Capturing your Story

February 23, 2018 by

In a previous post we outlined our Fuzion Process, which is a framework that we use with clients for their planning.

We use this “Story” framework and we find that it brings a very sharp focus to all marketing activity, to ensure the very best outcomes.

Our process follows some simple steps:
1. Understand your story
2. Capture your story
3. Make sure your story is found
4. Tell your story
5. Engage with your story online
6. Protect your story

In the last post we spoke about ‘Understanding your story‘ and the possible role of a brand workshop to help bring some clarity to exactly what you are trying to communicate to your target audience.

The next step is all about capturing this story.

Capture your Story

Once you understand the story that you want to tell, it’s important that this is captured visually in a way that connects with your target audience.

We judge things quickly by how they appear to us, so whenever and wherever anyone comes across your products or services in your website, promotional material, vehicles, premises and even the individuals in your team, that these tell the right, professional story.

Does it convey professionalism, is it modern, is it unique or is it very generic, does it convey your story simply and clearly, does it appeal to your target audience? Has the organisation moved on and is it time for a refresh?

Someone is always making up their mind about you by how you appear to them.

It is vital that the graphic design work and the execution of this needs to be sharp and consistent on all platforms when your brand is being presented so that your story is properly captured and told.

Click here to see some of the work that our Creative Team have been doing for clients

If we can be of help in any way you know where we are!

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

10 Things You Didn’t Know about Alison Nulty!

February 13, 2018 by

In this series of blogs we thought it might be a good idea to let you know some of our team a little bit better…that could be scary!

This week it is all about Alison Nulty, our former award winning journalist and broadcaster who joined the Fuzion team last year after a career that included UTV, Kerry Radio, South East Radio and KCLR.

Describe yourself in 5 words

…solid, organised, motivated, enthusiastic, funny

My favourite holiday

…Anywhere in Italy

Venice

My dream car

…The Ultimate Driving Machine

My worst habit

…hitting the snooze button.  I really should just get out of bed as soon as the alarm buzzes!Snooze

My first album

…Kylie Minogue “Enjoy Yourself”  I was a HUGE Kylie fan, and even got a my hair permed just like Kylie.

Kylie Minogue

If you could be invisible for a day what would you do?

…sit in on a Central Criminal Court jury as the 12 members deliberate over the verdict.

The best advice I was given

…Listen half as much as you listen (am still working on it!)

Who would you most like to have dinner with (dead or alive)?

…If I could choose anyone, I’d love to have one last lunch and natter with my Mam, who passed away 12 years ago.

Alison Nulty, Fuzion CommunicationsWhat was your first ever job?

…I think it was knocking on my neighbours’ doors asking if they wanted their cars washed.  

The part of my job I love most

…My clients!

Alison

Alison Nulty, of Fuzion Communications is a Senior PR Account Manager, Media Trainer and part of the Crisis PR team.

Understanding your ‘Story’

February 12, 2018 by

Fuzion - Brand Workshops, Dublin, Cork, Ireland

In a previous post we outlined our Fuzion Process, which is a framework that we use with clients for their planning.

We use this “Story” framework for all of our clients and we find that it brings a very sharp focus to all marketing activity, to ensure the very best outcomes.

Our process follows some simple steps:
1. Understand your story
2. Capture your story
3. Make sure your story is found
4. Tell your story
5. Engage with your story online
6. Protect your story

 

Understanding Your Story

In this blog post we will deal with the very first step, which is ‘Understanding Your Story‘.

It is our job as marketers to help our clients tell the story of their business, organisation, products and services effectively so that when people talk about these things they say exactly what we want them to say.

Before we create any plans, it is a crucial first step to understand exactly what the business is all about, what makes it special, where it is going and what it needs to do to get there.

To assist this step, we often conduct a Brand Workshop with clients, which is a very simple way of capturing all of this and defining their “story” or brand.

