Are You Letting the Calendar Hinder Your Behavior?

Over the past few weeks I’ve noticed two distinctly different kinds of behavior among my clients. Which one is more true of you?

  1. Hustle (you’re close to your goal for the year and can almost reach out and touch it—which means you’re in hyper drive trying to close a few more deals or collect a few more A/Rs before the end of the year (EOY)). Or,
  2. Acquiescence (you’re no where near your goal and don’t see any way to hit it by December 31 so you’ve given up).

What’s interesting to me is how frequently the second option is chosen—which is clearly unfortunate. Why? Because December 31st is simply a demarcation on a calendar. Yes, I know it affects things like bonuses and trips, etc. but in reality, it’s just a date on a calendar. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Time continues to march on day after day without regard to the calendar. In fact, it (meaning time) began marching long before the Egyptians and Mayans created their calendars.

The reason I mention this is because when someone allows the calendar to effect their behavior negatively (i.e. I can’t make my goal so I might as well give up), it stunts the pipeline of business for the future. In other words, if “I” slow down in December because no matter what I do I can’t hit my goals for the year, then I’ll have a very lean January (and probably, first quarter).

If, on the other hand, I (meaning the generic “I”) were to focus on increasing my marketing efforts so that I’m set up for January (even though “I” can’t hit my goals for December), then chances are pretty good that I’ll have a great first quarter.

It all comes down to mindset, doesn’t it? If you look at your calendar and think, “No way it’s going to happen this year!” then chances are pretty high that you’ll give up (or at least slow down—after all, you’re only human).

But if instead you look at your calendar and chose to think differently like,”Hey, it doesn’t look like we’re going to hit our numbers this year—but that’s okay! There’s nothing we can do about that now. Instead why don’t we start laying the ground work for January in order that we can hit the new year running.”

If you start thinking like that, you’ll see the difference immediately. And you’ll stop letting the calendar negatively affect you and your business. In fact, I think …

  1. You’ll set up more lunch and breakfast meetings for the remainder of this month (usually a big winner in December).
  2. You’ll follow up on a number of those business cards sitting on your desk.
  3. You’ll make more calls to your previous clients. You’ll look for new work.
  4. You’ll hold one more sale.
  5. You’ll create a Christmas or Holiday bundle/package.
  6. And you’ll create some of that marketing collateral that you’ve been promising yourself you’d create (all year-long :-).

Remember, December 31 is just a day on a calendar. Nothing more. Nothing less. You can either enter the new year prepared to blast out of the gate or you can wait until January to start building your pipeline (and then have to wait until February or March to see the results). It’s up to you! So make sure you choose wisely!

To your accelerated success!

Note: This same principle holds true for other days during the year. For example, why write off whole weeks or months during the summer? Or why let the last month of a poor quarter undermine the next quarter? If you can use the calendar to motivate positive behavior—go for it! But never allow another calendar date to hinder your behavior or wipe out a whole month of marketing. You business and success are way too important for that!

P.S. If you have any ideas or strategies for staying motivated through to the end of the year, make sure you add them in the comments section below (click here >> if you’re reading this by RSS or email)