The new year is a good time to reflect, recharge, reset, and plan for our year. Hopefully, you already have set your annual goals. Your goals are connected to your purpose (who you are and what you want). Setting goals is the easy part, achieving them takes focus and discipline. 

In my experience, when I fail to achieve my goals, it is because I have not made time for them. With a busy schedule, it’s important to consider how you will make time for your priorities to achieve your goals. One small — but powerful — word can help you get there.

Avoid distractions by SAYING “NO” 

We all have 24 hours a day.  We can’t increase the number of hours in a day,  But, we can choose what we do with the time we have. We have to start by saying “NO.”

Say “NO” to devices in the first 60 minutes of the day

To ease into this routine, you might start with just 15 minutes of time to yourself before turning to your device in the morning. This block of time is sacred. It sets you up to be in charge of your day and your life.

According to “One Minute for Yourself” by Spencer Johnson, when I take care of myself, I am happier and have more energy to take care of others. Here is a list of what I do before I touch my devices:

    • Hydrate by drinking two glasses of warm water before coffee
    • Read a spiritual message
    • Silence for 10 minutes
    • Stretch or walk for 10 minutes
    • Write a few lines reflecting on yesterday
    • Set maximum of two priorities to accomplish for the day
    • Name my distractions to avoid for this day 

Say “NO” to meetings and calls that are not scheduled or without an agenda

If someone calls or walks into my office while I’m working on a project and I say yes to the distraction, I will have to re-create the thought process to finish the project later. Work interruptions can cost you 6 hours a day. 

The best time-managers will politely say,

    • “I will have five minutes to talk with you in 30 minutes.” 
    • “Please set a time in my calendar for us to discuss it.”

Simply have your cheerful receptionist offer to put them on your calendar for a short call or meeting. “Alice has a block of 10 minutes on Tuesday at 3 p.m. or Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. What works better for you?”

Say “NO” to people who drain your energy

These people could be:

    • People who are not satisfied, no matter how much you try or do for them
    • People who do not follow through and you have to chase them to get something done over and over again
    • People who are negative
    • People who only care about themselves
    • People who agree with you, but do the opposite

We are the average of the top five people we hang out most with. Think again about who should be in your top five list. Set boundaries with others. They can only drain your energy if you let them.

Say “NO” to Shiny Objects

Of course we want to improve our business and increase our bottom line. There are many great ideas to run a business and to generate even more business.

If business is slow, or if the business processes are cumbersome, discover the root issues before jumping into a new idea to make change. Any implementation of a new idea before evaluation could cost you money and time and might not even fix the issue.

Say “NO” to tasks and projects that you can delegate or sub-contract

Conduct an audit of your activities for one week. Write down everything you do from the beginning to the end of your workday.

At the end of the week, review the list and circle the things that “only you” can do. The rest of the list can be delegated.

By doing so, you gain more time and energy for the priorities that will help you get closer to achieving your goals.

Say “YES” to accountability

While we need to say “NO” to distractions, we should say “YES” to accountability. If you want to make changes, the first step is to let someone know about your goals and what your first actions will be.

Tell someone about your goals and ask them to keep you accountable, or comment on this post by saying, “I will _____ by____.” 

This is the beginning of your rewarding year.

Here’s my goal for 2020

Let me share my goal with you to help keep me accountable: My number one goal in 2020 is to build even better relationships with the people who are important to me and my business and help them succeed.

Meeting people requires time. Following through with the promises I make to people takes time. Strategizing how best to support them takes time. Saying “NO” to my distractions allows me to allocate time for those actions that will help achieve my goal.  

Make every minute of your day count toward your goals. May you achieve all your dreams in 2020!

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