We also find that this powerful process helps to motivate the team, reminding them about what makes them special, providing them with clarity and defining exactly what needs to be communicated as part of the marketing process.

During this process we work together with the team to probe what it is that they do, how they go about this work and what the driving force or essence of the organisation is.

We look at the values, the core characteristics, the vision for the business and the mission that the team is on together to achieve this vision.

We even do some visualisation work to help the team crystallise what it is about them, that makes them special and different from competitors.

This work paints a clear picture of the brand or “the story” of the business, which must then be captured and told.

One of the outputs of this process is a Brand Brief, which we would give to our graphic/creative team to help them deliver this story visually for the client.

To find out more about our Brand ‘Promise’ Workshop click here

If we can be of help in any way you know where we are!

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

What do you think of Graphic Design?

February 8, 2018 by

Dark Side of the Moon

What do people think of Graphic Design?

Excuse us for this bizarre question but it is something that popped up in a conversation that we were having during an internal meeting in Fuzion, which we didn’t really have a clear answer for.

Framing this around some questions and observations about how people behave and make decisions about things might help.

Are you more inclined to buy something if it looks the part? 

I couldn’t tell you how many times I purchased an album (that was vinyl initially) because I thought the artwork looked “cool” and I remained excited until the needle was in the groove and I actually discovered what I had bought.

Needless to say I discovered some wonderful music in that random fashion and there is more than one album that were listened to just once!

Do you trust a poor website?

When we invest no time whatsoever searching online for something that we are looking for, do we judge the service or product by the quality of the website?

Years ago it would have been the Golden Pages, followed by a phone call and then maybe a visit to the showroom or offices for an appointment.

Now the website does all of this hard work for you. Without even knowing it your potential customer has popped through the door, had a look around and left and you never even realised it!

What does a business card say about you?

When someone hands you their business card is this a functional piece of paper that carries essential contact information or does it do a much bigger job at trying to create a powerful first impression?

Now there seems to be a shift with some preferring a virtual card that can be shared via smartphones – this is fine if it is about sharing essential contact details but is there some argument about having an opportunity to showcase your brand?

Does the smart van with professional graphics give you faith in the service provider?

The painter/decorator is working next door to you and their van is parked outside – it is immaculate and there are very tasteful graphics that carry the logo and contact details. Is he a professional?

What about the shift from print to online?

There is clearly a shift from print to online and maybe with this an argument for not investing too much in design if the output is never printed.

Looking good gets you noticed, it gets you read and it creates the right impression – at least this is what we believe.

Even more, we believe the printed version will always be read more than the online version – what do you think?

So….these were some of the ramblings from our conversation about Graphic Design.

We would love to know what you think – can we ask you to take a quick survey that we have created around the topic by clicking here.

Thank you…

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Your “Story Telling” Process

February 7, 2018 by

Jeff Bezos

As part of your planning for this year we wanted to give you a simple Marketing framework using our Fuzion process, that might help to keep year on track.

We use this “story” framework for all of our clients and we find that it brings a very sharp focus to all marketing activity, to ensure the very best outcomes.

It is our job as marketers to help our clients tell the story of their business, organisation, products and services effectively so that when people talk about these things they say exactly what we want them to say.

When Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon declared that “your brand is what people say about you when you leave the room” he cut through all of the jargon about communications, and left us with a very simple task:

Know your story and then tell it effectively to your target audience – Simple!!

The Fuzion process

Our Fuzion Story Process follows some simple steps:

1. Understand your story – make sure you have a deep understanding of what makes you unique

2. Capture your story – all logos, visuals, marketing materials and your website must convey your story

3. Make sure your story is found – if you cannot be found online you are not in the game!

4. Tell your story – you have to proactively push your story out there (your traditional marketing)

5. Engage with your story online – make sure you have your voice on social media

6. Protect your story – be ready to protect and proactive about protecting your reputation

Your plan should take into account all of these elements and they should work together to produce the results you are looking  for.

We’ll go into each of these elements in more detail in further posts.

