As we look into 2017, how can we ensure that the commitments we make will materialize next year?  How do we increase the probability of looking back at the end of the year, and being proud of what we have accomplished?

I have always enjoyed helping business people creating visions, set “SMART” goals, and determining actions steps.  It’s the kind of big-picture thinking that most leaders find fun, and all of these steps are critical, as they are the framework for managing projects.

However, the reason that we often don’t achieve our visions is because of something very simple.  We have not developed effective habits.  We see so many otherwise competent and intelligent people fail in business because of their lack of effective habits.  Think about the manager who is quick to criticize, but never seems to show her team members sincere appreciation for high-performance.  Or think about the sales person that can’t seem to pick up the phone and dial enough times in the day to ensure success.

If we want to move the needle in our business in 2017, we need to follow these simple steps:
  1. Choose ONE habit to focus on that will move us toward our vision
  2. Announce it to the people around us for accountability
  3. Track our progress (there’s an app called “Way of Life” that is a great tool for tracking habits)
  4. Regularly share our progress with those in step #2, at least monthly
  5. Reward ourselves for success (establish progress rewards ahead of time)

To achieve grand visions, we need to start with the small behaviors that we exhibit on a daily basis.  For some ideas of effective habits to choose from, check out Dale Carnegie’s Secrets of Success.

Posted by Ryan M. Akins

Investor, Entrepreneur, Listener and Learner. Ryan currently serves as Regional President of Dale Carnegie for the North Texas region. He graduated from The Dale Carnegie Course in 2011.

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