Happy New Year & welcome back to those that have had a well deserved break. Whilst everyone is busy setting New Years Resolutions and fighting to keep them for the first few weeks of the year I'm busy pondering why people break them? Why the motivation for a few weeks then all of a sudden nothing? My simple answer MOTIVATION or more importantly lack of.

I for one am motivated by data (yes its true I am an accountant!) I have recently starting riding my bike again and although it hurts like hell I still get out of bed every morning and ride to work. I map my route and time everything thanks to the lovely runkeeper app. it tracks my distance, elevation, time, km splits, fastest pace etc etc. So each day there is a new challenge. Beat the last time up the hill, take another minute off the total ride time, get to the 20km mark quicker, go faster down the big hill. Each day when the rest of the Growthwise team get to work I happily share my great news about this mornings personal best. I show them the graphs and can then track my results by week, by month etc etc. Yes I am a competitive person so this works brilliantly for me. But i cant help to notice the amount of other people who use apps like runkeeper & cyclemeter to also track progress. If you jump on twitter or facebook I'm sure you will see someone even sharing their results.

Now granted not EVERY day of the week do I beat yesterdays total time or distance....but I can analyse where I can look to improve or where I slipped up compared to yesterday. I can then set new mini goals for the ride home or tomorrow. But the thing is I'm always focused. Why? Because the data is in front of me. Its visible. Its real. And if you start sharing your results people start naturally asking you how you are tracking. You automatically become accountable to others. And the motivation circle continues. So I not only get my data from the little lady that talks to me all the way along my ride as well as when I finish but I'm also getting the added benefits of the encouragement and accountability from others.

My end goal is certainly not just merely to ride to work each day. Its a much larger fitness target....but my action to get to that target is simply riding each day. The data helps with that motivation.

So how does this apply to your business?

Businesses also require motivation. Well they certainly do if you want to kick-arse! Which means not only do you as business owners require motivation but so does your entire team. Imagine if your whole team was motivated to go that little bit faster every single day. What do you think the difference to your results would be? Do you think you would have a team that were all striving for the same target? Do you think the chances of meeting your targets would be greater.

Business goals and motivation are no different than your personal goals and motivation. First you need to set them! Then you need to break them down into manageable smaller targets & share these with the team. Better still make the team accountable for hitting the targets. And just like you would for yourself reward them.

So this weeks homework is to have a think about what targets you want to set for your business. Start small and work on some targets for the next 6 months. Next week I will touch on how to motivate your employees to reach these targets.

Happy Planning :)