One Month In…

Posted by Heather Villa, CMA, MBA, MSM on January 25, 2010 in: Business - Plain & Simple


In a couple of days, my calendar is going to ping me with a reminder. It’s going to say “One month in – how’s it going, Heather?” This reminder is for me to review the new business strategies I intended to integrate into my business this year.

Each year, I list out a bunch of strategies I want to integrate into my business. Some are marketing strategies, some are productivity strategies, some are customer service strategies; that kind of thing. I always have a really bold and vibrant vision of the year ahead and it’s easy for me to actually create so many strategies that I simply can’t implement them all effectively.

What I find is that over time, some strategies simply can’t be done in the day (because I don’t have time, for example) while other strategies become quickly integrated into my daily routine.

I was speaking with a colleague of mine who does something similar. She had developed several strategies she wanted to integrate into her year. For example, she wanted to increase her article marketing and she wanted to do more blog commenting. We usually chat about our strategies from time to time so I asked her how hers were going nearly one month into the year. The blogs were easily integrated in and are now a habit for her. The articles, however, are not. We talked about the reasons that could be and what she and I discussed might be helpful for you, too:

  • Integrating new strategies into your daily schedule is important to do from time to time, but not always easy. I’ve found that if you want to be more successful at making them habits, you need to do everything possible to make it super-easy to do. The easier they are, the more likely you’ll do them and the more likely they will become habits.

Take exercise as an example: Lots of people make a New Year’s Resolution to start exercising… and then they fail. One of the reasons is that exercise might be an hour or two commitment a few times a week: Driving to the gym, working out, showering, driving home. It adds up so it’s not compelling to do. The secret to integrating it into your life is to make it really easy at the very beginning. Start with a 5 minute workout at home; have a friend call to remind you. Then, increase your workout to ten minutes. Then to fifteen. Then twenty. Eventually you will find yourself at the gym doing a full workout, but by then it will be a habit. To get there, though, it had to start easy.

It’s the same with my friend and her articles: Instead of writing an article a day – her original goal – she should start with an article a week. Or, split the work between herself and a freelancer. Eventually, she can increase her own effort. And she should decide ahead of time what the article will be about, rather than staring at a blank page.

And it’s the same for your 2010 goals. The goals that easily integrated into your business – celebrate them. And the ones that you’re struggling with one month in – take baby steps and make them easy. You may not start out as boldly as you had originally dreamed but making them easy will help to make them habits.

Have a great time!

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I love working with coaches, freelancers, and entrepreneurs to help them become more successful. If you'd like to improve your business, find out how I can help.