How New Year’s Resolutions Can Keep You From Keeping New Year’s Resolutions

IMG_8463-91-smIt’s mid-January, how are you doing with your New Year’s Resolutions? Are you still feeling the flush of optimism from New Year’s Eve?

Statistically 76% of you made it through week one, but only 71% of you will make it past this week. To help keep you from falling off that list here are some things to think about.
Remember you’re already ahead of the curve! You’re 10 times more likely to keep those goals if you actually make the resolution in the first place. Keep your momentum and you’re in a good position to keep that resolution. Each day you keep with the program the easier it becomes to stay with it from a brain science perspective. Keep reminding yourself about the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow… positive reinforcement really does work, especially this early in the process.
If you’re starting to feel the pull to drop your resolution already then try re-evaluating the resolutions you made. Maybe the problem isn’t that you can’t keep resolutions. It’s quite possible you are focusing on the wrong area, or taking the “hard road” to get to your destination. Many times will power isn’t enough by itself to get you to your goal. Trying to force yourself to achieve something without a solid, reliable plan can lead to giving up too soon.
Often the problem is the number of things you are trying to achieve. Setting too many resolutions at once, or having too many goals you’re trying to work towards can dilute your energy and prevent you from succeeding.  Take a hard look at the goals you set and ask yourself the following question: “If I could only choose one of these  goals, which would it be?” If there is one that stands above the rest then perhaps you would be better off just working on that one resolution. It’s easy to lose sight of how reality will impact your goals when you originally set them. Our enthusiasm makes us overly optimistic. Now is a great time to pare down your list to the core changes you want to make, or the top goal you want to achieve this year. That’s not defeat, that’s flexibility.
If you haven’t set a resolution for the year yet, don’t worry. It’s not too late to make your resolution now. It’s still January so technically you can tell anyone who raises an eyebrow that you’re just a thoughtful starter. Then write your resolution down and create a plan. If you need some help you can always use my “How to Finally Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions” online course as a resource. But even if you don’t get my help, the only way you move forward is to stretch yourself and try new things. So go ahead, be bold and make a resolution to improve or change something this year. Big or small, making a goal and achieving it can have lots of positive impact on your life.
Let me know what you think of this post. Was it useful? I really want to know!

The Power of the New Year

23473708_sNew Year’s day is almost here and I feel a quiet optimism building.

In this time of reflection I feel anticipation for things to come. This week is a time when we look back and take stock of events of the past twelve months but we also look forward to a new beginning. It’s a time to evaluate lessons learned and to incorporate that wisdom into our plans for the future.

The transition from one year to another is a great time to mentally and emotionally shed any mistakes from the past. We can look ahead with optimism and renewed energy knowing that the past is history. Nature has it’s cycles. Those cycles may be more difficult to see in our artificially controlled, technologically dominated world, but they are there. In the dead of winter we have time to slow down and dream about what the spring might bring. That is the power behind the idea of the New Year. We are past the shortest day of the year and now we begin the march towards the warmth and sunshine after the cold.

This is a time for looking back, and a time for looking ahead. We have the opportunity to consciously set ourselves on a path of our choosing. I think that’s one of the reasons resolutions are so popular for New Year’s day. Honoring the ritual of the new year allows us to actively participate in life’s march forward in time. We become intentional. We glimpse some greatness in ourselves. We believe we can achieve all those things to which we aspire… and we should. There is power in forward motion. The past is the past, the future is ours to create. The new life that comes forth in a few months from now calls to us, even in the cold of winter.

I’m looking forward to this New Year with particular optimism. 2014 was a building year for me personally and for Pitch for Success as a business. I’m looking to see some of the long, slow groundwork pay off in the next few months. I’m already making plans and starting to get in the groove. I’m looking forward to all the people I can help and the things we can accomplish together.

The longer I coach and teach the more I realize how important that aspect of my ‘job’ is to me. Not just because I make more when I help more people… but because that’s what makes the work worth doing. Watching people understand that there is another way to make connections and build relationships is exciting. It can also be life and business changing. I’m seeing that happen more and more. That, more than anything, revs me up and creates excitement about what will come in the new year.

Here’s hoping 2015 brings you all the challenge, joy and success you can stand.
Viva La 2015!

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You can follow Eric @pitchforsuccess on Twitter or on Facebook at PitchforSuccess

To get information on sharing this article or having Eric speak to your group email questions@pitchforsuccess.com

Gratitude for the rough spots

today is the dayThis time of year we are often mindful of what we have. Many of us are thankful for our health, our wealth, our position, our opportunities and most of all our families. Some of us have all of these, far too many people don’t. We all do have one thing to be grateful for, however… our struggles.