If we can be of help in any way you know where we are!

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

 

Top Tips for Business Continuity Management in 2018 from Avalution

February 5, 2018 by

Elaine Tomlin Avalution Consulting

When our client Elaine Tomlin, Managing Consultant from Avalution Consulting, started chatting to us about Business Continuity Management, I assumed that this was something exclusively for large organisations and the more I heard the more I thought it is something for everyone in business to take seriously.

We asked her to explain in plain language what exactly BCM is:    

Business Continuity Management (BCM) is vital in preparing and protecting business operations from disruptions caused by threats stemming from cyber attack and natural disasters, as well as resource unavailability such as building loss, staff absenteeism, and supply chain failure.  

A robust business continuity programme manages the likelihood and impact stemming from disruptive incidents through proactive response and recovery planning, with the objective of reducing operational downtime.

As a global leader in BCM, Avalution Consulting, which provides business continuity, IT disaster recovery, and information security services to profit, not-for-profit, and government organisations of all sizes across all sectors, compiled their top tips for 2018 to ensure organisations protect themselves from major risks.

 

  • Business continuity plan – make sure you have one!

 

Taking the time to develop and invest in business continuity strategies and plans is an opportunity to protect staff, clients, operations, profits and brand. It’s important to understand and identify critical processes, gaps and risks to ensure the organisation can develop effective response and recovery plans to address stakeholder expectations.

 

  • Who does what, when?

 

If your key staff are aware of their responsibilities during a major incident (i.e. if they know what to do, how to do it and when to do it), there is a high likelihood that your organisation will recover your business activities and will help minimise negative impacts in a more timely manner, especially in relation to potential operational, financial and reputational losses and damages. 

 

  • Ensure recovery support staff are fully accountable – own it!

 

Choose those accountable for business continuity performance (recovery support teams) carefully.  Senior staff with strong oversight and knowledge of critical processes, systems and inter-dependencies, will be most effective during a major incident and will ensure staff are fully accountable for their recovery roles. They will require appropriate business continuity and recovery training and their recovery accountabilities should be noted within their personal scorecard / performance objectives.

 

  • How to manage risks…  What risks?

 

Identify what types of threats and risks are likely to impact your business. Explore each threat and risk, aim to understand how each impacts your business, and then consider what controls or preventative measures you may already have in place which can minimise the risk (e.g. a secondary office location, multiple suppliers, etc.). Where there are no controls or preventative measures in place, consider planning to mitigate/reduce, remove or accept these risks. Document all identified risks as part of a risk register, which will help you take control and manage risks effectively. Many identified risks can be addressed through a well thought out business continuity plan.    

 

  • Recovery Strategies – plan for four key business disruptions!

 

You can’t plan or have a recovery strategy for every eventuality, but you can develop strategies and plans for four key disruptions that will cover the outcome stemming from most threats. Ensure you prepare and have a plan to recover from:

  1. denial of access to your building (building damage, Health & Safety, etc.)
  2. denial of staff availability (strike, severe weather, etc.)
  3. denial of technology
  4. denial of supply chain (loss of a dependent supplier)

 

  • Business recovery – It is about more than just technology recovery!

 

The information technology team is not responsible for the recovery of business operations from all causes, they are only responsible technology recovery! While it is essential to have IT disaster recovery strategies and plans this is only part of the story. The business, outside of the IT organisation, should take responsibility and ownership for a wider operational recovery (non-technical). Technical teams support an operational recovery as part of a suite of services they provide to the business. The business needs to plan for multiple potential interruptions to services causes by the unavailability of staff, workplaces, and third parties.

 

  • If you have a business continuity plan – test it!

 

If you don’t test or exercise your business continuity plan, you don’t know if it works. There are always plan gaps and performance issues that have not been considered. Testing and exercising helps to identify the gaps and therefore provide you with an opportunity to identify, address and close these corrective actions over time.  

 

  • Crisis/Incident Management – agree on the recovery protocols!

