Saturday Essay: The Most Powerful Ways To Make Sure Your New Year’s Resolutions Are Achieved
Ryan Howsam, the founder and Chairman of the UK’s market-leading travel insurer Staysure and its Group of Companies considers tactics to ensure your new year resolutions stay on track.
Solving business problems is my passion. It’s like doing a jigsaw puzzle. I can see the solutions so clearly and I feel useful. I think we’re all here to use our gifts to help not only ourselves, but others.
Most of us are probably glad to see the back of 2020 and looking forward to a fresh start in 2021. But, if like me you’ve previously set yourself new year’s resolutions which fizzled out after a few weeks, it’s time to try a new approach.
They say that ninety nine percent of resolutions fail, so how do you actually make them work? I believe that most resolutions fail for two main reasons, lack of vision and, or, lack of focus.
My own system, the 90 Days method, concentrates on these two main areas and if you follow the simple steps below, you will be amazed at the results that you can achieve.
Like most people I’ve had successes and failures from being on the front line in my own businesses. Last year I employed over one thousand people directly and indirectly, I know the importance of positive goal setting.
From my own experiences growing businesses from the ground up, I’ve learnt what works and doesn’t. My system, 90 Days is something I use to get fast results and I’ve rolled it out to my staff as well as companies I mentor.
Anyone can follow this approach, whether you’re in business and want to go from loss making to £10m profit, or just want to improve your fitness this year.
The 90 Days System
So how does it work?
It all starts with a big picture or vision. Before you even set your new year’s resolutions, it’s important to take a step back, keep an open mind and start with your ultimate dream life.
Once you do this, the outcomes and actions you need to take will fall off the back of that. If you go charging ahead simply with a resolution like “save money” or “get out of debt” when you haven’t spent time visualising how you will use that money, what it will do for you and your family and where you will be in the future, how will it really resonate with you? Having a strong, emotional connection to a vision you can see and imagine is much more powerful than simply trying to stick to rules like “don’t eat bread for a month”.
The Importance of a Vision
What I’m about to lay out sounds incredibly simple, it is, but it requires action and dedication. You have to start with your vision, otherwise you simply cannot get there. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a believer of The Secret or manifesting money just by thinking about it.
Simply wishing and imagining being rich won’t make a big bag of money drop on your head, but coupled with the rest of my system, the vision piece is exactly where you have to start.
Your Ultimate Life
The starting point to get to your vision is to think about what your ultimate life would look and feel like. Write out that vision, get images of what you’re thinking and feeling and be really clear. I do this for every area of my life I want to improve. For me this means a vision for business, health and vitality, material things, relationships, learning, spirituality, personal profile, golf, contribution, experiences and investing.
This may sound daunting and I am not suggesting you have to go to this level of detail, but just imagine how you would you feel if you knew exactly what the ultimate dream was in each of your life areas. Remember, this is a time to dream big, don’t sell yourself short with overly modest ideas.
The other key here is to keep the timeframe for this vision open - this is your ultimate life after all, and it may take a while to get there. Most people overestimate what they can do in a year and underestimate what they can do in ten (Bill Gates). Think about what the big picture is, write it down, get supporting images and let your mind visualise and feel what it would be like to live the dream.
This year- 2021
The next step is to think about 2021 and write out the most important thing you believe you can achieve by the end of the year to get closer to your dream life. I would call this your major outcome. I like to think in outcomes, not goals. An outcome is something which will happen, but a goal may not. You may also pick another two to three outcomes which are of secondary importance: once more write them out.
The next 90 Days
Photo by andrew dinh on Unsplash
Now here’s the real key to how the whole system works: the next 90 days, I like to work in neat financial quarters, great for business but also excellent for life objectives. Pick the most important things you can deliver in the next 90 days, once more you pick one major outcome and two to three minor things. All of these need to be clearly measurable. So instead of the classic new year’s resolution of “get fit”, if part of your dream lifestyle is being fit enough to run and keep up with your kids, feeling healthy and happy, then your goal for this year is to lose 10 pounds and be able to run a half marathon, your major outcome for this 90 days might be to train for a 5k.
I’ve always been an incessant goal setter, with varying degrees of success and to a degree had a vision, but my problem was my inability to stay focussed. In my early career I made money but lost it easily, focus really was my Achilles heel. As a typical entrepreneur with a million ideas a minute, I’d move away to the next shiny new idea and never achieve what I needed to do. It was only when I was nominated for a Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in my forties where I noticed other successful business owners who had done well, but who
I felt were less switched on than me and lacking in creativity. That’s when I had a stark realisation: my ideas may be better than others, but what seemed to work for them was razor sharp focus on delivery. I went on to work on my focus and built my company Staysure which has gone on to win numerous awards and grow year after year. If I had continued down the path I was on, always jumping to the next thing, I wouldn’t have achieved it.
Daily Action with Weekly Tasks
So, you’ve created a vision, know what ‘great’ looks like for the year and have objectives for the next 90 days. The final piece to the jigsaw is what you do every day, most of us have a “to do” list, but do we really do things every day which move the needle? Probably not!
Photo by Chase Clark on Unsplash
What I do on the Sunday before the week coming is spend thirty minutes (maybe a bit more until you get into a rhythm) writing out all of the tasks for each of my 90 day objectives. This really means that I’m focussed on things which matter as opposed to things that don’t. Spend your time doing things which move you towards your dream life, not just any distraction which comes your way.
And it really is that simple, you set your vision and use the steps above to achieve focus. Let’s just say you want to lose five kilos, why do you want to lose five kilos? Visualise your body losing the 5 kilos, how would you feel? OK, so now you have your vision, what would your major objective be for these 90 days? Maybe it is to lose 2 kilos. In order to lose those two kilos in these 90 days then what are the weekly tasks you need to do that will move you closer to your outcome?
For example, workout for thirty minutes per day, eat in an eight hour window (11am-7pm), make sure you eat natural foods and cut out alcohol. Now here’s a little tip specifically for diet, you need a cheat day, being good all the time is a recipe for failure, allow yourself one day off your plan.
To finish off just to give you an insight into one of my life areas and this is Contribution. I’m a big believer in giving back and this is my vision for 2021:
Help thousands of entrepreneurs become financially free who can en-route create tens of thousands of jobs.
Solving business problems is my passion. It’s like doing a jigsaw puzzle. I can see the solutions so clearly and I feel useful. I think we’re all here to use our gifts to help not only ourselves but others.
Get Fix or Fail launched ( a new TV programme I’ve filmed )
Get 100k engaged followers/subscribers across my social channels
In the next 90’ days, I will give away a 1000 90 Day Scholarships
I have been using my system for two years with amazing success. If this advice resonates with you, then do be sure to visit my website for all my business advice and content, www.ryanhowsam.com
My new platform is coming soon 90days.co
and you can connect with me there and also share your success with me at @Ryanhowsam.