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Norton: Doing less on our way to success

Happy New Year!

Over the years, especially at the start of a new year, I have found myself focusing on the things I want to start doing in the coming year that will help me achieve success when it comes to the achievement of my goals and dreams. I have made this same recommendation in previous columns and when working with clients.

It is not a bad strategy. Listing the behaviors and activities we should start doing and then creating a plan to do what we said that we wanted to start doing. Most importantly, executing against that plan and getting it done.

This year I am still going to apply some focus on the activities and behaviors I want to start doing, but I am going to increase my energy around stopping specific behaviors and doing less of the things that I know are still holding me back.

When planning for the year, many people and businesses follow a strategy to better understand what they should start doing, stop doing, do more of, and do less of. And I love this exercise because when it is done properly and consistently it can quickly get us back on track. Simple stuff, right? Start, stop, more of, less of. Try it, write it out and I’ll bet you can quickly come up with three or four things in each area that will help make the coming year so much better for you, your business, your family, or all three.

I love technology. My epiphany around “stopping” and “doing less of” came a few months ago when I received a notification on my phone alerting me that my screen time for the week had decreased by 32%. Normally I dismiss pop-up notifications like that, but for some reason, this captured my attention. The following week, I received another pop-up notification showing me that my screen time had decreased another 27%.

With this information, I decided to look at my calendar, my weekly plan, my journal, and my results. What I realized was that my results were far greater during this time of decreased screen time. I was having more real conversations instead of email or texts, my reading time was spent in physical books instead of an e-reader or on my phone, the notes in my journal were more meaningful, and what I had written inspired some creative thinking.

Everyone reading this will have something different that they want to start doing, stop doing, do more of, and do less of. What I have decided is to stop some of the nonsense I was spending screen time on, and instead, place my focus and energy on the offline activities that will accelerate success. You may want to, or need to, stop certain behaviors that are holding you back from the achievement of your own goals and dreams.

What can we stop doing in our lives or doing less of that will improve our health and wellness, increase our business or personal results, build better and deeper relationships, and keep us connected to the most meaningful and important people and opportunities in our lives? Can we take a less-is-more approach to accelerate our success?

Again, I encourage you to take a minute to write down what you will specifically stop doing or do less of in the coming year that will make your life better personally and professionally? You may just have an a-ha moment like I did and recognize where and how you can maximize your results.

How about you? Are there behaviors and actions you already know you want to stop doing? Are you willing to take a few minutes and write down what you want to start doing, stop doing, do more of, and do less of? If you would like a little help in this area, or if you want to share your list with me, I would love to hear your story at mnorton@tramazing.com. And when we can focus on our meaningful and productive behaviors, it really will be a better than good year. Happy New Year, everyone.


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