 

Have clear and well understood crisis/incident management protocols. Identify what information and how information about an incident should be managed and communicated both internally and externally. Incident management will require an understanding of who the key stakeholders are, what the timeframes for escalation are, who information should be shared with, how information should flow between teams (such as the board and executive management, the crisis/incident management teams, technology teams, BCM teams, facility teams, human resources teams, marketing and communications teams, customers, and essentially all staff). It is important to have clear documented indicators to support quick escalation, actions and stakeholder engagement. 

 

  • When does a standard or normal interruption to service – become unacceptable (an incident)!

 

Take all interruptions to normal business processing seriously as small incidents have the potential to grow and creep significantly. However, some business processes are more important than others due to their time sensitivity (short-time to impact) and their high potential impact to the long-term viability of the organisation. The impact of not being able to deliver a product/service or complete a critical process could give rise to penalties, regulation issues, client impact, financial losses, and reputational impairment. These factors should be considered within the incident management protocols and escalation paths.

Lots of food for thought for all of us – are you ready?

A big thanks to Elaine and her team for this post.

Greg Canty

Maximising the value of your hidden Intellectual Property assets

January 24, 2018 by

Antiques roadshow BBC

I will admit to being an avid fan of Antiques Roadshow®, one of the most popular and long running television programmes produced by the BBC.

The format follows antique experts and appraisers as they travel throughout the United Kingdom reviewing and assessing the value of antiques brought in by locals where the show is airing.

The prospective location of the show is advertised well in advance by the BBC; thereby allowing locals in the area to trawl through their attics, lockups and garages to root out those forgotten assets for an assessment of value by one of the Antiques Roadshow® assessors.

I myself find it particularly gratifying when an assessor values an asset for more than the holder originally thought it was worth.

Like long lost and valuable antiques, the hidden value of Intellectual Property often gets overlooked by businesses. Many businesses do not even realise that they have valuable Intellectual Property assets in the first place.

So what precisely is ‘Intellectual Property’?

In a nutshell, Intellectual Property is the sum of all the intangible assets your business owns. It can encompass:

  • Trade Marks – e.g. brands, logos, slogans, advertising jingles
  • Patents – .i.e. technical inventions.
  • Copyright – e.g. written material like website text, manuals, music or artwork.
  • Designs – the aesthetic appearance of any products your business manufacturers.
  • Domain names – the url addresses that drive business to you via email and/or a website.
  • Trade Secrets – confidential information such as a recipe, customer lists or a way of doing something which you would not want revealed to the outside world.

All of the above are collectively known as Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) and are fully protectable in law.

In Ireland, Industrial Designs, Patents and Trade Marks can be protected through registration with the Patents Office in Kilkenny.

A registration grants exclusivity in the relevant IPR and makes it much easier to stop unauthorised use by others. In some instances, it may even be possible to protect the goodwill and reputation you have established under business.

Unlike tangible assets of a business, (e.g. plant and machinery), the value of IPRs does not diminish over time.

On the contrary, IPRs can actually add to the overall value of your business. Also, IPRs can be used, not just by your own business, but also by others with your permission as part of an overall monetisation strategy.

IPRs can also be particularly useful for businesses wishing to secure loan or investment capital as the law actually allows for security interests to be registered against patents, trade marks and designs.

As the value of an IPR does not diminish in time, a savvy investor and/or financier will see your IPR as having a relatively low risk profile with a positive return attribute.

Failure to properly identify and exploit your valuable IPR could result in a significant lost opportunity to your business.

More seriously, failure to identify and protect your IPR may actually result in serious financial loss to your business.

So, how can you tell if your business has protectable Intellectual Property and what steps can you take to protect and monetize such rights?

By having an ‘IP Audit’ conducted of your business by an Intellectual Property lawyer, your IPRs can be readily identified and then assessed for the most effective method of protection and monetisation.

