New Year. New Start. Same You?
January 1st is just another day.
Let me explain.
Sure, there’s something motivating and refreshing about a new year. A new start. A blank slate. A chance for a new you.
Maybe you hit multiple bumps throughout the last year. Didn’t hit your goals. You’re not where you want to be. You’re in a slump.
But 2020. That’s going to be your year. When the ball drops, everything is going to change. Right?
You’re not just going to wake up on January 1st and all of a sudden have the motivation to make a smoothie and head to the gym to finally get that six-pack (I’m talking abs… not White Claws. But if my gym had White Claws, they’d probably see me more).
You’re not just going to roll out of bed on January 1st and know-how to enhance the culture in your agency.
You’re not just going to magically know how to manage your time better and get organized that morning.
You’re not just going to walk into your office on January 2nd and know exactly what technology platforms you need to invest in to reach new revenue goals and strengthen client relationships.
This takes planning. Preparation. Work.
And most of all: a lot of honest self-reflection.
If you don’t analyze, prepare and change your strategy, you’re going to be in the same place a year from now… Saying ‘next year will be my year, for sure’.
While I’m sure you can Google ‘steps to success’ and get a million different suggestions, I’m going to talk about what’s worked for me.
You need to start somewhere. Start by setting realistic goals.
If you haven’t gone to the gym in the last 6 months, setting a goal of spending 2 hours at the gym every single day or doing two-a-days for the next year is not a realistic goal. What will likely happen is you’ll over-do it or come up with an excuse why it’s too hard or miss a day and get frustrated with yourself for already failing on the goal.
And then what? You just give up altogether.
I’ve been there. I didn’t used to be a morning person. After failing at consistently waking up early multiple times and getting frustrated with myself, I realized what I was doing wrong: I was trying to become a morning person overnight. I assumed I could just set my alarm for 5am and BAM! I’d be a morning person.
“This takes planning. Preparation. Work.
And most of all: a lot of honest self reflection.“
After multiple failed attempts, I realized if I wanted to succeed, I needed to take baby steps. Setting myself up for success at night by organizing for my day in the morning. When it came to alarm time, I started by simply waking up 15 minutes earlier than I typically would. Week by week, I’d continue to move the alarm back in increments until finally, I became a morning person. Now, on most days, I wake up before my alarm even goes off and the mornings are my most productive hours.
That’s my personal life. I’ve taken this mindset and poured it over into my work life as well.
So you’ve got your realistic goal. Now you need to break it down.
Hitting $500,000 in new business may seem like an aggressive goal – but by breaking it out by quarters, months, weeks and even daily activities, it becomes much less intimidating and also motivating when you hit those smaller goals. Breaking it down all the way to daily activities is also going to help with accountability. If at the end of the week you aren’t where you should be, you’re going to be able to reflect on what you did versus what you should have done and why you aren’t where you want to be.
This goes back to honest self-reflection. You have set weekly goals for a reason. If you’re not hitting them, you need to assess why – and without making excuses for yourself. We feel bad when we let other people down – we need to start holding ourselves to that high standard, too!
Now for the most important one: Stop comparing yourself into paralysis.
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “comparison is the thief of joy”…
Comparison can do one of two things:
One: It could motivate you.
Seeing people succeed and crushing their goals can help light a fire within you to want to succeed as well. This type of comparison is completely fine.
Two: It could paralyze you.
You start scrolling through social media and seeing all the posts: the people that seem like they are superheroes. Perfect balance. Booming businesses. Coaching sports. Having a social life. Helping others. Epitome of fitness. Traveling all over. Documenting it all on social for the world to see.
When the hell do they sleep, you think. How do they do it all? You start going through post after post, becoming more and more frustrated with yourself that you’re not at that point in your life. And before you know it, you’ve wasted over an hour of time that you could have spent being productive. One more hour that you could have used to get to where you want to be. But instead, the little voice of doubt in your head is now growing louder. You aren’t as good as them. You can’t get to that level. You don’t have the skill. Why even bother trying?
STOP THAT RIGHT NOW.
Get rid of that little voice in your head that is making you doubt yourself. Start with being more intentional on social media.
“Stop camparing yourself into paralysis”
Here’s what you do: You set time limits. I have all social platforms set to 30 minutes per day on my phone. I have never hit my limit on Facebook, but I have hit it almost daily on Instagram. You know what this has done for me? It’s made me be more mindful with my interactions and focus on these platforms. I don’t find myself going down the scrolling rabbit hole and wasting precious, productive time on comparing myself into paralysis.
Let me sum it up for you.
You have the ability to kick ass. Every single day.
You just need to have the self-motivation to do it.
There’s no magic pill.
There’s no magic in January 1st.
There’s no magic in Monday.
The magic is inside of you. You just need to harness it.
Do some honest self-reflecting. Write down your goals. Break them down. Go kick ass. Repeat.
A millennial in a risky business affectionally referred to as The Beyoncé of Insurance – it’s no secret that Ashley Fitzsimmons is an insurance nerd with a passion for this industry. She’s been in your shoes. After nearly a decade as the fourth generation in an independent agency near Scranton, PA, she’s taken a little detour to join the team at Ohio Insurance Agents in Columbus. Her love for her clients helped secure the 2018 National CSR of the Year award. You may have seen her speak in the past at Elevate or Gary Vaynerchuck’s Agent2021 or heard her on Agency Revolution, the Insurance Guys or the Insurance Nerds podcast. In traveling to different events and meeting hundreds of agents, she realized she can make an even bigger impact by helping independent agents thrive all over the country. Connect with her. Use her as a resource. Or just have a martini with her – whatever it is, she’s here to help!