Hi, I’m Rick Sessinghaus. I know it’s very cliché to say it’s the end of the year, it’s a new year upon us. That, hey, let’s have some goals, let’s have some resolutions and go for it. I actually like new beginnings. I’m kind of one of those that looks forward to the new year or a new quarter or a new month as a fresh start.

As I’m filming this, this is at the end of the year, and I’m trying to think back to what did I do in this past year. What were some of the improvements I made; some of the goals that I met, and some of the goals I did not meet, and why? Do I need to improve strategies? Maybe I need different resources. Maybe I have to look at things a little bit differently. But I like being able to evaluate and then also being able to move on.

Too often people, again, think of the new year as a way to disappoint themselves again. Maybe that just means that you haven’t implemented the correct strategies yet. The new year, the new you, right? Let’s think about what we have to do to set ourselves up for success as we take on a new beginning. First off is to ask the question: What do you want? I know it sounds very simplistic, but unfortunately, I have a ton of people who tell me what they don’t want. “I don’t want my work to be like this. I don’t want my relationships to be like this. I don’t want my health to be like that.” Certainly, it can start to get some clarity, but really, clarity is being single-focused on what you want to occur.

Ask that question: What do I want? It could be materialistic. It could be the type of relationship you want. The only way we can forward on something is to be clear on the target.

The next thing is the motivation behind it. What is that going to bring to you and your life? Again, sometimes with careers, it’s about money, and that’s going to bring you money, that could have more resources to do things with. That’s fine. Or a career where you serve to where you feel like you’re appreciated more. Great, that’s something you want. But why do you want it now? As we look at new beginnings, let’s get very clear on why that is important to you. Again, a lot of people tell me why they don’t want something. I want to know why you want it.

When we start clarifying that, we can have what we call extrinsic reasons and intrinsic reasons. As you move forward to a new you, and a new career, or a new behavior, you will be clear it’s something that really means something to you.

We can talk about values and what’s important to you, but motivation is your motive to take action. As we look at new goals and new aspirations, let’s ask ourselves why that is important.

Second is: do you have a strategy? It’s great to have a goal, it’s great to have a “this is what I want” but do you have any idea how the heck you’re going to start it? A lot of people don’t, unfortunately. Now in this day and age, when I could put anything in Google and come up with all these different results to solve a problem, there are plenty of strategies out there. All I’m asking you to do is choose one strategy to start to move forward with. Sometimes too many strategies, too much information, guess what? It stops us in our tracks, to begin with. Let’s start developing a strategy of behaviors and habits that are going to move us closer to what you want.

Next thing is the ability to have feedback. This is something that’s scary for a lot of people. When I work with businesses and organizations, they’re scared of feedback. They think feedback is critical. “What’s my boss going to tell me that I’m doing wrong?” I say, “No, no, no. Feedback is an exchange of ideas back and forth of what’s working and what could be improved upon. Because don’t you want to know what’s working? That’s part of feedback, too.” “Oh, this exercise is actually helping me feel better. Oh, I’m going to do more of that,” or “God, eating that way actually hasn’t done any good for me. I may have to adjust that.” Feedback is both positive and negative. I call it resourceful or unresourceful. What are you learning that you can now put back into the strategy to make adjustments? People tend to give up quickly because once the first strategy doesn’t work, they don’t have option B. They haven’t done the feedback necessary enough to make those changes.

What are the metrics that you could use to help you understand if you are moving now to that new behavior? With a career, it could be sales numbers and revenue. With your health, it could be body fat percentage. With time with your relationships, how much time am I spending with my kids? Those could be metrics. Because now we can actually see are you moving closer to that goal.

As we take on a new beginning, I want you to get clear on what you want. I want you to get clear on why that’s important to you. Get clear on what’s the strategy. What are at least the first few steps you can start to take? Then be open to feedback. Feedback could be metrics that you actually measure, but also feedback could be asking your teammates at your job, “Hey, can you tell me if I’m doing a good job on this? I’m really going to try to work on my sales skills. Can you help me with that?” Or from your spouse, “I really want to connect with you more. Can you give me some feedback on what I’m doing right?” That’s a very vulnerable place to be, I understand, but you’re only going to improve if you get that information so now you can make those changes. Let’s get clear on what we want, why we want it, what’s the strategy, get that feedback so now the new year can be a new you so you can perform for success.

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