Niall Tierney

Niall Tierney is a Legal Brand Consultant to Fuzion Communications and an IP Lawyer located in Dublin, Ireland,  Managing Director of TIERNEY IP, a specialist law firm which assists and advises businesses in clearing, protecting, enforcing and monetising trade marks, designs and other Intellectual Property rights.

How to Achieve your Goals in 2018

January 3, 2018 by

Design a Life you Love - Ciara Conlon

This year we will feature some guest bloggers on the Fuzion Communications blog, so we are starting with the fantastic and very lovely Ciara Conlon, who as well as being an author, is just brilliant at making people more productive and feeling much more fulfilled in their lives.

She has a gorgeous approach to Productivity Coaching, which we like to describe as ‘Positive Productivity‘ as its focus is about a better life for you.

Ciara refers to this as ‘Designing your life‘ ….very clever!

Over to Ciara..

Over the next few days and weeks most of us will start to think about change, about giving up bad habits and creating new positive habits.

Traditionally at New Year we think about how this year can be different, we are filled with hope, optimism and excitement.

Unfortunately the statistics for New Year Resolution success is poor.

Apparently only 18% of people succeed with their New Year’s Resolutions, but rather than focus on the negative statistic, what can we learn from the 18% of people who do achieve there goals each year?

1. They Understand the Need for Goals

We need goals if we are to achieve anything outside our normal routine, we need goals to inspire and motivate us and give us direction.

Without them our future is not within our own control, we leave our future to fate.

Being aware of what needs to improve, is the only way that you can consciously make improvements.

Life is a journey that we can only strive to make better, daily, little by little.

Asking yourself a few key questions might help you to focus on areas to improve or change:

  • Are you wasting time doing things that don’t need to be done, or perhaps you are trying very hard and not getting the results that you had hoped for?
  • What can you do to make next year better?
  • What do you really want, but struggle to achieve every year?
  • What would you like to change about yourself?

These answers can be the starting point for setting your goals and they will give you a guideline if you don’t know where to start and help you to get clear about what it is you want to change.

2. They set Motivating Goals that they really want

It might seem pretty obvious but so many people are unclear about what they really want to change.

They set the same goals every year, the same goals as everybody else. Their new year goals become the desires of the masses rather than the needs of the one.

Do you really want to start in the gym on the 1st of January or would you like to start planning a new business or becoming more creative?

The reason why people fail is because they halfheartedly set goals for themselves focused on the things that they know they should be doing.

The problem is a lot of goals that people set don’t actually excite them or at least they haven’t found the motivation in these goals to go out and achieve them.

A goal needs to excite and motivate you – while pounding the pavement might never excite you, the idea of a strong healthy body in your skinny jeans might just do the job!

3. They Start Small

If you try to change everything at once you are setting yourself up for failure.

The key to positive change is to change one thing at a time – Master one habit before moving on to the next.

Charles Duhigg, author of the ‘The Power of Habit’ suggests we focus on what he calls keystone habits. In his book he explains the concept of keystone habits, that when focused on they have a positive and empowering effect.

Keystone habits don’t create a direct cause-and-effect relationship, but they can spark “chain reactions that help other good habits take hold“.

If you master the habit of running you can be guaranteed you will naturally start adopting other habits such as drinking more water and eating healthier. When you master the habit of rising early you will find it so much easier to meditate, journal etc.

These keystone habits are the ones to focus on, others include, family dinners, making your bed in the morning, meditation and planning your day.

So if you plan on making a change this year it may be a good idea to focus on one of these life changing ‘keystone habits’.

4. They Believe they can

Are you one of those people who reluctantly takes on a new habit?

Do you say you are going to do it but inside you don’t really believe it?

A lot of people have set themselves up for failure before they have even started – Deep down they don’t believe they can do it.

Your beliefs will generally determine the outcome so don’t waste your time if you don’t really believe it can be done.

So many people set the goal of losing weight every January but they feel so negative about the goal because they have tried so many times before and failed, that they don’t really believe they will do it.

