The definition of insanity according to Albert Einstein is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

I believe that in our business, everyone wants to succeed. I actually do not know a single career trainer that says, “I don’t think I want to be successful this year.” While we may have some goals set up for the year, as we venture through the months, we run into speed bumps that seem to take us off of the path to success. What I have found with many of my career trainers is their biggest enemy hindering their success is themselves!

Oftentimes, career trainers start each year with the desire to produce more, obtain better results with their clients, increase their personal marketing or advance to a management and/or ownership position. The problem is they continue to do business the same way each year, expecting a different result! In my two decades of this industry, it’s not usually a problem of effort; it’s a problem with focus. We continue to focus on the same things and usually end up at the same place.
Let me offer some suggestions to change your focus and hopefully change your end of the year outcome!

Re-evaluate the past year. I usually sit down at the end of the year and reflect on what goals I reached and which ones I am still striving to accomplish, what strategies worked for me and which ones need some adjusting, as well as the obstacles I encountered and what I may have been able to do to have avoided the situation altogether.

Re-formulate a plan. The goal of the first exercise is to understand what worked and what didn’t, so when I start a new plan for the year, I only duplicate what worked for me and try to avoid repeating past mistakes. My new plan usually is written down and reviewed throughout the year. I want to keep myself accountable to sticking to the plan, otherwise I cannot know if what I am doing will propel me to success or make life more challenging. This reminds me of another popular saying: “If you fail to plan, then plan on failing!”

Re-execute your plan daily. I consciously try to execute my plan daily because it is very easy for me to lose my focus and steer far away from what has been evaluated and thought out. Remember, I said that effort is not the problem; it is the focus of the effort. Think of it like this: We all have had days where we ran like a madman all day long and at the end of the day felt like we had nothing accomplished. The problem was not in the effort; it was in having a scattered focus. That is what a plan is: a focus for our effort. Stick to the plan!

I sincerely believe if we change what we do, we will change our results. Thomas Edison said he never failed when an experiment went wrong, he simply learned how not to do it. Not every plan will be the right one, but we will learn and adapt and know how not to do it for the next year.
Good health, and good focus!

Mike McDaniel is an authority of leadership, goal-setting disciplines, sales strategies and corporate physical fitness. He has been a professional trainer for over 18 years and owned two health clubs, employing over 75 personal trainers. Mike can be booked for speaking engagements, sales training or consultant at