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Never make a resolution you don’t intend to keep

I don’t make more than one or two resolutions at a time. It is too many to keep. A resolution is a firm decision to do or not to do something.

I made two resolutions for 2009 – to jog an average of 32km per week (20 miles) and not eat a certain type of junk food. The only thing that will stop me from achieving my jogging goal is injury and nothing will make me break the junk food resolution.

A resolution is a promise to yourself. When you break a promise to yourself you sow the seed of self doubt. If you can’t trust yourself to keep promises you make to yourself – how can you trust promises to others?

I think the original author underestimates the importance of this list. It isn’t a list for micro business owners (as the article was intended), it is a guide for all of us, whether you are in big business or not in business at all. I recommend you make a poster of this list and put it on your wall:

10 Keystones for a successful life

  1. Get fit and work less. Get out and walk, run, swim or stretch. Do something each day that is 100% for you. Your business, and those around you, will thank you for it.
  2. Surround yourself with positivity. Don’t get suckered into negative press. Focus on what you can control. Measure and report on what’s actually happening in your life and your finances.
  3. Plant a seed every day. Do something, no matter how small, each and every day to feed your network and grow relationships. Send a thank you card. Make a social call.
  4. Get ruthless about distractions. Set aside uninterruptible blocks of time each day for your most important tasks. Be sure to switch off phones AND email.
  5. Outsource more. Identify the repetitive low-value tasks in your business or your life and outsource them. Focus your time where you can add real value.
  6. Give more stuff away. Share your expertise freely and get up to speed with the value of generosity. Embrace the philosophy of abundance.
  7. Stop talking, start listening. Don’t talk about yourself too much. Ask open ended questions about other people’s lives, work and industry. Interested is interesting.
  8. Stop marketing, start attracting. Get in touch with your opinions and rattle some cages. Demonstrate thought participation or leadership in your industry or community.
  9. Communicate more. Most problems arise from a lack of communication. Embrace the power of progress reports, update emails, follow-ups, quick phone calls and general hand-holding.
  10. Take back your inbox. The inbox is not a workspace ‘? when a message arrives, delete it, file it or defer it. Deal with it once. Check email at set times during the day and turn off automatic alerts.