How do you Prevent Backsliding?

Leaders staying on purposeOne month down and eleven to go in 2010. How are you doing on those New Year resolutions?

Odds are you’ve blown it already.

If you haven’t – great job! Keep it up. If you have started to slip (or have totally wiped out) – not to worry; now’s the perfect time to pick yourself up, apply some lessons learned and get back at it.

It’s not enough to pick your goal and expect your fierce willpower to drive you all the way to the finish line. It’s just not going to happen. And if that’s how you’re trying to lead yourself toward a goal, how are you leading others? Unrealistic expectations are always a recipe for frustration.

You (and your team) need three main supports to prevent backsliding when you’re going after something big. You need a Purpose, a Plan, and a few key People.

1. Purpose: Know the “why” behind your goal and make sure it’s captivating. Consider it positively (what will it be like when I achieve this?) and negatively (What’s at stake if I don’t achieve this?). Both are great motivators. Keep your purpose clear and present.

2. Plan: Draw a detailed and realistic roadmap for how you’re going to get from here to there. Then execute your plan with disciplined flexibility – meaning only change the plan to keep on purpose, not at the whim of your moods or feelings. Schedule specific times to review the effectiveness of your plan.

3. People: You were not meant to be alone – or achieve alone. First, broadcast your goal to the world; lay it all out there for everyone to see. Then, approach the people who love you the most (your biggest fans) and ask them to keep you regularly accountable. Watch out! This is a step you’ll be tempted to skip – but it’s crucial to achieving your goal.

What purpose, plan, and people are behind your next big goal?

10 thoughts on “How do you Prevent Backsliding?”

  1. thanks for the reminder to keep me focused on my goals. most of my goals are financial quotas, so it can be hard for me to share that with others. I can however draw up a realistic plan of the steps I must take and the risks I must take to meet those goals.
    For many people I’m sure, including myself, our careers are not always progressing up year after year. Sometimes we get knocked back a bit, or have to start over elsewhere. It can be daunting to have a new goal that is well, half of something I achieved once before. I know we must be resilient and only be inspired by past goals achieved, not haunted by them, and that I can only progress from where I am now.

    p.s. I love the polar bear picture

    1. I agree Lee. Life is often 2 steps forward, 1 step back. Remember, though, we never have to “get back” on track, the track always starts from right where we are.

      As a trader, maybe you could share your goals in terms of percentages, not hard numbers – just an idea.

      P.S. yeah, that polar bear cracks me up

  2. I have not backslid at all this year. Of course, I didn’t get a chance to make any resolutions. Not that I didn’t need or want to. January is one of the busiest times of year for me, and I missed giving any thought to it this year. There’s nothing to say I can’t have some Groundhog Day resolutions. I’m going to work on that today. Only a day late.

    1. Absolutely, Rick! A new year actually starts every day – it just depends on how you measure it. My wife and I sent out a “Pentecost Letter” one year because we were too swamped to get one out before Christmas!

      Let me know how your Groundhog Day resolutions are going…

  3. It is appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I desire to suggest you few interesting things or suggestions. Maybe you can write next articles referring to this article. I want to read more things about it!

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