistakes we often make when we’re setting goals that can really hold us back. And full disclosure I shared these before back in episode 12 but I think they’re worth repeating here:

We don’t write them down - if a goal is not written down it’s just a dream without any power. When we write our goals down they take on a new form - a powerful form - that encourages our brain to set things in motion to reach them. Once you’ve focussed on WHAT you want it starts to get easier to focus on HOW to make it happen.
We create too many goals! We’re all busy running or creating our businesses so setting too many new goals is going to lead to overwhelm. Keeping the number manageable is the best way to get them done.
We don’t work backwards from success - knowing what success looks like for us is KEY. For financial goals for example, that could mean knowing how much income we need to bring into our business each quarter and what we can afford to have going OUT of our business in terms of expenses. Without a profit our businesses are not viable. A great way to build this in is to START with the revenue and work back from there. So if you knew you needed to make £15k next quarter, what would that need to look like in terms of products, services or clients? What marketing would you need to do based on your normal conversion rate? Build this into your goal planning.
We only set goals for one area of our lives - most of us are focussed on building our businesses so it’s natural that we move towards wanting to set goals in that space, but our lives are about so much more than work and each of the areas that we reviewed in day 1 interact with each other - so it’s important that we spread that growth around a bit.
We don’t make them specific - most goals suffer from being too vague… “I want to write a book” rather than “I will write a book about the 8 happiness habits that took me from functioning to fabulous and have it published by Jan 2019.”
We don’t make our goals measurable - if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. The only way to know how we’re doing with our goals is to quantify them. “I will lose 25lb by 30 June” is better than “I will lose weight” for example.
We don’t set a deadline - Deadlines create urgency which is what helps us to get things done. If we don’t MAKE growth a priority it won’t BE a priority and it’s easy to procrastinate or put it off.
We don’t keep our goals visible - I used to write down a set of goals at the beginning of the year and not look at them again until the end of the year! Keeping our goals visible keeps us focussed on achieving them and helps our brain to work for us by searching for solutions. At #ThisIsMyEra, the personal development company that I’m so proud to be part of now as their academy director, our 90-day planners have this visibility built in with a goals section right at the front of the planner and goal planning worksheets to keep you on track. You can find out more at thisismyera.com.

Ok, now we know what we want to avoid, let’s work on setting some exciting goals!

You’re going to take your exciting visions for the future that you imagined in step two and work backwards to decide what that means you’ll need to have achieved the end of each quarter this year. So, for example, if you want to have launched a new product or service by the end of quarter 3, what will you need to have done by the end of this quarter, that is by the end of March? What about the end of quarter 2?

You can then write those things out as clear, specific and measurable goals for each quarter with a specific deadline.

Ok, so I want to make this live a bit more for you so let’s use an example to work through steps one to three so far. For this example I’m going to imagine that in step one while you were reviewing your business, you recognised that you’ve been hiding a bit in your business, you’ve been struggling to get yourself out there and that’s been holding you back. So in step two you imagined yourself being much more visible, stepping out from behind your business and allowing your ideal client to see and hear more from you.
Making videos doesn’t really appeal to you so in step three you set yourself a goal to launch a podcast by the end of quarter three (that is by the end of September) that will showcase your expertise and help your ideal client learn more about you and your business while at the same time creating content that you can reuse across other platforms.

You state your overall goal as “I will launch my podcast by 30 September and publish episodes once a fortnight.” You then break that goal down into where you need to be at the end of quarter 1 and quarter 2. “By the end of quarter 1 I will have taken a basic podcasting course online to teach me what I need to know. By the end of Q2 I will have set up my hosting platform and planned out the topics for my podcast for October to December. During quarter 3 I will record two shows so that I have them ready to publish by the end of the quarter when my podcast launches.”

Now clearly, there will likely be other steps you’ll need to take and other actions to complete once you’ve completed the course because when we’re starting something new we don’t know what we don’t know. But the key thing here is not to let that stop you moving forward. Make some assumptions based on a little reseach and then pivot when you need to.

And by the way if that particular goal resonated with you, don’t forget to sign up for a free trial of my podcasting course for business owners: Practical Podcasting for Beginners at michellereevescoaching.com/podcastfree - you get the first 10 lessons completely free.

