Monday, December 28, 2015

Why 88% of New Year’s Resolutions Fail

Did you know? 
    Aristotle Quote On Habits
  • The average white collar worker spends around 6 hours a day on email?
  • 80% of smart phone users never leave their home without their smartphone?
  • People check their smartphone on average 110 times a day, some as much as 900 times?
  • The average person now receives around 4000 marketing messages a day, a nearly 700% increase over the past 40 years.
  • 58% of adults check their emails first thing in the morning

 Welcome to the new digital world of distractions and much like 88% of New Year’s resolutions, they will lead you to failure in 2016…unless you can learn how to focus!

Like it or not, your world is increasingly full of distractions pulling us in all different directions. Do you have a hard time focusing when you are reading? Do you have a hard time holding a conversation without the urge to check your smartphone? Can you vacation without your smartphone at your side? Do you have to Google the answer to many questions you receive? These may be symptoms of, as Nicholas Carr indicates, your body’s development of an “interruption system” whereby we trade off concentration and focus for instant and constant information flow. 

Many working adults, including myself, have developed this problem recently in our lives. And here is the scary part; we did not initially grow up with smart phones while most of our children now do. This problem will only get worse. 

In my book THE TOP 20%, I write about the important aspects of successfully dealing with distractions and finding focus in your business life through the use of goals. As a business professional, the greatest advantage goals provide you with is focus. The top 20 percent want to achieve great results and the best way to accomplish this is by defining goals and staying laser-focused on them. Good business goals should be reasonable, achievable, written, executable, and mutually agreed upon by all involved. In developing a laser-focus on defined goals, successful professionals are not only able to focus in on what they want, but they are also able to effectively remove all of the competing priorities and obstacles that potentially stand in their way.

Failing professionals treat sales goal setting in a similar manner to how the 88 percent of us treat a New Year’s Resolution—we make a declaration of an objective at the start of each year and then drift back into our bad habits and results. The primary reason for this failure is a lack of personal accountability. A goal without accountability in nothing more than a dream. Most professionals today will commonly create their annual goals and then never follow up on those goals throughout the course of the year with the good habits needed to successfully execute them. 

When it comes to business professionals, it is important to understand that inspiration and desire is what may have gotten you started in your career, but it is your habits that will keep you going and make you successful. Habits are inherently no different than business systems, since habits are systems you create for yourself. Just as you cannot run and scale a business without systems, you equally cannot grow your own productivity without good habits. 

The problem with habits are in developing the “right” habits versus the wrong habits. We train both our muscles and our minds to behave in certain habitual manners based on known stimuli and activities ranging from sitting at a PC, standing in lines, checking our email, sitting at traffic lights, etc. Unfortunately for many of us today, this stimuli tends to be distractions and pauses in activity – we are developing habits to fill our time and heads with increasing levels of information…most of which has nothing to do with our goals. This is no different than walking into a room and then forgetting why you walked there to begin with. 

Sound familiar? best way to reach any annual goal is to break it down into daily activities. Without a daily focus, people are left with weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual measurements that in most cases are too late to effectively measure and manage. This is why you as an individual need to take this upon yourself. 

Finally, in order to be successful you also need to be able to say “NO” to any competing goals and distractions that can come your way – no matter how attractive they may seem. This can include saying “NO” to taking and dealing with bad customers, “NO” to taking business that can remove you and your business from your primary goals and objectives, and “NO” to time-robbers like constantly checking social media to see what “everybody else” is doing, etc. 

Other ways successful business professionals I know have removed distractions is by setting defined reading times each day, setting daily time intervals for when they will check and receive emails, working out regularly, eating better, and taking regular technology-free vacations. 

What else works for you? Let us know…

To learn more about how you can help make 2016 your most successful year ever, visit our publications on


#newyears #newyearsresolution #focus 


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