I see the world of sales as a micro version of the real world. Fundamental principles of success in sales usually apply themselves quite well to life outside of sales and vice versa.

In about 30 days, many people will be giving up on resolutions they made sometime in the last 3-4 days. They will have squandered their annual opportunity for change because of the classic mistake of focusing on an end result instead of an activity.

Life Example: I resolve to lose 25 lbs this year.

Sales Example: I resolve to make $300K in commissions this year.

The problem with those resolutions is that those are end result goals. A result is an outcome, and we cannot directly control outcomes. We can, however, heavily control activities that impact outcomes. That’s where your goal needs to be focused, be it a new year resolution or any other kind of goal. The person who wants to lose 25lbs is just stating a wish, until the moment that they commit to activities that will help them lose 25lbs.

Rephrasing that new years resolution to something that focuses on activity is the key. For example: In order to reach the specific goal of losing 25lbs, I resolve to go the gym 3x a week and run 5 miles a day, as well as to quit eating dessert at every meal including breakfast. (activity goals can be things you do, and things you STOP doing).

So, if you have a sales “New Year’s resolution” this year, here’s my suggested list of activity goals that will get you there, much more reliably than just wishing out loud for more commission money, only to have forgotten all about it by the time the groundhog sees its shadow.

1 – Master that pitch. On a scale of 1-10, how many of you are confident that your “elevator pitch” is an 8 or above? When I ask that question on conference calls, I usually hear crickets. Commit 15 minutes a day to writing, re writing, re re writing and practicing your sales pitch. Practice it on a colleague, a friend, your cat, your friend’s cat, your boss, or just record yourself on your phone and watch it. Practice, practice, and practice some more. Practice doesn’t make perfect, PERFECT practice makes perfect. If you can’t find 15 minutes a day to practice your pitch, then you are not really committed to being a sales professional, much less to increasing your commissions.

2 – Track your activity. Today and every day. Log it. Write it down. Knowledge is power and so is awareness. Knowing what you do on a daily basis is a great way to allow your sub conscious to coach and push you. ALL skilled professionals track their stats and conversions. This is 30 seconds a day max.

3 – Ask Every client for 2 referrals. 0ver 90% of people surveyed would give referrals if asked. Only about 11% of salespeople ask for them. ASK! Get them in writing if you can. Offer to type them them up and email them and ask them to put it on their letterhead and sign it. Don’t forget to get them on your linked profile as well. Julien’s 17th law – If you are in sales and you don’t have at least 25 recommendations on your linked in account, you aren’t serious about being in sales. (and I mean the typed out statement recommendations, not that phony skill endorsement thing Linkedin promotes.)

4 – Find a mentor. I don’t care how good you think you are or you know you are. EVERYONE can improve. Find someone who’s better than you and get on their calendar. Monthly at a minimum. Take them to lunch, pick their brain. The small tweaks you can make from mentorship can yield exponential results.

5 – Find an accountability partner. This one is really tough for some people. Find someone that you can declare your goals to who will hold you accountable. No picking your Uncle Jimmy in Hong Kong who you see twice a decade. (I also recommend avoiding the picking of your spouse). Declare those goals to someone who is going to SEE you all the time. Harness the power of your ego to assist you in maintaining daily discipline in all your activity.

Your 2019 will be impacted by what you actually do, on a daily basis, not by some dreamy wish you make in January. Define your goals as actions, and watch the results materialize.