The Power of January 1st

Have you ever you stopped to think why January 1st has so much power over us? Why not make goals or resolutions March 20th?

Image by taesmileland at

Image by taesmileland at

It would seem that January 1st for most people is a time of new beginning. A new year to start over and be better than we were the year before. A time to make up for our mistakes or short falls. The promises we make to ourselves to lose weight, get into shape, stop smoking, save money or do our dream job…they represent hope of a new beginning…a feeling of I can’t fail this year, or can I? Let’s take a look.

Are You in Your “Zone?”

You hear business people say they are “in the zone”. Most people mean they are being extremely productive. When you are in the zone, you cannot be stopped. The zone is the place to be. That all sounds really great, but doesn’t that mean you are also in your comfort zone? Is the comfort zone really a great place to be?

mouse Trap

Image by Surachai at

The problem with zones is there is no room for improvement. If you are in your zone or comfort zone, how do you improve? The old expression there is always a better way to build a mouse trap never happened from someone in the zone. In order to build that better mouse trap we have to think outside the zone.

Zones are warm and fuzzy places, hence the name comfort zone. That means outside of our comfort zone is where our fears live. 

You must overcome your fears by stepping out of your comfort zone. But have no fear…you are not alone! Everyone has fears to overcome.

Here are the top 4 fears experienced by business people:

‘Pit Stops’ for Peak Performance

You have to stay on track to accomplish your goals.

Sounds simple, right?  Reality check: it’s not. You’re moving through more tasks, quicker, while managing more distractions than ever before. As a result, staying focused on your goals and the keys to achieving them is increasingly difficult.

In Formula 1 Racing, the goal has always stayed the same: win the race.  What has changed drastically in a relatively short amount of time is what it takes to win the race.  Just watch this short video comparing a Formula 1 pit stop in 1950 compared to today.

Did you notice a few differences?  The number of crew members, the increased capability of the tools and of course, the amount of time it took to get the car back in the race.  Today, race cars spend more time in the fast lane because of record times in pit row.

The same is true of our professional ‘pit stops’ in today’s business environment. We have less down time for maintenance than ever before.  Often, vacation time doesn’t even allow us to totally recharge as we’re checking in on things by smartphone or tablet.  It’s natural to want to avoid falling behind but recharging to stay fresh and focused is critical to performing at your best.

If you’re so busy that you’re unable to enjoy the race and the fruits of your work, you’re bound to be less productive, and potentially, burn out.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a grand vacation or mid-week mindset shift.  You have to be intentional about finding ways to recharge.  

Here’s 3 Ways to Get a Quick Recharge Without Falling Behind:

1. Exercise. Whether it’s a weight training circuit,  a 15 minute walk or training for a marathon, physical activity will go a long way towards helping you feel better and be more productive.  In addition to the health benefits, the feeling of accomplishment will increase your productivity and stamina.  Make an appointment on your calendar so you don’t get too busy/avoid doing it.

2. Read. As Dave Ramsey says, “Readers are leaders.” Select one professional development book and commit to a date that you’ll finish it.  Then, get reading! First thing in the morning, during lunch break or at night just before bed (my favorite)…set a time that will work for you to read each day. Right now, I’m re-reading Good to Great. It’s been a few years since I first read this book.  But at a training I recently attended, I was given a copy.   I was reminded of the many lessons this book provides and the need to revisit this business classic.

3. Go to lunch with a client or colleague who has specific characteristics or is generating results you’d like to emulate. You need to eat, but this is more than a way to mix-up your lunchtime routine. At least once a monthmake it a point to schedule lunch with someone you can learn from and be inspired by. Come to the table prepared to find ways to help them as well. You might just end up with a long-term support and accountability partner.


“A successful entrepreneur looks ahead, around corners, and as far into the future as possible. #business”
November 5, 2013