darren-2021Grass isn’t cut? Pandemic. Still in pajamas at 4:30? Health crisis. Didn’t hit your 2020 goals? Year was a dumpster fire. We get it. Excuses are easy. And convenient. Plus, who can argue with you over a major event that took the whole world by storm (not to mention the 13,000 other events that may not have been as significant as a pandemic but nevertheless held our attention)?

Maybe no one would argue with you. Maybe the whole world would give you a pass for not meeting expectations. Congrats. Feel better? We didn’t think so. Those goals are personal. They should mean something to you. Goals are your way of sizing up what you’ve done and what you believe you’re capable of doing in the future. They’re your way of betting on yourself because you know you’re capable of great things. In any circumstances.

Plus, the pandemic has been going for just about a year now, so it’s time to retire that excuse. The whole world is operating on a “new normal,” so this situation isn’t special to you. We’ve all had time to adjust, adapt and forge ahead.

If you find you’re still having trouble doing that, creating a growth mindset may be just what you need to kick your brain and body into high gear.

Be accountableLetting goals slide and slacking off because no one is “watching” are two of the easiest ways to make sure your week, month or year isn’t stellar. There’s a reason why accountability coaches and partners exist. Because they work. If you feel like you need a little outside help, enlist a buddy or colleague to share your goals and progress. Feel you can go it on your own? Great! Just don’t let excuses creep in to compensate for an unchecked goal.

Avoid envyThere will always be someone who can do it better, faster, cheaper. It’s just life. You do you. Don’t get weighed down by what others are – or aren’t – achieving. Stay laser-focused on your business, your clients, your success. That person isn’t living your life and they likely don’t have your exact aspirations. So tune out the noise and keep your head in the game!

Invest the timeWe know what a goal without a plan is. Yeah, it’s a dream. We’re not dreaming over here; we’re doing. So break down that goal into bite-sized pieces. What will you do this hour, day, week and month to move the needle? Block out that time in your schedule, then have at it. Goals don’t materialize. They’re earned through hard work, which is the best investment you can make in yourself.

Show appreciationIt can be tough to feel motivated and keep morale high when your goal seems so far away. That’s okay. Take some time to see how far you’ve come. Sometimes looking back at the progress we have made is the best way to gain perspective and realize that we can do great things. They just take time. Now, this isn’t about resting on your laurels. It’s about gaining a tangible perspective on all that can be achieved with a little time, patience and, you guessed it, more of that hard work.

Embrace feedbackThe best way to grow is to capitalize on your strong suits while improving your weaknesses. This is hard to do if you’re not open to feedback. You may think you know what you’re great at and what needs some help, but it’s a whole different story when you hear it from the horse’s mouth. This doesn’t just mean listening to feedback when it’s offered. Seek it out! Ask clients how their experience was. What did they love? What challenges did they face? How could you have been even more helpful? Politely asking for reviews is fine as well. Sometimes it’s easier for clients to tell their thoughts to a computer screen than it is to the person they’re reviewing. In any case, take that feedback to heart.

This year, there are no more excuses. We’ve got to work with what we’re given and find ways to succeed regardless of how different our lives may look today than they did one year ago. The opportunities are out there.

So do what you do best and find ways to kill it for yourself and your business in 2021!

Regional Vice President - Southwest

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.