If this is the case for you the first thing you must consider is, are you doing the same things time after time and failing?

Remember Einstein’s definition of insanity; doing the same things and expecting different results – what do you need to do differently this year?

If the goal is something you do really want, and you don’t understand why you can’t make it work, ask a close friend why they think you haven’t yet achieved your goal, and most importantly be willing to listen to the answer!

5. They are resilient

Successful people in general understand that failure is part of life.

They understand that on the road to getting what they want there will be potholes and barriers, but they stay with it.

Success takes determination and persistence.

The key to reaching your goals is to promptly get up each time you fall down. Try to preempt the challenges and plan for them, but if you fail, accept it quickly and move on.

It’s really important that you don’t waste time dwelling on the negative.

Monitor your thoughts and make sure you speak to yourself with encouragement rather than condemnation – Forgive yourself and move on.

It is your life and your responsibility to make it a good one, and with a little bit of focus and effort you can create the life you have always dreamed of.

Why not become the designer of your life in 2018?

Ciara Conlon

Ciara Conlon is a Productivity Coach and Motivational Speaker and respected thought leader working with individuals and organisations transforming behaviours in order to create more productive and happier people and workplaces.

You can find out more at www.ciaraconlon.com or on her Facebook page

Ciara will be running an evening event on January 25th in Wood Quay Venue, in Dublin called “Design a Life you Love”

A special “two for the price of one” offer is available until January 7th.

 

I had a great year because….

January 2, 2018 by

Visualisation

For the last few years I have been doing this simple little exercise at the start of the year to help me get focused around things that are important both personally and professionally.

I have found it to be really useful and it has made a big difference and as I look back at last year I can see the things that I have achieved as a result of this focus. In Fuzion we also ask all of the team to do this – it is really important to us that everyone in the team achieves their own personal and career goals.

Making plans and actually achieving them is always challenging and at the start of the year we find ourselves at the start of that loop all over again making promises that often will never materialise!

Benjamin Zander - The Art of PossibilityA few years ago I was inspired by a book about goal setting in a different way called “The Art of Possibility” by Benjamin and Rosamund Zander (a really interesting motivational book by the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and his wife who is an executive coach).

Benjamin Zander, the conductor has the task every year of bringing out the very best from a large group of very talented musicians for his orchestra.

His approach is rooted in the power of visualisation – the simple idea behind this is that if you visualise what you want to achieve then there is a much better chance of it actually happening (disbelievers ….stop reading now !!)

This is my approach to his great idea to tap into all of Your Possibilities..

Take a quiet few moments so you can concentrate with a blank sheet of paper and a pen and do some visualisation – Take a few deep breaths and relax and close your eyes.

Now imagine the last working day of this year, just before you head out the door to do some last minute shopping and enjoy a well-earned rest. You are feeling really satisfied as you reflect on your fantastic achievements during the year. Some of these were personal things and some of these were professional things – you are feeling great!

Now open your eyes and start writing:

I had a great year because ….

Now off you go and list the things that will make this year a great one for you:.

Take your time and be as specific as you can including all of those business and personal goals that will give you that huge sense of satisfaction on that last work day.

Now you need to study this list and start figuring out how you can make this list come to life.

Put your piece of paper in a safe place so that you can refer to it throughout the year to make sure your wish list stays on track.

Enjoy realising all of your possibilities..

Happy New Year

This clip of Benjamin Zander is really motivational and well worth watching.

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Gina London: How some RESOLVE can go a long way to making this year a great one

January 2, 2018 by

Janus - Greek God

January is named for the Roman god Janus.

He was the god of doors and gates. The guardian of entrances and exits. Of beginnings and endings. Of time and transitions. Ancient marble sculptures depict him with a double-faced head – one looking back and the other looking forward.

And here we are at the beginning of another January. Another new year. Another new beginning. And with it, another opportunity to make a New Year’s resolution.

