New Year with Old Habits

Happy New Year! Most of us have good intentions of keeping resolutions, but at some point between January 2 and January 9 we slip back to our old comfortable ways. But who needs silly resolutions anyway? If I don’t follow through with my resolutions, who will know the difference and who will really care if I do or don’t?

Many of us want to make a change in our lives but we tend to crawl back to our familiar ways. Why do people have such trouble breaking old habits like showing up late for meetings or letting the client take forever to close the deal?

There you are sitting at your desk looking at the calendar and you see you have a full calendar year ahead of you. The thought of what you would like to do starts to overwhelm you, which may short circuit your brain. You turn down the inner voice and pick up the phone to call someone to change the subject.

Resolutions, action plans or business plans all have something in common. They need a person to implement the proposed plan. Hence the phrase, “all talk no action.” No action means no reward. No reward means no glory, and the end of your business story. When was the last time you looked at your business plan or, worse yet, do you even have a business plan? Small companies should have a business plan that fits on one page. If the company is to grow, the business plan will need to be reviewed and modified every four months. As the year progresses new opportunities will present themselves. Change is risky business, but it has its rewards:

  • What would happen if you spent more time with your children? They will remember it for a lifetime.
  • What would happen if you lost 15 lbs.? People will notice you in a different way.
  • What would happen if you called your mother once a month? She will tell her friends how fabulous her son or daughter is!

I know it is hard, and I know there is no one to hold you accountable for your actions but yourself. Challenge yourself and set yourself up for accomplishment. Winning is contagious and most importantly it produces positive results in all aspects of your life.

Let’s face it, if you work in the remodeling or custom home design and/or building industry you have faced greater challenges than those listed in this column. Communication technology continues to move at a record pace, and homeowners are becoming increasingly savvy about the home improvement industry. If you can deal with the client from hell, committing to a personal goal should be a cakewalk. I am not a motivational writer or speaker, nor do I wish to be one. But, I am challenging you to make one personal goal and commit to it for one calendar year. Write it on your calendar, place it on your computer desktop or write it down and carry it in your wallet or purse.

The reason I am asking you to do this is for your own benefit, and the benefit of the people around you. Great leaders develop great inner voices. This communication with themselves strengthens their belief systems. One way to accomplishment this is the use of positive self-affirmation. Record your own voice saying positive things about you. I know it sounds strange, but it works.

Most of the people reading this column have the potential to do great things in their lives. Send me an e-mail telling me your story for 2008. I want to know how this New Year was the start of breaking old habits.