Yes….Happy New Year to all of you. It’s that time of year that we all try to make improvements and make promises to do better in the next year. I do often wonder why we must wait until the start of a new year to improve. Anyway, let’s see if we can help you this week.

Here are some interesting statistics about New Year’s Resolutions and the actions people take in the month of January to try and improve:

1 million Boxes of smoking cessation gum, lozenges and patches sold in January 2008

99% – Jump in web visits to Weight Watchers in January

12% – Percentage of gym memberships sold in January (the most of any month)

42% – Jump in traffic on career sites in January

1 in 10 Number of New Year’s resolvers who actually quit smoking

50% – Number of Americans who make New Year’s resolutions

25% – Percentage of people who fail after one week

Source: Entrepreneur, December 2009 issue

Interesting, isn’t it? I think the reason we do things is rooted in the personal motivation one has to do something. Or the benefits you will get from sticking to your resolution. Here are some suggestions I have used to get things done:

Get an Accountability Partner. If you want to lose weight, tell the people who can help you that you want to lose weight and ask them to partake in the endeavor with you. They can help push you and hold you accountable. Like many things in life, when you try to do things all by yourself, it’s not usually very successful; we all need a little help. This also works in business; I have two groups of contractors that are part of my ACE groups. ACE standing for Accountability Creates Excellence. I have seen the power of accountability at work with these contractors. We push one another and we help each other and we make sure we all do what we said we would do. So, what are you waiting for? Get an Accountability Partner.

Think about what might happen if you don’t do something. For me personally this works really well and when I’ve taught it to others, it’s helped them too. If you don’t work out and stay in good shape, what might happen to you? You might have trouble later in life with your back and legs. You might not live long; as we all know, or should know, exercise does increase your chances for living longer. If you don’t save your money, you might have to work till you’re in your 70s or 80s. If you smoke, you are taking days off your life. If you don’t, you are adding days to your life. If you do some business planning for 2010, you have increased your chances for success, if you don’t, you might, I say might, go out of business. I think you get the idea. Think about what might happen if you don’t do something.

Do the Tombstone Test. At your funeral, what would you want people to say about you? I know, it’s hard to think about this, but I want you to. Remember, I’m in the job of helping people get better and be all they can be. To do this, I have to make my clients feel uncomfortable. Think about what you’d want your loved ones to say about you during your eulogy. I would assume that you would want them to say you were kind, honest, a winner, someone who always tried to be the best they could be and so on. I would think you’d want them to look at you as someone they admired and tried to emulate. So, if this is the case, what are you waiting for? Take some steps today to become the person you want to be remembered as. Do the Tombstone Test.

It’s a new year; it’s time for all of us to try and improve. What is your motivation to improve? Who’s counting on you? What would you do if you knew you would not fail? Our world needs you, especially right now. Positive people trying to get better is unarguably the most influential thing we have in our world right now. I hope you agree and are ready to make 2010 a year in which you make permanent changes in your life.

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