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Course-Correction and Your Half-Year Resolutions

Course-Correct

We are half way through the year. How are your new-years resolutions working out? Are you closer to achieving your goals?

A lot of my coaching clients feel bad when I ask this but I want to encourage you to not feel like a failure if you have not achieved all that you had planned to do by now!

Course Correct

You will have heard the phrase “a pilot is off-course 90% of the time“.

I’m not sure if that is strictly true but it helps illustrate that you can still get there if you allow yourself to course-correct back on track.

Once you start course-correcting you will realise there is another factor you need to take into account …

Measure Progress

My new years resolutions centred around using Chris Brogan’s concept of three words.

I chose

  • positivity,
  • tranquility,
  • and implementation.

But, oops, there is a problem! Only one of those words is really measurable.

More positive than what? More tranquil than what?

And even implementation, while obviously having a measurable outcome, doesn’t indicate what I should be implementing. It could be “implement more”, but how will I know?

The idea was to become more calm, more positive, and focus less on analysis paralysis and more shipping. Good goals, just hard to track.

OK, that’s the bad news, but the good news is I can fix this and I HAVE made progress. In fact in the last month or so I made a lot of progress due to some advice from Mr Tony Clark to get (and implement) certain books. The best one is Search Inside Yourself (not an affiliate link).

With this in mind, I am switching tracks and am going to set the intention to write more.

  • At least weekly here (moving to twice-weekly as a stretch goal).
  • At least one guest post per month (twice per month as a stretch goal).
  • At least one Copyblogger post per month.
  • At least one paid writing gig.

What are your 2012 goals and what measurable tasks do you need to implement to achieve them? 

Focus your efforts and track your progress. You will get where you work towards.

Accelerate

Once you are course-correcting and measuring progress, then you can put effort into acceleration.

This is the correct order, and a place a lot of people go wrong.

We look at super-productive people and think it’s all about massive energy and action. But what happens if you tread on the gas with your eyes closed and your hands off the wheel? Are you heading towards the finishing line or a brick wall?

In business, acceleration comes from three places:

  1. Doing more of what works – To do more of what works you need to know what is working. That means measurement, and it means experimenting.
  2. Using systems – I have a programming and IT background so I naturally think in systems. For example Authority Blogger is the outcome of developing a system for effective blogging for businesses. Systems help you create consistent, predictable progress, to a certain level of quality, and allow you to optimise.
  3. Overcoming constraints – Discover where your bottlenecks are and either remove or work around them.

Bottom Line

Most of the people I know who are successful (in whichever way you regard success) have had to work hard to get to where they are, and work hard to stay there. Luck does factor in success, of course it does, but also being prepared, knowing where you want to get to, and daily focused effort all play a major part.

It’s not a good idea to rely on happy accidents to get where you need to be. Decide what you are working towards and work out how you are going to get there!

Most of all, don’t be afraid of “failure”

Everything is a work in progress, and we all have some things work out as planned and others that don’t. We all make mistakes, every single one of us (me more than most I expect). Not getting the desired results is an education not a failure.

So … what are your half-year resolutions going to be now?

Please share your thoughts in the comments …

 

 

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Comments

  1. Good post, Chris.
    Just last week, I had mid-year rethink / refocus. I realised I wasn’t concentrating enough on the things I already knew worked for me, I was too busy trying to invent the next big step forwards. This was wasting my time, a precious resource.
    I shifted some self publishing plans across to a slow burner and put effort into the skills that make me money right now and stopped beating myself up when I struggled for writing inspiration.
    It means my new ideas will take longer to bear fruit, but they’ll be all the better developed because of it.

    Neill W

    • It’s always tricky to be juggling your “right now” and your “future” stuff, but as you say, it might take longer but if you stick at it you will get there WITHOUT risking your right now :)

  2. This post can be commented on from a dozen angles or more. So much food for thought and so many reminders of where I’ve been and where I’m headed. I chose the following line from your post to focus on:

    “It’s not a good idea to rely on happy accidents to get where you need to be. Decide what you are working towards and work out how you are going to get there!”

    I have an eternally evolving notebook tablet next to my keyboard. Adding to it, removing what has become low priority or unnecessary, and crossing off completed tasks all bring me a lot of joy.

    I plan everything constantly, and then do my utmost to remove it from that list. Prior to taking up this habit, a lot got forgotten and plans disintegrated from the details out.

    I feel naked without a forethought plan of attack for my day, week, month, and the upcoming 6-month stretch. Everything is tailored to synch with the year-long plan, etc.

    Great post Chris!

    • Love the sound of your notebook – great stuff Ken :)

      I have a notebook but it is just a brain-dump of ideas. Somehow I need to organise it :)

  3. Hi Chris,
    Love this post. I re-booted last month when I realized I’d just spent the previous half-year (at least) working 24/7. I stepped back a little to put more me into my life.

    Thanks for the mention of the book, Search Inside Yourself. I just ordered it. I think I need it.

    I’ll be really glad to read a weekly post from you. I love reading your posts and always thought I was not getting all the emails about new posts. But I was getting them. There just weren’t enough of them. Now there will be.

  4. Chris, this was the kick I needed right now.

    I am feeling that I was off-course lately and I need to start course-correcting.

    Just like you, I need to write more, but I also need to add more clarity in what services and products I want to offer and schedule time to create and promote them.

    Right now I have lots of ideas and I want to do everything at once, but I need to go back to the drawing board.

  5. It seems to be a problem that we are focussing too much on the negative, on what we did not achieve, instead of celebrating the things we did achieve. We tend to feel bad when we remind ourselves of those things on our lists for 2012. What we don’t take into account are the things that we achieved that weren’t even part of the New Years’ resolutions.

    Here’s an example: At the beginning of this year I recorded my aims for the rest of 2012. My plan was to play the recording of the resolutions to myself every night before sleep. One major resolution was to release a new album with self-written songs in 2012. I set the deadline for writing all the songs until March 2012. Now it’s July, and two (of twelve) songs are still not finished. So, what did I do? I stopped listening to the recording of my resolutions, because it reminded me of my failure. Bad idea. Next time I do such a recording I will make sure to set gentler dates or none at all.

    On the other hand, the premiere of a theater piece I am working on (and will act in) is this September. I hadn’t included that in my resolutions.

    Does this sound familiar?

  6. Excellent post Chris. Just last week I was made aware of a software plugin that brought me face to face with reality! It helped me measure something about my site, and made me realise that my goal was wrong. Not only was I not tracking toward my in the right timeframe, I had merrily set the wrong goal!

    So, yes, measuring is a painful method at times. But midyear, is a great time to be thinking about, and for those in the US, or in agriculture in southern countries, June and July are beginnings of financial years too.

  7. Thanks, Chris! My half-year goal is to stop acting like a hyperactive pixie off Ritalin and F O C U S. I’ve noticed the last few days that I canNOT function online without being distracted and it’s affecting my business goals. I had big dreams at the beginning of the year and it’s time to get back to them! Thanks for the inspiration to make my results measurable!

  8. Terrific advice, Chris! So often we forget to stop and make sure the work we are doing is actually moving us toward our goals. It’s like that old story about the managers not wanting to stop because they are halfway there, but halfway toward the wrong goal.
    I started on a new project this July so I decided to actually have a New Year celebration on June 30 and start my year fresh!

  9. Such a good reminder for all to evaluate where you are at after 6 months – always good to pull back, and really look at what got you to where you are now – it can be hard but we all need a reality check to make sure we get to where we want to be!