2014 – How to make it great.

CaptureHappy New Year to you.

I’ve got six years of self-employed-dom behind me now. And it has changed me. For the better. Every year has been better than the last and the terrors of the early years are gone…

I don’t do the New Year’s resolution thing as I know futility when I see it.

But I do take a lot of my own medicine so I’m going to focus on keeping doing the stuff that works so that 2014 can be great. And there’s some stuff at the end I just haven’t got right yet.

First, here’s the medicine…

1. I will set goals properly. They will be written. They will be broken down into 90 day goals. I will then break those goals down into their actionables – the good old high payoff activities.

I have said before that goal setting is essential but it’s taught so poorly or not at all. A big mistake is to think that there is no benefit in the goal until it is completed and if the completion date is a year away that’s hardly motivational. The benefit is often immediate, so I will look for these immediate benefits. This will keep me motivated and, more importantly, committed. This is important.  

2. I will avoid the siren call of efficiency and focus on effectiveness. Efficiency is for weedy men with clipboards.

3. I will continue to manage all distraction in one hour per day or less using the famous bin/file/delegate/action process that works like a charm for those with the guts to use it…

4. I will know the underlying purpose in what I do and if the purpose isn’t worthwhile to me I won’t do the thing.  

5. I will never chase money. Ever (again). Money chases value. So the money can chase me. And if it doesn’t then I know exactly what’s wrong.    

6. I will review the last year for the stuff that didn’t go well. I am talking about what I did or didn’t do as that is all I can control. I am not interested in trifles like bad results. They’re essential. I will extract the learning and move on. What does not kill you makes you stronger.

7. I will remember that fear kills action and action kills fear and this battle will define the quality of my life. So action it is then.

8. I will not tolerate or settle for situations that are merely OK in areas of my life that matter to me.

9. I will not accept clients who want me to do my job badly, usually by their desire to save money by minimising the sessions we have, leading to the inevitable low cost failure for them instead of the fork-in-the-road moment that almost always leads to success.

10. I will seek to proceduralise and delegate/outsource what I can.

11. I will continue to educate myself because knowledge-based effective action wins almost every time.  

12. I will continue to use blocktime – large chunks of time spent on one thing to move it forward not by an inch but by a mile.


And here’s some stuff I still have not got on top of but will try to yet again…

1. I will find an exercise regime that I can stick to instead of my alternating periods of mad cycling and mad not-cycling…

2. I will down tools at a set time every day. Screens off. Walk away.  

3. I will reward myself regularly with something that isn’t red wine.  


I wish you the very best for 2014. There has never been a better time to be alive.

Seven days gone already. Let’s get to it; it’s there for the taking.

How do you feel about 2014? What are you going to do?

2 Responses to 2014 – How to make it great.

  1. Amanda Fairclough January 8, 2014 at 10:51 am #

    Thanks, Mark. Best set of NY advice I’ve come across. I’ve added this page to my favourites bar. And will keep re-reading it. And re-reading…

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