Oh no! It is New Year’s Resolutions time!

new-year-2011-goals-cleaning-business-ownerAs a Road Warrior I know that I have to watch my diet (hopeless), watch the amount of Guinness I consume (even more hopeless!) and get the right amount of exercise (not too bad on this one) if I want to make it through another year traveling.

Working on a carpet cleaning truck you likely have some different issues. Sure, you get more physical exercise on a wand than I do spewing witticisms in front of a class.  However, I am almost sure that you hit more fast food drive up windows (excluding Starbucks of course) than I do!  And your sleep habits are probably all messed up due to sucking up sewage until 2:30 am!

The above challenges are even worse for the owner who has been off the truck for awhile.  I feel for you when on short notice you have to replace a sick technician on a “five house day”!  (If you doubt me just ask our very own Island Boy, Steve Toburen, how he felt when he personally cleaned one of his rental properties this past year!)

OK, OK, here is the bottom line! We ALL need some help to stick to those resolutions we made after waking up with a splitting headache January 1st!  The Heath Brothers who wrote two best sellers (Made to Stick and Switch) have come up with five little gems ideas that may help us all.


1. Don’t be ambitiousWhen change is hard, aim low. A friend of ours, the editor of a wellness magazine, has a “1-Song Workout” that she does on days when she doesn’t feel like working out. She tells herself, “All I have to do is work out for one song,” but of course she often gets in a groove and finishes a full workout. So don’t set an ambitious New Year’s resolution like “I’ll work out four times a week.” Instead, plan to do “1-Song Workouts” on Monday and Thursday. Leave yourself room to overachieve — that feeling of “nailing it” is what will keep you hooked.

2. Watch for “bright spots”. If you’re trying to eat healthier, for instance, don’t obsess about all the times that you slip and eat an Oreo. Instead, keep a constant watch on what does work. If you ate healthy food all day yesterday, how did you get away with it? Was it because you had healthy “heat & eat” food that was easy to fix? Was it because you never let yourself get so hungry that you’d crave fatty foods? Did you avoid the office lunch at the Mexican food place? If you can understand what allowed you to succeed, you can do more of it. That’s “bright-spots thinking”! (Need a refresher on “bright spots”?)

3. Make simple tweaks in your environment. If you’re trying to increase your savings, pay with cash and leave your cards at home. If you’re trying to diet, carry around a Zip-loc bag of apple slices. If you’re trying to jog, lay out your clothes the night before. If you’re trying to stop oversleeping, set up a double (or triple?) alarm system. (Or buy a Clocky with your Xmas gift cards!) This stuff sounds insignificant, but it will make a big difference.

4. Rely on planning, not willpower. Your Resolution calls for a new way of behaving. And that’s a challenge because you’ve been practicing the old way of behaving for a long time. The old way is well-paved and familiar and comfortable. So you can’t just bet on willpower or good intentions to ensure your success. Use your planning skills. Get yourself on the hook for something! Don’t plan to “learn Spanish.” Register for a Spanish course at your local community college. Do it right now — you’re already online. Or don’t “try hard” to go to the gym in the morning. Instead, email your friend, right now, and tell ’em to come get you at 7am on January 3.

5. Publicize your resolution. We all know peer pressure works. So use it on yourself.  Tell everybody you know what your resolution is. They’ll bug you about it, and you won’t want to disappoint them. Just knowing that they know will make you more likely to succeed. Hell, if you want, tell us. We won’t bug you about it, but we’ll silently root for you.

So why not try to put these ideas into effect starting … Whoa- wait a minute!  You aren’t going to “try” anymore.  you are going to DO IT!  Why not put your own peer pressure into place right now?  (See #5 above)  Just tell us in the comment section below what you ARE going to do starting TODAY!

Bill Yeadon

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