“The Ratchet Principle”, Plus 3 Other Simple Ideas You Can Do This Week To Make 2021 Great – on ‘Coffee with Colm’

Ladies and gentlemen, this week I’m building upon something that I started to talk about in late 2020.

Now that we’re in 2021 and we’re back yet again in lockdown, I want to reflect on some of the stuff I teach and build upon it somewhat; I believe it is more relevant than ever now.

And so I offer you three things you can do this week to kickstart 2021 and show you how you can lock your progress in!

As always, I invite you stick on the kettle, grab a coffee, and think with me for a few minutes in your preferred way.

Hello there and welcome to “Coffee With Colm”, and thank you for joining me.

I want to build upon something that I started to talk about in late 2020, as we were heading towards year’s end. Now that we’re in 2021 and it’s kicked off and we’re back yet again in lockdown, I just want to reflect on some of that stuff and build upon it somewhat. I’ve just come off a meeting of the Professional Speaking Association, Ireland Region, and had the great privilege of sharing with my colleagues there in the Professional Speaking Association, and indeed some guests, some of my thoughts around how we can make 2021 work better for us. And I offered three things for people to consider, and I’m going to offer those same three things to you now.

How we can make 2021 work better for us

The first thing that I recommend we need to do, you and I, to make 2021 better than 2020 is we need to figure out where it is we are headed.

We need to figure out a WIG, a Wonderfully Important Goal that we’d like to achieve in 2021, despite what’s going on at a global level, despite what’s going on in your country, despite what’s going on for me here in Ireland, despite what’s going on here in the Mid-West of Ireland, I need to figure out one important goal, a Wonderfully Important Goal that I’d like to achieve in 2021, and I suggest that you do the same.

If you could only achieve one thing in 2021, what would you like that to be? If in January 2022, you’re looking back on this year, what are you grateful for that has taken place, that you’ve achieved in 2021? What is your WIG, your wonderfully important goal for 2021? That’s the first thing.

The second thing, once you know what your WIG is for 2021, is to figure out what’s the right next step for you to take towards that.

What one thing could you do in this next seven days that would move you closer to the achievement of your WIG by the end of the year? What one thing could you do next week, in this next seven days, that would move you closer to your achieving that WIG? And write that down and then put that into your diary first for these next seven days, put that into your diary first for these next seven days, the rest of the stuff, you know will get done. The kids will get fed and the dog will get taken to the vet, and the meetings will be had, and the reports will be written and all the stuff that usually goes on in your life will happen anyway. What we’re talking about here is grabbing hold of the year, what we’re talking about doing is taking control of the year ahead and taking steps towards achieving a WIG, a Wonderfully Important Goal for you.

And the way to do that is accept the reality of life, it’s going to throw stuff at you anyway. What I’m proposing that you do is you decide what’s the one step that you could take next week that would bring you closer to the achievement of that WIG and put that in your diary now, put that in your diary first, pick a day and a day part and say, “In that slot, on that day, I’m going to do nothing but take this step.” Whatever that step is, it could be, write the title of the book you want to write, it could be ring that prospect, it could be write that letter, it could be pay that bill. It could be… I have no idea what it is for you, but whatever it is, that one step that you know you need to take, will be the right next step for you to take towards the achievement of your WIG for 2021.

Write that down and then put that in your diary now, put that in your diary first.

And then the third thing you need to do, I recommend this highly to you, is that you identify an accountability buddy. This is where it’s going to get difficult. I recommend you identify a friend of yours who you know will hold you to account, and pick up the phone or send them an email or do a WhatsApp or do whatever it is you do, and ask them to be your accountability buddy for 2021. Identify an accountability buddy for you for 2021, get together with them, share your WIG.

If they’re the type of person that they need to be, they’d be fully supportive of your idea, they won’t tell you you’re mad. They will say to you, “Oh, you could never do that.” They’ll say, “Do you know what? Great, about time that you begin to make stuff happen for you.” Right? Find that person, share with them your WIG, and then ask them to hold you accountable to yourself by having a WAM, a Weekly Accountability Meeting. We teach this stuff in WIG-WAM the whole time. WIG, Wonderfully Important Goal, WAM, Weekly Accountability Meeting. And while we would love you to be part of a WIG-WAM program, that’s not what this is about, this is about you identifying a Wonderfully Important Goal for you and you identifying an accountability buddy for you to hold you accountable to yourself, to your idea for the next 12 months, by meeting with you over a cup of coffee, on Zoom or by phone, or whatever it is for you, once a week to hold you accountable.

And then share with them your WIG, share with them the one step that you’ve committed to, the time and day that you said you were going to get it done and then meet with them thereafter and they’ve got to ask you, “Did you do it?” And you’ve got to be saying, “Yes I did,” or, “No, I didn’t.” And you either did it, or you didn’t do it. As Yoda says, “There is no try, do or do not, there is no try, Luke Skywalker.” Right? So you either did it or you didn’t do it, and the most important thing here is that you’re honest with yourself.

If you did it, happy days, clap yourself on the back and celebrate a little victory, a little because you’ve not yourself forward towards your WIG. If you didn’t do it, accept that you didn’t do it, accept the responsibility for not getting it done, don’t make excuses – I was too busy or this caught up with me or that caught up with me – don’t make excuses. This is your life we’re talking about. So do or do not, there is no try. And regardless of whether you did or did not, be honest with yourself and be honest with your accountability buddy, and then regroup and go again.

‘The Ratchet Principle’

And then a principle I want to leave you with is ‘The Principle of The Ratchet’. You know, the idea of ratcheting something forward? A ratchet is something that moves in one direction and then locks in place and doesn’t move back. I want you to ratchet yourself forward next week, ratchet yourself forward one notch next week, by taking that step that you’ve identified, ratchet yourself forward and lock it in, and don’t slide back. And then the following week go back and ratchet yourself forward one more time. And can you imagine what you can achieve in terms of your WIG if you ratchet yourself forward 40, 45, 50 times in this next year? Magic can happen.

And I wish you well.

And thank you for joining me for this week’s “Coffee With Colm”, I hope and trust as ever, you got something from it. Please consider what’s been shared here today and apply it into your thinking for this next week. And then very importantly, come back next week and we’ll share another coffee together and I’ll ruminate, some of the aspects of life and business. Between now and that, get some great coffee, get some fresh air, get some [inaudible 00:06:28]. If you spend too much time online, go offline, spend some time with yourself. If you spend too much time on your own, get online and meet some people, or go out for a walk and nod at somebody, get some other human interaction. And that when the time is right, and only when the time is right, get your head back in the game, get organized for the week ahead, get stuck in, ratchet your week forward. Make next week count, and I’ll see you here this time next week for another Coffee With Colm. [inaudible 00:06:51]. I love great coffee. Talk to you soon. Bye for now.

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