Ok we’re at the final step, step four - Now, here’s something really important - when you know where you are and you get crystal clear on where you want to get to, there will be a gap. That gap is where fear can hang out to trip us up. So we’re going to PLAN IN bridging that gap with a clear set of actions to help you achieve your goals that are calendarised.

Now, this is the bit that I used to really struggle with. I used to get super excited about my high level goals but then I wouldn’t follow through on them by figuring out what actions I needed to take or I wouldn’t add them to my calendar to make sure that they got done.

Why didn’t I do it? Because I got all caught up in not knowing what those actions were! It got challenging and so my brain said let’s do that tomorrow… which meant never.

So I came up with a way to make it less challenging by figuring out not what I needed to do, but what questions I needed to answer.

So if we take our previous example of launching a postcast a goal that says:

“By the end of quarter 1 I will have taken a basic podcasting course online to teach me what I need to know”

The questions I might need to answer to achieve that goal could be:

What time of day is the best time for me to do the course?
What tasks on my to do list can I postpone or delegate to clear space for me to take a course?
What events in my calendar can I reschedule?
What is the best course for me?
Do I know anyone who can recommend a course they’ve taken?
What podcasts do I like listening to? Did they take a course to get them started?
What is my budget for taking a course?

Our brains LOVE to answer questions so asking questions like this will immediately get your brain thinking about finding answers to those questions and that gets you into doing mode. It also breaks your goals down into small chunks that feel less overwhelming.

The next step would be to add those questions into whatever calendar or planning system you use as a task with a specific deadline. I know this seems really detailed but it literally is how things get done. If you have a meeting with someone you don’t add it to you to do list, you add it to your calendar with a date and time - that’s how you know when it’s going to take place.

So there you have it - four steps to help you make exciting changes this year without setting New Year resolutions. And as I mentioned at the very beginning of this episode these are steps that you can take and REPEAT consistently throughout the year. I literally do a mini version of these four steps every quarter to make sure I’m on track - I review where I am, check in with my vision for the next quarter, set clear goals and create an action plan with the questions I need answering. This is a step by step process you can use again and again to check where you are and make any adjustments you need to so that you reach your biggest and most exciting goals.

Now before we finish I wanted to remind you of two previous episodes of the podcast which you might also find useful as we start the new year:

One thing I love to do at the beginning of the year is to create a vision board for all my fabulous new goals and plans and I walk you through exactly how I do that in episode 27. Plus there’s a cool freebie with that episode which you can download and go through the whole process step by step.

And finally, waaaaay back in episode #2, which was a whole year ago, I can hardly believe it’s been that long, I talked about the final practice I do every December or January which is to choose a word for the year ahead. This year my word is PACE because I want to move at pace towards my goals with the clarity and focus that demands, but with everything that’s going on I also want to pace myself, ditch the stress of rushing and prioritise accordingly. Do you have a word for 2021 yet? If not jump back to episode #2 where I talk you through a step by step process to chose your own.

So are you going to join me in a resolution revolution? I hope so! Let’s ditch those resolutions and start making real, lasting change that we can look back on at the end of the year and be really proud of! Leave me a comment or drop me a note on Facebook or Instagram and let me know what goals you’re going to be working towards this year - and if you have any questions at all about this or any episode of the show feel free to ask away - I read all your comments and reply personally so do get in touch!

Ok, that’s it from me today. Thank you SO much for tuning in. I know your time is valuable and I really appreciate you taking the time to join me today.

Before I go I would LOVE you to join us in The Ideal Life Club Facebook Community, a supportive space I’ve created on Facebook for ambitious women who want to grow THEMSELVES as well as their business. Goal setting and accountability are two key themes we work on in the group so to find out more and join us head over to michellereevescoaching.com/ideallifeclub.

And finally, if you liked this episode, it would mean the world to me if you would comment, subscribe and leave a review on iTunes - it really does mean that more amazing women will be able to find the show.

In the meantime, until next week, be positive, be powerful, be productive… stay safe, and keep fast-tracking your Ideal Life.

Bye for now.


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