actionable new year's resoultions

Tips for Actionable New Year's Resolutions

Have you made your New Year's Resolutions yet?

Thoughts of past pledges to eat less, exercise more and to `finally get more organized, this year' that didn't last beyond the end of January make us feel the pressure of what is most likely to be a fruitless exercise once again. And fruitless it often is. A 2007 survey by British psychologist, Richard Wiseman, found that 88% of all resolutions fail.

For business owners there is the added pressure that this is the time of year where we need to `take our business to the next level' or have a plan for significant growth or change. No wonder the chances of success aren't good when we've just finished our holiday shopping, hosted Christmas dinner for twenty and now it's time to produce a new business plan or at least come up with an idea that sounds incredibly clever!

But a plan is the key. And if the holidays give you a bit of time out to think about your business then using the season of New Year Resolutions is a great idea. The trick is to come up with resolutions that you can implement and that you will stick to that don't rely on willpower alone (according to the research!).

Some tips to help you achieve this are:

  1. Set goals that are what you really want to do - or where you want to take your business. If you are really committed, it will make it so much easier when you go from the grand planning / great idea over a glass of bubbles phase to the hard yards of implementation.
  2. Don't make too many resolutions - you can have a million good ideas when you step back from your business and you no doubt have the capability to do them all. Or at least know someone who can help you. The question, when you are running the day to day of your business, is - how many new ideas do you have the capacity to implement? One initiative, implemented, is more beneficial to your business than a long list of fabulous ideas that never get off the ground.
  3. Write down your goal/s - when you do it makes them real rather than just a fleeting thought. It also helps validate if this is what you really want. And it becomes the start of your plan to achieve the goal.
  4. Develop an actionable plan of specific steps that will help you achieve your goal. For example, if you decide you want to "network" more - your action plan should address what you want to learn from networking (or who you want to get to know), who you are going to network with and when. If you schedule in one new coffee catch up each month - that's 12 networking opportunities by the end of the year!
  5. Breakdown larger, ambitious goals into smaller steps. Write a list of the steps required and actually assign due dates - so that you don't lose track of the bigger goal. Putting these dates into your calendar with a reminder for each action a week before it is due will help keep the big goals on track.

The best resolutions are those that you know in your heart you are going to follow through. Ones that you will develop an action plan for and make time to implement - because they are important for you and your clients.