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The Importance of January: Setting the Tone for the New Year

I love the first of the year. The first of the year is like a fresh lawn of new-fallen snow with no footprints in it. It’s for us to go out there and start making footprints.

January is extremely important for the entire year. Let me explain why that is. It’s so easy to waste what we have in abundance of, you always waste money when you have a whole bunch of it in the bank. You always waste time when you have a whole lot of on your hands.

When you go into the new year instinctively you’re thinking, “I’ve got 52 weeks out there in front of me. What’s a couple of weeks going to matter?” That’s our natural human instincts. 80+% of people are managing themselves instinctively. You have to drive the behavior that you want, and what you want is to drive a precedent the full month of January. The only way you can do that is be very proactive about driving that behavior initially. If you can drive a lot of positive activity in January, the momentum starts to move for the upcoming year.

Set a date and make a run through January.  The concept of “Runs” work because you are giving yourself a commitment that you’re going to run to this date. You’re not going to stop. You’re not going to think about second guessing yourself. You’re not going to look back. You’re not going to say, “Is it working? Is it not?” You just run. When that’s over, then you slow down and assess what happened. That’s the psychology of runs.

Runs work well because it drives the definition of achievement. Achievement is doing the right things consistently over a sustained period of time. The sustained period of time is the key. In other words, you have to do the right things consistently, and don’t second guess it, for X amount of time. That’s what makes up the psychology of a run. Make January one of the biggest months of the year, and the rest of the year will stack up.

Most companies and organizations in corporate America, try to make the year out of basically 10 months of the year. They have to do that because they don’t know how to manage January and they don’t know how to manage December. Those two months throw them off, so they end up trying to make a 12-month year out of 10 months.  Do not fall into this trap.  If you maintain awareness of this it will pay off for the rest of the year.

One Tip to Share:

Have a theme for 2015!  Think of one word that could be your theme for the entire year. It’s an interesting concept. I wrote the book “The Language of Achievement” and in Chapter 11, “Changing Lives One Word at a Time”, I emphasized the importance of the “Word for the Day”, but think about a theme word for the year that will drive your thinking and your proactive thinking processes all the way through the year. That is a powerful concept!