Success in 2018 – Instead of Charging Frenetically into the New Year, Try This Instead

Cheers and thank you to those of you who are crouched on the starting blocks, ready to explode into action as the calendar turns to the New Year.  You’ll be an inspiration.

This article is for the rest of us.

If you’re feeling tired, drained, bagged, emotionally wrung out, blah, bored or indifferent; if you’re feeling any of these states but still want success and wish you had more to pump into it right now, read on.

Your creative self, that inner drive to grow and succeed, that innate curiosity and the problem-solving genius that once upon a time you used to build forts and Lego castles with, isn’t going anywhere.  S/he’s still inside.  But if you’re exhausted, there’s nothing left to draw on.   You need to replenish the well.

A vacation is in order, right? 

But what if that’s not in the cards?  What if life isn’t set up right now for you to take two weeks away for a dream escape?  Work and life demands aren’t slowing down, so neither can you.

Try this approach to the New Year instead:

Rest in motion. 

Here are three practical strategies you can use to succeed and rest while you’re at it:

Do a fresh triage

We all add layers of non-essential activity in dribs and drabs throughout the year.  Assess your job, identify essentials first, then eliminate everything you can outside of that.

Keep Elon Musk’s wildly successful approach in mind:

When I’m creating a product or process, I start from the First Principles of Physics, and build from there. 

In a sales context, identify for yourself what the absolutely essential activities are in closing any sale.  (For instance, good meeting prep and face-time with prospects and clients.)

Shore those up and eliminate or delegate the rest.  You’ll continue to close business and lighten your load at the same time.

Name your real comfort need.

For most of us, when we’re tired or emotionally drained in the middle of a work day, we reach for a quick ‘pick-me-up’ like coffee, a smoke or a social media surf – mine are usually coffee and reading online news during the day, and Netflix at night.

The truth is, I don’t really feel mentally or emotionally refreshed after indulging.  I’ve just delayed or masked the fatigue for a moment.  But since that’s what my whiny inner kids wants, so I do it.  I call these habits the adult version of sucking your thumb.

Instead, when I take the time to check in with myself to see what I really need, the information is there and I can act on it.  A simple way to check in is to close your eyes, take 2 – 3 deep breaths and ask yourself these questions:

What’s going on?  What am I feeling?  What do I need? 

A common example for me:  I’ve got busy-brain and I can’t seem to focus.  Instead of the habitual coffee, I check in.

Sometimes I get back:

There are a bunch of things I need to do…and there are a couple of things I want to do…I’m trying to remember all the details, and ideas for all of them at once.  I’m stressed I might forget something.

Solution:               Take five minutes to do a brain dump and get everything on paper – or into an app.   This generally relieves the mental tension that had built up.

Another time I got back:  I’m upset about that testy exchange I had with my Dad.  I should call him for a chat. 

When you identify the real tension and the real comfort you’re looking for, you get both solution and relief.

Get present and connect.

Being present with others is truly resting in motion, and it’s a wonderful way to live.   I love people, but I’m also an introvert and I don’t enjoy crowds, so I need to work at staying present in these contexts.

Last week I was riding to work on the subway and feeling a little tired.  I longed to have a sense of connection with someone.  I decided to get out of my head and truly be present.  When another rider made a banal comment about rush hour, I started a chat with her about the new Line 1 subway extension.  The topic wasn’t profound but we were both interested in it and we had an authentic, human connection until it was time to exit the train.  We both left smiling and refreshed.

There are hundreds of opportunities every day for us to replenish our souls in moments of true connection with each other.

When you drop your sales agenda, and stay truly present with each prospect or client, for instance, that connection creates a profound sense of belonging.  No ‘pitch’ is needed, to communicate that you care.  Doing business comes naturally and there is a relaxed ease to it all.

It’s possible to both rest in motion and have a highly successful 2018!

Did you enjoy this article? Kira writes weekly articles packed with actionable tips for sales professionals in the financial services industry. Sign up here to receive Kira’s article delivered straight to your inbox every Tuesday.

Kira Callahan is an expert sales conversation coach serving the financial industry. Her private clients typically experience 30% – 100% increase in appointments and business booked. Click here to find out more about Kira.

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