The New Year always brings the chance for a fresh start. All around us people are signing up gym memberships, making commitments to one another, focusing on new relationships, and setting personal and career goals.
But I wonder, while we are setting our resolutions, are we also thinking about practical ways to break down our goals into accomplishable tasks?Don’t get us wrong, having BIG resolutions are important, but what’s more important is finding ways to sort and follow through with smaller tasks. So while you are setting your goals, be sure to pause and consider the steps you will have to take along the way.
And, so, drum roll please… the top ten things you can do to have success with your Business New Year’s Resolution are:
- Be Realistic. Before you declare your goal, make sure it is something you can actually accomplish in one year. If you want to make a BIG resolution that will take over one year, great! But be sure that you have a realistic time frame about when you will be able to accomplish this goal. Look out over the next few weeks, or months, and ask yourself, “is this a task I can handle right now?”
- Plan Ahead. Sit down and create an overview of your year. Some clients we work with love to organize monthly, while others like to sort their projects quarterly. Whatever system you use, be sure to be consistent and methodical. If you are resolving to improve your Customer Service Management(CRM), think about systems that might better assist you this year. If you can’t do it all, that’s fine. Planning ahead will give you a better opportunity to decide what tasks you can handle and what tasks you will need help with.
- Outline your Plan. Because Rome wasn’t built in a day, it’s important that you recognize there will be many steps to take in order to accomplish your goals. And that is okay!Get out a piece of paper and right your goal on top. For example, if your goal is to attain 25 new customers this year, write that phrase at the top of your paper. Then, write out the steps it will take you to accomplish these goals. They might be things like, join a networking community, or make 15 cold calls a day. Whatever it is going to take, write it down. Then, sort through your list and create a plan of action!
- Make a Pros and Cons List. It’s important that you understand the pros and cons of each task you are attempting complete. Working through the pros and cons of each task will help you determine if this resolution is actually worth aiming to accomplish. Ask yourself, “is this resolution something that will add positivity and happiness to my life?” and “Is this resolution something that will make my life more whole?”If the answers are yes, then go for it! But, if there is any hesitation, be sure that you give yourself an opportunity to reevaluate your goals.
- Talk about it. Do you have someone that you can rely on in your business? It’s essential that you have an honest sounding board when you are coming up with ways to grow and enhance your business. Take some time this week to schedule a meeting with an honest business partner to discuss your goals and resolutions. Often times, feedback from an coworker can inspire us in surprising ways.
- Reward Yourself. After you accomplish small steps and mini-goals, make sure that you take time to acknowledge your work. I read a quote the other day by Brad Thor that said,
In other words, we need to stop and recognize what we have done so that we may actively learn and repeat these good behaviors. Write down the reward you intend to give yourself. Let it be a motivating factor that gets you through the hard steps. Then, once you accomplish something, you will be more motivated to continue working.
- Track your Progress. Be sure that you have a way to measure your progress. If you don’t know where you came from, how are you supposed to know where you are going?If you are trying to build a strong contact list, it might be a good idea to put a tracking systems in place. Measure the number of contacts you began and ended with each month. Also, track how many of those contacts purchased from you. In this way, you will be better able to understand the conversion rates from contact to purchasing customer.
- Don’t Beat Yourself Up. Often, we can be our worst enemy. But don’t letyou get yourself down! Remember your end goals and remember that you are capable of accomplishing them. Life is about learning and growing. There is no “perfect”. There is only what is perfect for you. So take a moment each day to cheer yourself on! You can do this.
- Stick to it. Don’t let yourself be discouraged by the everyday. Sometimes when we are working towards our goals, tasks become mundane and boring. Find little ways to liven up your days. And keep chugging along.
- Keep Trying. Business methods and tactics are a practice. The only way we become better is to practice, practice, practice. Maybe we will never master our business, but so what? If we keep trying, then we will keep learning. Life is challenging, but our days are intended to be gratifying experiences. No matter what, keep trying. Keep believing in yourself. And keep your end goals in mind.