Albert Einstein once quipped that no problem can be solved with the same level of thinking that was being used when the problem was created. That means to be different, you have to think differently. Different thought leads to different actions, and different actions lead to different results.

As you look forward to a new year, and make new goals, you need to identify the new behaviors and new thoughts that will move you closer to those goals. Simply making a resolution to do something is absolutely worthless without an activity plan.

Now is the time to make some goals for 2021. Real goals that are measurable and specific. “Make more money” isn’t a goal. “Lose some weight” is an out loud wish, not a resolution. Once you have a specific goal, the next and crucial step is to build an activity plan to get you there. You will not get a different result without different actions.

If you are a sales leader or a front line producer, you need to write this activity plan down once you create it, and you need to share it. Nothing quite like the pressure of public commitment to keep us accountable on the days where we’re not “feeling it”.

Now comes the other side of the coin, the part that most activity plans fail to consider. The inactivity plan!

The inactivity plan is exactly what it sounds like. It is the things that you commit to NOT doing this year, because success comes just as much from what we are willing NOT to do as it comes from what we are willing to do. Activity is based on available time, and time is a finite commodity, so when you pick an activity you want to add, you have to consider what activity it will replace. If you want to supercharge your 2021 goal achievement, make a list of the activities you are going to delete this year. It could be that 30 minutes of TV a night that you delete and replace with reading or listening to a podcast. It could be the video game on your phone that you delete and replace with 10 more cold calls a day. It might be the drama of dealing with a bad friendship that you replace with a quick meditation break to soothe and calm the stress in your life.

Almost no one plans to fail. They just fail to plan, and part of the plan has to be the things that you remove to make room for the new behaviors that will contribute to your success.