New Year Resolutions | Blog | Phil Hesketh | MFL Gloal

How to plan your New Year’s Resolutions in four minutes

Happy New Year!

In two minutes ~ the time it takes to read this ~ learn how to plan the year ahead in four minutes.

More or less.

First of all, I’d like to wish you a very warm welcome to 2018. As the late, great John Lennon once sang, another year over, and a new one just begun. Personally, Elvis Costello’s I can’t stand up for falling down would best describe the festivities in my house last week but I don’t want to dwell on that here.

Over the Festive Season, people have been telling me they find it more and more difficult to dream up New Year’s resolutions that they can actually stick to for 12 months. I myself have had a go at all the usual ones over the years with limited success. Before January is even over alcohol has usually passed my lips once more, I’ve stopped counting the calories, and my new ‘get fit’ regime has been downgraded from three strenuous workouts a week to one half hour session on the way to the pub. And that’s the walk there. I go the long way for health reasons.

Fact is we too often set unrealistic objectives and try to do TOO MUCH.

So if you struggle to keep your promises to yourself, you might want to learn about The Four Minute, Four Word Plan. It’s simple to create, easier to stick to, and, as the name implies, takes just four minutes to do.

Here’s how it works. You start by drawing a big cross on a piece of paper so that effectively you’ve divided the page into four quarters. Then you have a cup of tea and a mince pie. A Hob Nob works just as well, or if you prefer, a bit of that leftover Christmas cake. Break over, you reluctantly get back to the plan by labelling each of the four quarters with a single word – Stop, Start, More and Less. That done, have a lie-down.

Well, you can’t rush these things, right?

The next stage needs a bit of thinking about. However, the good news is that you limit yourself to just four minutes. You can, of course, revisit the plan at any time in the future to revise it, but for now, to get you started, take just four minutes. Simply write down in each of the four areas, ONE thing that you are going to stop doing and ONE thing to start doing; ONE thing you will do more of this year, and ONE thing you will do less of this year. That’s all there is to it. At least for me, it is.

You might want to actually put it into practice.

Ha ha ha.

So, for example, you might want to stop smoking or eating crisps or saying out loud ‘That fella gets my goat!’ whenever Robbie Savage appears on the TV screen. Or maybe that’s just my annoying habit. Similarly, you might resolve to start going to the gym or taking up a hobby, like painting. And in the More and Less quarters, you write something like drinking alcohol or spending time doing DIY. I’ll leave it up to you to decide which to do more and less of. It’s a split decision in my house.

Of course, the one thing that all four should have in common is that they improve the quality of your life, your health, your state of mind, and maybe even your finances. Do it now while it’s still fresh in your mind. Remember, everything comes from daring to begin.

Then pin the piece of paper up on the wall.

Where you can see it.

All year.

Time for another tea break, I think.

By Phil Hesketh, one of the UK’s top professional speakers on sales motivation.