234Finance: The New Year Resolution You Can Actually Keep

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We are at the end of 2016 and in the beginning of a resolution spree. Unfortunately, most resolutions don’t work because the people who are making them are approaching them the wrong way. You often hear people resolving to “build a business empire like Dangote” or “add three features to their app next year.” Resolutions are great, but the approach is often faulty because people focus on outcome rather than the actual action or process needed to realize the outcome.

Make 2017 the year of the action, not outcome. Focus on the smaller goals and getting work done – this is what makes resolutions work. So how do you do achieve this?

Put in extra time
From the beginning of next year, put in extra minutes or hours into your business everyday. This extra time will be used to work towards a new project, new product or a new feature you wish to add to your business. A popular saying goes, “it takes 21 days to form a new habit”. Remember, the purpose here is not the outcome, but to instill the behaviour needed to achieve results.

You need to also track of your achievements. Recognizing small wins will give you the motivation to achieve bigger goals. Get a calendar and mark an X on each day you put in extra time towards your new project. Don’t leave a single day unmarked.

What to do if you are failing?
Assuming you’ve started putting in extra hours towards your new project for 16 days in a row, but suddenly, on day 17, you just can’t keep up or other areas of your life demand more attention. Rather than quitting altogether, you can cut down on the time dedicated to your new project till the other things that demand your attention stabilize. If you are putting in two extra hours, cut it down to an hour. You must be consistent and keep yourself accountable to avoid derailing completely.

“But my business is not going to take off this way”
If you’re not executing a plan yet, dedicating 30 minutes each day towards it can make a significant difference. Daily habits are powerful. Once you develop the habit of dedicating extra time to a new project, you may start increasing the time without realizing it.

A saying by Anthony Robbins goes: “It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently.”

To build a successful company out of your small and perhaps unprofitable startup, you need to grind hard. The best way to grind is to build the habits that will get you one step closer each day, to achieving your goals.

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