A New Years Shout Out! By Dr. John Hacket Ed.D.

Network Marketing Magazine, 2021. Dr. John Hackett Ed.D.

New Year New You in 2021; A New New Year’s Resolution, Exercise Your Thinking Muscle. An Intentional Thinking Workout Plan to Rid Yourself of Mental Flabbiness.

“What we think about we bring about.” Mary Kay Ash

 In a recent webinar hosted by  Flashpoint Leadership Consultants on 4 Leadership Capabilities Needed for the Future, the presenter, Bill MuGavin, started with a great question. He asked, Is 2020 over yet? 2020 was officially over on January 1, 2021. We celebrated New Years’ Eve and Day much differently than we have in past years. There will be some constant practices.

Many of us stayed up until midnight, watch virtual parades and fanless football. Another constant practice is making New Year’s Resolutions. In the new year, we will look for ways to change ourselves for the better. No matter what 2020 has looked like, we all want a better 2021. We will develop New Year Resolutions about our looks, weight, fitness level, and business and relationship goals.

Studies of resolutions show that the vast majority of new years’ resolutions are health, especially exercise and diet-related. We will plan to run more, lift fewer forks and more weights at the new (expensive) gym. We may rush order that Peloton or Nordic Track machine or start the subscription to a fitness or diet app.

Many network marketers/direct sellers will build new business plans to win that bonus, trip, car, or recognition. These New Years’ resolutions are undoubtedly laudable and worthy of our best efforts. Sadly many New Years’ resolutions are not very resolute and fall by the wayside pretty quickly. A New York Post 2018 article  When do New Years Resolutions Fall Off? reported on a study done by Strava, the global fitness tracker and social network for athletes Gareth Mills from Strava Reported the following. “After analyzing more than 31.5 million online global activities last January, Strava was able to pinpoint the date when most people report failing their resolution. Research conducted by Strava has discovered that Saturday, January 12, is the fateful day of New Year’s resolutions.” A study conducted by the University of Scranton showed just 8 percent of people achieve their New Year’s goals. In comparison, around 80 percent fail to keep their New Year’s resolutions for more than six months, says US clinical psychologist Joseph Luciani.

There are many reasons resolutions fail, such as motivation, COVID 19, the economy, life events, lack of support, or bad planning.

There may be another more subtle but foundational reason New Year’s resolutions fail to last. It may be because we have not considered the foundation of all of these activities, our thinking.

If we want to change any activity, author of /Mindset, The New Science of Success Carol Dweck notes we have to change our thinking first. Our view of exercise, diet, or business possibilities won’t change until we change our thinking. We need a new type of New Year’s Resolution. One that focused on our thinking first and then activities. This year’s New Year’s Resolution should focus on a workout program to first exercise our thinking muscles.

Thinking is hard work. That’s why so few people do it. Albert Einstein

 Leadership Expert John Maxwell notes, “We all think, but few have an intentional thinking plan.” Thinking is hard. That’s why so few people do it,” noted Albert Einstein. Intentional thinking in any activity is crucial, as Henry Ford said over 100 years ago, “if you think you can or think you can’t, you are right.” Author Gordon Mc Donald noted many people are afflicted with “Mental Flabbiness. ” They have not taught themselves how to think nor have they set themselves to the lifelong pursuit of growth of the mind…. You can’t be an effective leader (network marketer/direct seller)with a mindset like that—it’s just not possible.”

The question would be how to develop this type of New Years Resolution to grow our thinking like a network marketer /direct seller. Dr.John Maxwell authored a Guide to Thinking and Reflection, which provides an excellent workout plan of five steps with one addition by this author to develop and strengthen your thinking muscle.

1 Find a place to think your thoughts.

Find a location to begin your thinking workout. Find a spot where you can sit quietly and think about your business or other self-improvement ideas. A short time spent creating thoughts can help you start your day just like a weight lifter or a swimmer does working out at the gym. You can even write some thoughts to focus on for the day

2 Find a place to shape your thoughts by reflection.

Finding a place and time for the practice of reflection is a way to review your day and learn. John Dewey, the father of American public education, said that “True learning is activity reflected upon.” We all lead very hectic lives, especially a network marketer /direct salesperson balancing many life activities. A time to slow down and reflect can help to refocus and to learn. Reflection on an activity creates insight for future action. An activity that is not reflected upon becomes a fading memory. A hint write down reflections to cement your learning and focus.

3 Find a place to stretch your thoughts.

Where can you access experts or trusted resources to learn from? Today we are blessed with the ability to listen to a 15-minute podcast or short piece of online motivation. A free source is Minute with Maxwell). Talk and listen to those who expand your thinking.

4 Find places to apply your thinking.

Find creative ways to try out what you are thinking about. The virtual work environment we work in provides places to try out your thinking and learn new ways of reaching out to team members and customers.

5 Find a place to take your thinking to another level and fly.

Ask yourself what you have learned and applied to take to the next level. Ask yourself what I can do, who can I partner with, what could I try next? Remember the importance of writing down your thoughts.

6Repeat steps 1-5 on a consistent time frame with grace.

“Practice does not make perfect notes Nicki Keohohou of the Direct Selling World Alliance; practice makes permanent” The more you exercise your thinking muscle, the stronger it will become. The thinking exercise workout is a cyclical process requiring practice and repetition. Like all workout activities, you will slip occasionally. The key is to give yourself grace and start again.

When you reflect on the process of trimming mental flabbiness and developing your thinking muscles in December of 2021, it won’t matter where you started or how often you slipped. What will matter is that you will have developed with your thinking workout a mindset of confidence, energy, and growth to be the best you can be at the activity you choose. You can start the journey to winning that trip, bonus, new car, and adding value to people you have not yet met. How you workout that thining muscle will make the difference in any activity you choose. In December of 2021, you will be an excellent example of what Mary Kay Ash said, “what you think about you bring about,” and prove Dr. Suess right in saying, “You’re off to great places!”

This year make that New Years’ resolution to Exercise Your Thinking Muscle !!

John Hackett
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