The beginning of a new year is a time for renewal. For fresh starts. It’s a time to make new goals and develop plans to accomplish them.
What will the new year mean for you? What will it mean for your business?
If you are like me, you’ve tried to make New Year’s resolutions in the past but failed to make the desired changes. All is not lost. Here’s your New Year’s resolution survival checklist.
9 Steps To Succeed At New Year’s Resolutions
These nine steps will help ensure you have more success with your New Year’s resolutions than you may have had in years past. Ready to win?
1. Quality Over Quantity
It’s easy to get carried away when setting New Year’s resolutions. Most of us have quite a few things we want to change about ourselves or our business.
However, you’ll have a better chance of success if you choose five or fewer resolutions that are at the top of your priority list. Make your list by starting with the resolutions that, if achieved, will have the most positive impact on your life.
Start there, and if you accomplish those five, you can move on to achieving more resolutions.
2. Determine Your Whys
When you set goals without having a reason why you want to achieve them, it’s easy to lose interest. Without a solid “why,” the resolution becomes nothing more than an added chore, and we all have too much on our to-do list as it is.
If you want to ensure a higher chance of resolution success this year, make a list stating why achieving each resolution is important to you. Make a list or chart stating why you want to grow your business.
Or improve your health, or pay down debt, or whatever your goal is. Add photos if that will help motivate you. Then refer back to your list of “whys” when you’re feeling discouraged or unmotivated.
Remembering that you want to grow your business to reach financial independence or achieve better health to have more years with your loved ones will help drive you to take the steps needed to achieve your resolution.
3. Ensure Viability
Another way to survive and thrive as you set out to achieve your resolutions is to ensure the viability of your goals. In other words, is what you’re expecting of yourself doable?
Or, are you setting resolution goals that are unachievable? The more realistic your resolutions are, the better chance you have of achieving them.
Break the resolutions down into two years if you need to. This will help you keep your “big picture” goal in mind while maximizing your chance of success by choosing realistic resolutions for each year.
4. Set Quantitative Goals
It’s one thing to say you want your business to grow or to improve your social media presence. It’s something else altogether to set ways to measure those big ideas.
Instead of simply saying you want to increase sales, define the resolution by saying you want to increase prices by “X” or increase your marketing budget by “Y.”
Instead of simply planning to be more present on social media, specify that you want to publish three blog posts a week. Or add “X” Tweets per day. Or determine to gain a certain number of new followers per month.
By adding concrete numbers to your resolutions, you’ll better be able to follow the next rule of resolution success.
5. Track Your Progress Regularly
One benefit of setting quantitative goals is that they allow you to better track your progress toward achieving your resolutions. You can look at your spreadsheet or chart and see exactly how close you are to reaching your goal.
Knowing the status of your progress toward your goals can help you know early on if you need to redirect your course.
For instance, let’s say you’ve decided you want to gain three new clients each month. If you look at your chart and see on January 15th that you’ve only gained one new client, you know you have to step it up for the remainder of the month if you’re going to reach your goal.
Tracking your progress keeps you accountable to the resolutions you’ve set for yourself.
6. Break Your Goals Down
If you’re like me and have trouble staying motivated over long periods, you may want to try breaking your goals down.
As an example, let’s say you want to lose twenty pounds, and you’ve decided to give yourself six months to do so. Break that goal down to 3.5 pounds per month.
Then break it down further and commit to lose one pound per week. From there, set your daily activity schedule and meal choices to ensure you meet that weekly goal.
That way, the goal doesn’t feel so daunting, and you can meet (and celebrate) achieving mini resolutions along the way.
7. Have An Accountability Partner
Do you want an extra boost in helping ensure you follow through with your resolutions? Try committing to an accountability partner.
An accountability partner is one whom you can share your progress and struggles with. The right accountability partner will cheer you on in your wins, and give you honest, yet constructive feedback as to how you can improve.
If you can work together as a team and help your partner achieve their resolutions, even better. Choose someone you feel comfortable being open with, and who inspires you to be a better person.
8. Expect Setbacks
Very few people achieve long-lasting change without setbacks. As humans, we’re bound to fail at some point. We’re not perfect, and that’s okay–as long as you don’t use that imperfection to excuse long-term dismissal of your resolutions.
When you fall off the wagon as far as achieving your resolutions, give yourself grace. Forgive and move on. Then get up and get moving. There is amazing strength and power in accepting yourself as human and imperfect.
Doing so gives you the strength to begin again when you fail.
9. Believe In Yourself
Finally, possibly the most crucial step in succeeding at your resolutions is to believe that you have the power to accomplish them. As a small business owner, you already know the truth: It all starts (and ends) with you.
Abraham Lincoln once suggested to “always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.” Embrace that truth as you work to achieve your goals, and you are much less likely to fail.
Your time is now. Change starts today. Embrace the power and strength that lies within you and achieve the goals you want to achieve in 2020.
Making lasting changes requires commitment and dedication, but you’ve got those powers within yourself.
Remember Lincoln’s words that your own resolution to succeed is the only one that matters. Use your “whys”, and resolve to achieve all that you want to achieve this year.
Happy New Year, and best wishes for a highly successful 2020!