The longer I spend on this spinning world of ours the more I realize that I wouldn’t be here writing this message to you if it were not for the trials and tribulations I’ve faced. The things that kept me up at night were often the things that have defined my actions and my commitment to move forward. I believe in constantly learning and improving… not as an ego thing, but rather as a way to get every ounce of value I can out of the years I have. The biggest lessons I’ve learned have always come through the biggest challenges I’ve faced in my life. That is true in my business and professional life as well as in my personal life.

The relationships I’ve developed that mean the most to me were often hard won and valuable beyond measure because of that fact. Formed in the crucible of clashing wills, ideas and ambition to make a difference in the world, the professional relationships I lean on the most have been tested time and again… they are the ones that not only survive, but thrive. These are the people I’m truly grateful for every day.

As we all take a breather this week and sit down to share whatever we have with those that mean the most to us, I hope we can remember that it is good to appreciate those things that challenge us. The situations and relationships that draw out the best, and the worst, in us are the ones that force us to make a decision… to give in to being mediocre or to strive for something better, something more.

I am thankful every day that I have the opportunity to do what I love. I have the ability to learn new things, and the ability to share those things in a way that makes a difference in people’s lives. I help people build livelihoods, send their kids to school, take care of relatives, have fun on vacation and build something that can help make this world a little bit better. I love helping you all grow your businesses… it has great meaning for me. I am grateful for that opportunity to help make a difference that matters.

So as I sit down for dinner this Thanksgiving, I will be thinking of you and raising a glass to toast your success and your health. I hope that you too can be grateful for the rough spots in your life and share the best of yourself with those that mean the most to you this holiday.

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You can follow Eric @pitchforsuccess on Twitter or on Facebook at PitchforSuccess

To get information on sharing this article or having Eric speak to your group email questions@pitchforsuccess.com

Pitch for Success 30 Second Networking Tip #10

Practice makes perfect… even in networking.

Got 30 seconds? I’ll give you a tip to make your professional networking more productive.

It’s important to know what you’re going to say when you network professionally. Whether it’s a big event, or a small event your success will be affected by being able to be smooth and relaxed. You must practice to make that introduction smooth. it will boost your confidence too.

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Treat your Customers to the Unexpected

My new favorite restaurant is a sandwich shop called Which Wich.Which Wich Leesburg

First, they have a great selection of sandwiches. Like the Elvis Wich (creamy peanut butter, bacon, sweet honey & fresh banana), or the Thank You Turkey (turkey breast, savory stuffing & cranberry sauce) , or my personal favorite, Bacon and Egg with avocado. Add a hand made banana milkshake and it’s lunch heaven.

The second reason? The crew is off the hook awesome. Manny Toor, the store owner, has hired and trained a group of young people who are genuinely fantastic at customer service. One clever thing they do is to have you write your name on your sandwich bag when you order. No number calling at Which Wich. I’m a regular, so the crew learned my name quickly. I call it the “Cheers Factor”, after the television sitcom. When I walk in at least two of the crew say “Hi, Eric, welcome back”. I like that. A lot. And I’m not alone. There are a lot of regulars at Which Wich in Leesburg these days.

I like giving Manny a plug here. He earned it. I can tell by the way he interacts with his team that they respect him and, more importantly, he respects them. There are no bad attitudes at Manny’s Which Wich. He leads by example. If it’s busy, Manny is on the line making sandwiches with the rest of the crew. Not reluctantly either. He enjoys it. He always waves hello to customers he recognizes, and has a warm smile for those he doesn’t. The rest of the team follows his example.

The Which Wich CrewSo what’s this got to do with you? Manny has mastered great customer service. We have a lot to learn from his example. He runs a tight, friendly ship. Not only that, but recently he took it up a notch. He surprised me.

My birthday was last week. I came in for lunch and Manny was there with a warm “Happy Birthday” greeting. Nice touch. Then he bought me lunch… AND super sized my sandwich and milkshake. Manny took that opportunity to make a regular customer feel even more valued. That simple gesture made my day. It also made me realize how many times we, as business people,  miss opportunities to go that extra step for our customers.

So, I challenge you to do the unexpected this week. It doesn’t matter what business you’re in. You can find a way to let your customers know you care. That they matter. A simple phone call saying “Thank you”. An extra discount, or a super sized milk shake. Whatever that thing is for your customers, find it and DO it. If it’s genuine you will be amazed at the reaction you get. How do I know? I’m sitting at Which Wich writing this right now… banana milk shake in hand.