It’s game time! We’re off to the 2022 races and if you’re anything like the rest of the world, you’re thick in the resolution frenzy and knee-deep into goal setting. Journals, workbooks, podcasts, coaches; you can’t throw a rock without seeing a guide, checklist or life hack for how to stick to your resolutions. Social media, mainstream media, even talk shows are running segments on how to stick to your goals.
I get it, though. Self-reflection is hard. Really fine-tuning your life plan and leveling yourself up takes time, clarity, grit, perseverance and intention. These things don’t come easy to many people.
But what if it didn’t have to be this hard? What if you could simplify this whole process and instead walk through 2022 with clarity, purpose and a ridiculously simple plan? Two minutes to think, two minutes to write it down, and one minute to pat yourself on the back. Five minutes to a new you.
It can’t be. No way. Too simple.
It can be, yes way, and the beauty of this approach is, in fact, its simplicity. Specific, engineered simplicity.
Pick one thing. One small, easily executable micro-step. Because when you try to do ALL THE THINGS, you end up doing NONE OF THE THINGS, and this is where most people fail with their goal setting or life planning.
Pick one thing. For 30 days. Overachievers won’t like this and as a recovering type A, I get it. It’s too simple. Too easy. Too … meh. One thing? Who does ONE thing? One thing is easy. Anyone can do one thing. I’m super woman. I’m a high-performing executive. I don’t just do one thing; I do all the things.
Here’s where I ask you to trust me and give it a try. Simply pick one thing, then allow yourself the space and grace to enjoy watching your plan come to life. Here’s how it worked for me: About a year ago, I hired a health coach for the sole purpose of habitualizing and prioritizing consistent healthy habits. I’m a lifelong athlete, I’ve run two marathons, I’m a Peloton junkie, and I’ve never met a group fitness class I didn’t like. In the past, my fitness routine was for fun and energy. Now, my health goals are so that I remain strong and healthy late into my years. Enter health coach.
When we first started working together, she made me choose just one thing to work on for 30 days. I was appalled. One thing? Really? I’m paying you to tell me to pick one thing? I was doubtful, annoyed and skeptical, and I knew that I would pass this first test with flying colors. I picked one thing and every day for a week I executed on that one thing. A few weeks in, my one thing became a habit — one that I rarely if ever thought about. One small thing, 30 days in a row, and it just became part of who I am. In fact, now in the absence of this one thing, I feel off my game and out of sorts.
Let’s tie this back to business and use the goal of expanding your business network in the coming year. Your plan could look something like this:
- Attend one virtual networking event per week.
- Attend one live networking event per month (WOW! Twelve in-person networking events in by the end of the year!)
- Spend 20 minutes per day on LinkedIn connecting with people (that’ about 100 hours dedicated to networking). Tired yet?
- Update my LinkedIn profile.
- Find and join an online networking group.
- Find and join an in-person networking group.
- Network, network, network all the time.
Each morning, I’m going to start my day by checking in with an old contact I haven’t seen or talked with in a while.
Well, this sounds nice. Very doable. I picture myself with a cup of coffee, on Zoom or the phone, spending quality time to deepen a relationship. If you’re consistent, this equals five check-ins per week. That’s 260 meaningful connections over the course of a year, give or take the days you won’t be able to follow through.
Every Friday, I’m going to schedule a 20-minute virtual coffee chat with someone I’ve recently met and want to get to know better.
Each month, I’m going to pick one area in my life where I feel I’m under-networked and meet one new contact, then nurture those relationships through the year.
That’s 12 new meaningful connections in a specific area where I want to build more relationships.
Can you see, or better yet, feel the difference here? These scenarios sound enjoyable. They also sound achievable. You’ll look forward to completing these items, and because you look forward to doing them, you’ll do them well and do them often. Because you do them well and often, you’ll get better at networking and before you know it, you’re networking like a ninja. Boom.
Pick one thing.