The 40-Day Challenge

With only slightly more than 40 days left in the year, how do you want 2008 to end? We’ve all had those great resolutions in the past. Oh there’s always the usual ones: lose weight, quit smoking, take a vacation. Then there are also the ones around business. I’m going to get more organized, I’m going to join a networking group, I’m going to plan ahead. How about my favorite, I’m going to work less and make more.
Exactly how are you going to reach those goals? What other ones might you have? Because let’s face it, goals and dreams float around in our heads all the time. Have you written them down? How many of you would agree that putting something down on paper can make it seem more real than keeping it in your mind? New Year’s resolutions are a fine starting point, but how will you get from where you are to where you want to be?
Remember when it was “going to be heaven in 2007”, “it’s going to be great in 2008”, and now “it’s gonna shine in 2009”. Before you know it you’ll be saying “remember when in 2010”. We don’t want to see that happen. What are a few steps to changing the pattern you’re on?
I’d like to give you a challenge. For the next 40 days, choose ONE area to focus on your business. It could be coming in early to total up your day and develop a strategy to reach a higher daily goal. It could be to generate one new client a week into your chair. It could be designing, setting up, and tracking a retail promotion. Whatever it is, make it S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Trackable).
Once you have your goal, write it down. I cannot stress this enough. It is your first step. Then decide what the measurement of success will look like at the end of the challenge. Now that you have that in place, choose three to four action steps required to reach that goal. In choosing your action steps, think about what obstacles might get in the way, and whom you might need to rely upon for assistance in reaching your goal.
Look at your obstacles. What do you need to do first in creating a pathway around them? Remember that there are no self-made people. It is who someone surrounds themselves with that makes the difference. Gather around those that build you up, not tear you down. Find a buddy you can rely upon to keep you on the straight and narrow.
Success comes through hard planning, then work. As my friend Lance would say, “Perfect planning prevents piss poor performance.” Boy is he right! My challenge doesn’t end in the next 40 days. Share your results and insights. Let us know what shifted for you, and what might have prevented you from success. We’re all growing together to really make 2009 shine!
— Heather, success coach

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