Resolutions...just an excuse to procrastinate?

Did you know 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by February? (According to U.S. News & World Report, as reported in Psychology Today) and yet, everyone around me, even the super-smart people, are still making resolutions.

Let’s be real, a ‘resolution’ is simply an ‘intent’ to do something. Which is all very fine, but without the action that goes with it, it’s just a temporary pat on the back isn’t it? An excuse to procrastinate and avoid actually doing the hard stuff…taking action.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had enough of my procrastinations. 2019 is the year I stop making resolutions and start taking action.

But how do you do that? How do you get past the discomfort and fear that sits at the heart of procrastination?

I had a really interesting conversation with my father about this over Christmas. A recently retired self-made business owner of 30+ years, I thought he would have a good take on this. “Dad, does that niggling feeling of anxiety and fear of owning your own business ever really go away?” His reply…“No, not really, you just learn to live with it and manage it a whole lot better as the business matures. Yes it will stabilise, but there will always be up and downs.”

That made sense to me. You just have to be OK with the fact that there are going to be times when things feel uncomfortable, no matter what business you are in or how long you’ve owned it. And like going to the gym, to achieve the gains, there is, from time to time, going to be pain. So, accept that you are going to be uncomfortable whether you procrastinate or take action, but know that the choice for action has a much higher likelihood of a happier outcome.

It’s why I decided, with FTSQ, to be in a constant state of ‘work in progress’, to give us the best chance of success. And guess what? Change takes action.

But, which actions do you take first? There are so many actions to do and choices to make in order to take your business to the next level. We get that it can be confusing.

First of all you need to look at your entire business and figure out the list of actions your business needs you to take. (If you’re not able do figure that out yourself, we have developed an in-depth business audit that looks at an entire business to help you figure out that list.) But, if you are sure you know what needs to be done and have just been procrastinating, then here is our advice.

  1. Write down the list of actions your business requires.

  2. Work out the top two to three actions that, once taken, will have the biggest impact on your business now.

  3. Make a plan on how you are going to achieve those top actions. Break each of them down into achievable ‘micro- actions’. This is the best way to avoid being overwhelmed and slipping into procrastination mode again. And then set yourself some achievable deadlines for each of those ‘micro-actions’.

  4. Take action. And at each stage acknowledge yours (and your team’s) achievements before going onto the next set of actions (recognising how far you have come will spur you on to take more actions).

  5. Stop making excuses. If you don’t know how to do something then ask someone who does, a friend, an old boss, get some training or hire an expert.

It’s not rocket science, you’ve no doubt read iterations of this thing before. This is simply our take on it.

So, f*ck the resolution, take action and see your business start to move in the direction you want it to go. Bring on 2019.