Thu | Jul 19, 2018

What will you change for the new year Pt III

Published:Sunday | January 17, 2016 | 12:00 AM

This year, we advocate a Three-Stage Plan for achieving outstanding success.

Stage 1: Dump the baggage

Identify thoughts and beliefs about yourself that limit your ability to achieve more. One trick in identifying those limiting thoughts is to look at people or organisations that are doing something that you admire. Reflect on what it is that stops you from doing the same. Are the reasons you give the result of what you have been told by others or just how you feel about yourself?

This year, in order to make progress, you need to test those thoughts to see if they are really true. Some limitations are genuine. It might be that you are factually not able to do something that you would like to do. Investigate those further to see how it may be possible with outside assistance in the form of training, coaching, collaboration etc.

In Stage 1, you take a deep look into your life and see if there are beliefs about yourself that are holding you back. Identify them and dump the baggage.

Stage 2: New Perspectives

At different periods, there is a general acceptance of mental limits on possibilities, prospects and opportunities. Bolt's 9:58 100-metre record was not deemed as 'possible' a few years ago. We also tend to place personal limits on what is possible for us. This year, we need to challenge those limits. We need to set new horizons.

In addition to expanding the borders of our thinking, we need to review the strategies we are deploying. Let David be our role model this year. He rubbished the discouragement and faithless comments of his brother and King Saul. He then applied a perspective to battling Goliath that transformed certain defeat into amazing victory.

Are you confronting your giant challenges using strategies that work for YOU? Align your perspectives to your strengths for success this year.

Stage 1: Dump the baggage of negative thoughts and Stage 2: Recast your perspectives.

Stage 3 is EXECUTION.

After we have cleared some of the limiting thoughts (lies we have accepted about ourselves) and recast our perspectives (how we view what is possible and how we set about attaining the possible), the difference this year will come from how we implement our plans.

Removing limiting beliefs and expanding our horizons are not enough. We must execute well.

High-impact Execution tips:

1. Work backwards from your ideal state

What are your expanded goals? What are your unfulfilled dreams and aspirations? Start where you want to be and then unlock one step at a time. "If I am to achieve 'A', I must do 'X'.

2. Count the cost

What is at stake? What are the implications of success or failure? The more value and importance you place on outcomes the greater your motivation to meet the objectives and avoid disaster. Spend time visualising both outcomes until they become real to you.

3. Conduct an inventory

What ingredients are required to achieve your ideal state? Skills, tools, finances and other resources. Level and frequency of effort.

4. Create a recipe for success

Prepare a detailed recipe that includes weekly step-by-step actions that pull the pieces together. Like cooking a four-course meal, you need to pay close attention to details and follow carefully crafted checklists. Prep work is critical. Skip steps and leave out ingredients at your peril.

5. Apply laser focus

The power of lasers is the capacity to harness energy and direct it to a small area. Avoid dissipating your energy and resources too widely. Narrow your focus for high levels of penetration.

6. Set up milestones and objective means of verifying when those have been achieved.

Attach rewards and penalties to spur completion.

7. Give serious consideration to getting coaching individually or in a course. Read!

8. Apply the X-factor: "Commit all you do to the Lord.

Proverbs 16:3 Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established.

• Trevor E. S. Smith is a behaviour modification coach with the Success with People Academy home of the SHRM-accredited 'Certified Behavioural Coach' award and '3-D Leader: Leading Difficult People' certification. Enrol now! Contact: Email: