Do you remember last year’s New Year’s Resolution? If you can’t, that’s ok. I suspect very few of us can. Studies have shown that New Year’s Resolutions don’t really work. Everyone always enters January with high hopes, but then they’re usually dashed by February. Why is that so often the case?
Most New Year’s Resolutions don’t succeed because they aren’t really achievable goals. They’re more like wishes. For example, “I’m going to lose weight this year” usually really means “I wish that I would lose some weight.” A wish isn’t realistic unless it’s accompanied by a plan.
The key to setting achievable Resolutions is to have both a specific goal and a method set out. Instead of just saying that you want to get in shape, a better Resolution would be to go to the gym every Wednesday morning. Setting a specific task provides you with parameters that give motivate to reach an outcome.
With that said, here are some excellent New Year’s Resolutions for business owners and entrepreneurs, and some concrete suggestions of how you can achieve them:
Wish: Get More Customers
Method: Redefine Your Social Media Marketing Presence
Even if you have a solid social media presence online, the new year is a great time to reevaluate and figure out what’s working and what isn’t.
What kind of follower interactions are you getting on Facebook? Is your company Tweeting daily? Are you networking with new professionals on LinkedIn? Are your blog posts driving traffic? What kinds of content is getting the most engagement? By boosting your social media presence, you’ll be able to reach many more customers and readily engage with the ones you already have.
Some great ways to get your company out there are to start a monthly newsletter or ezine, write weekly blog posts that you can promote on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, and readily follow other industry professionals on social media platforms to see what they’re up to. The internet is the best and most inexpensive marketing tool at your disposal. Try one of these three suggestions and monitor the response from your customers. I bet it will be positive!
Wish: Establish Yourself as an Industry Expert
Method: Learn More About Your Industry
Learning is the hallmark of success. It was true back when you were in school and it’s just as true now.
Learning more about your industry can only be a good thing. It automatically puts you leaps and bounds ahead of your competitors, who, odds are, aren’t going out of their way to learn anything new. By resolving to go to a conference, read more books, or just check out some great business blogs online, you can expand your knowledge of your business and get an edge over your competitors.
Of course, saying “I’m going to read more books” is easy, but actually reading them is more challenging. Pick a few specific titles that you want to read over the next year and put them on your nightside table. This will greatly increase the odds that you’ll pick one up.
Learning is a lifelong process, so make the upcoming year the one where you double down on your studies!
Wish: Grow Your Business
Method: Plan Ahead for the Coming Year
Do you have a written-out business plan for the future? If not, you should create one. Having a written out plan for the new year, with measurable targets and goals, can really help you keep on track. A yearly business plan should also not be set in stone. It should be malleable, and able to change with market realities and shifts throughout the coming year.
Write your business plan on your computer and then print off a copy. Keep it somewhere accessible in your desk drawer or a nearby filing cabinet so that you can make notes when you have any new ideas or thoughts. Every month, update the plan on your computer with the notes you’ve taken to keep it current.
Your business plan shouldn’t just be focused on what you want to do, it should also lay out some of the potential dangers and obstacles that might lie ahead. Having a plan to deal with these issues means that you’ll be prepared to quickly address challenges if they arise in the coming year.
Wish: Find A Healthy Work/Life Balance
Method: Block Off Personal Time In Your Calendar
A healthy work/life balance is about more than just leisure time. Your life outside of work is what refuels your heart and soul. Spending time with your family and friends reminds you why you do what you do.
Make personal time a priority in your calendar. Try to set up a weekly dinner or get together with friends, and keep it in your schedule. A good work/life balance can help to keep you healthy. Book regular visits to the gym in your calendar, or block off time for whatever your preferred form of exercise may be. Whether it’s a run, a dance class, or roller derby, regular exercise can help keep your body healthy, your mind alert, and your motivation alive.
Finding the proper balance between your time at the office and time away can require some give and take, and trial and error. Once you find it, you’ll discover that one will compliment the other! It’s a worthy goal for the new year.
Wish: Be Successful
Method: Rediscover Why You Love Doing What You Do
Every now and then, we lose track of why we do what we do. Work can become just that: work. The advent of the new year is the perfect opportunity to remind yourself why you started your own business in the first place.
Rediscover your love for your industry by doing the tasks you love more often. Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy, so why do it if you don’t enjoy something about it? Find that special something again, write it down, and look at it every now and then to remind yourself how much you love to do what you do. It will help you to redefine your vision of success.
The Heart of Resolutions
Of course, all of these suggestions are things that you should be doing all year round, not just in January! But the new year does provide a useful benchmark and a chance to reorient yourself.
Most of the time, achieving your goals is a matter of time. Specifically, not having enough time! A surefire way to achieve many of these Resolutions is to hire a Virtual Assistant to help you out so that you’re more available to take care of the things that are most important. A great VA can help you to maintain your internet presence, optimize your daily schedule, and just get all of the little annoying tasks out of the way so that you can remember why you loved your business enough to start it in the first place!
Please feel free to give me a call to discuss how I can make your life and business easier in the new year.