The first time I remember ringing in the New Year, I was nine. The week after Christmas my parents had driven with my little brother and sister and me to a self-catering hotel in Florida to escape our Indiana snow. Dad announced that, for the first time, we kids could officially ring in the New Year at midnight.

We were so excited about the prospect of staying up late that we dashed into our little kitchen to gather pots and pans as makeshift drums and assorted spoons as drumsticks. Provisional instruments assembled, we paraded around the place – loudly proclaiming our enthusiasm.

As you might expect, this drove my mom crazy. She urged my dad to pretend midnight arrived a few hours early. But he honoured his word to his offspring and we all saw it through to the bitter end. Or beginning.

The next morning, when I woke up, I expected to feel completely different. It was the dawn of the new year. The sun should be shining brighter or something, shouldn’t it?

I remember how surprised I was that I was just the same. I was disappointed.

Then my mom told me I could make a resolution.

An outward pronouncement that something different is going to happen in the new year. Something that I had the power to change.

To this day, I love the prospect of making New Year’s resolutions.

I know, I know..

There are basically two types of people in the world – those who make New Year’s resolutions and those who make fun of the people who do.

We’re creatures of habit, so naturally change is hard.

You can frame your resolve with the word itself: RESOLVE

Reflect:

Before you decide what your New Year’s goal should be, act like one of Janus’s faces and look back. It’s helpful to review your year. Don’t dwell on the negative things, but do reflect upon what you’ve achieved.

I’ll bet each of you have something to be proud of. Maybe you didn’t win ‘Salesperson of the Year‘. But did you enter?

By just how much did you miss the mark? Maybe you didn’t lose 10 kilos, but did you join a gym? How many times did you go? Reflecting will help you adjust your strategy and behaviour to take another move ahead.

Examine:

Why are you preparing to make a resolution? Whatever you decide, it should come from you, not from real or perceived pressure of an employer or loved one. If you personally don’t really want to make a change, then you won’t.

Specify:

‘Losing weight’ is consistently the number one resolution people cite. But that’s so vague.

One of the main reasons people don’t achieve their resolutions, is they’re not narrowly defined. Do you mean one kilo or one stone? You need to write down a specific and realistic goal, so you can measure your success. Imagine how impossible “I’m never eating Cadburys again” sounds.

Instead, get real and try: “I’ll limit myself to three chocolates a week.

Outline:

Now that you’ve defined your goal, list each of the incremental changes you will need to make to support it. For instance, I know I won’t go to the gym unless it’s the first thing of the day. So, I would list ‘set my alarm an hour earlier’ as I outline my steps towards losing those last stubborn five pounds.

Link:

Find someone who will help motivate you or hold you accountable. Or both. Linking up with another person or maybe even a group of people is a big key to resolution success.

Value:

How much do you value yourself?

A lot,” you might quickly answer. But, then why are so many of us already convinced we won’t see our resolutions through?

Many of us are way too hard on ourselves. That’s another reason people don’t keep resolutions.

Just because you ate 10 chocolates this week, doesn’t mean you have to throw in the towel on the whole year. Forgive yourself and get back at it. You’re not perfect. None of us are. But if you value yourself and your goal, you must keep going.

Evaluate:

Schedule time on your calendar at regular intervals to take stock of your progress. Don’t wait until the following December. Try every couple of weeks or once a month. Target quarterly milestones to track your progress. Don’t forget.

The Romans believed Janus would forgive them their mistakes and shortcomings over the past year.

You can take today to forgive others as well as yourself. The Romans also asked Janus to bless them and help them with their goals for the new year. While Janus may not be the one helping you, it’s also time for you to make some serious plans.

January is upon us – Like Janus, let us contemplate our past achievements while anticipating success in our future efforts.

Happy New Year. Put your resolve into action!

Gina London - Fuzion CommunicationsGina London is a former CNN anchor and international campaign strategist who is now a Strategic Communications director with Fuzion Communications. She serves as media commentator, emcee and corporate consultant. @TheGinaLondon


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