Millions of people set themselves New Year Resolutions for both their personal and business lives but, in most cases, they are a complete waste of time.
Sadly only about 12% of them are successful by the end of the year and most have been given up within a couple of weeks.
There are many reasons for this, the main one being that they are simply ‘too big’ to deal with on a daily basis. Resolutions like “I’m going to double my sales this year” are not manageable and are very demotivating if no obvious progress is being made.
So what can you with your resolutions to make your sales success in 2013 much more likely? Fellow psychologist Professor Richard Wiseman has been researching what makes resolutions work and has studied over 3,000 people to find out what the secrets of success are. Here are five simple, but highly effective, psychological steps that you can take that will keep you motivated, resilient and successful with your New Year resolutions.
1. Learn from experience; don't just repeat previous failed resolutions. Choose a new challenge or a new approach to an old problem. If you keep doing the same things in the same way as before, you’ll probably keep getting the same results.
2. Focus on a positive personal motivating outcome. Giving up, or moving away from something is much harder than moving towards something motivating. For example, rather than “I’m going to work harder for longer hours because my boss wants me to” try “I’m going to earn enough money to go on that dream holiday to Africa this year”.
3. Make just one main resolution. The increased focus will help you achieve it, plus give you the flexibility to choose how to do so. By having just one main focus for your energy and thinking, it makes it much easier to choose what to do on a minute-by-minute and hour-by-hour basis. For example, “I’m going to grow my sales pipeline by 10% every month”, rather than “I’m going to get to the office earlier, call more prospects, have more meetings and negotiate better to make more sales”.
4. Have a well thought out plan and a process. While you do need a personally motivating goal as your resolution, you also need to work out the steps and milestones to achieving it. This allows you to see the progress that you are making, which will help you stay motivated rather than give up because you don’t feel that you are making progress. Make those steps small enough that you can see progress on at least a weekly and ideally daily basis and then keep a record of the successes in a ‘Success Diary’, which you can review at the end of the week.
5. Forgive yourself when a setback happens (because it will). When you do have an inevitable setback, be persistent and just carry on. Breaking old habits always takes practise over a long period of time. If you don't make those five new prospect calls one day, don't give up and just carry on as if you had, knowing that you are still moving in the right direction over the longer term.
So, there you have it – five easy ways to make your resolutions work and to boost your sales success in 2013. Why not take the first step and start now?
About the author: Bryan McCrae is a sales psychologist, sales coach and the founder of Sales-Motivations. For more information visit www.sales-motivations.com