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Are New Year’s Business Resolutions Realistic?

I always thought New Year’s resolutions were a right-of-passage, a special moment in time to reflect on where I was personally, and how I wanted to improve my life in the coming year. Honestly, for the past five years or so, I haven’t put much thought into this. Instead, I use the Nike mantra, I “just do it” when I am ready, whether it’s January 1st or August 10th. However, for those who do make a New Year’s resolution, I support your intent and wish you the very best in attaining your goal!

For those businesses who choose to make a New Year’s resolution, they are similar to an individual who wants to improve one’s health and wellbeing. It’s not easy! It takes commitment and consistency from all those involved, and you need to understand the cause and effect of your goal(s). However, first and foremost, don’t make any resolution unless you are serious. Again, most resolutions are hard to achieve – not necessarily because they are too lofty but because they are not thought out, planned and consistently executed.

Here are a couple of tips to help you decide whether or not you want to make a New Year’s business resolution:

1. First, don’t make a New Year’s Resolution unless you have a specific goal in mind – and are passionate about it.

2. Be committed and specific. To say you are going to increase revenue or cut costs is too vague. Identify how you will do this and when. Understand the impact on staff, your customers and your overall image.

3. Choose attainable goals. Don’t shoot for the moon (unless you are Elon Musk). Be realistic and patient so you don’t become frustrated too easily. Remember, only 8% of those people who make New Year’s resolutions ever achieve them.

4. Make sure it is the right decision. Understand the consequences for your actions, short-term and long-term. Will it hurt your image, damage your customer base or destroy staff moral? Identify the value for your staff, customers, community and most importantly, yourself.

5. Do your homework. In the process of meeting your goal(s), understand there is usually more than one way to do this. Make the effort to review all options including outside resources, technology and reviews. Makes educated decisions will go a long way towards your success.

6. Write down your goals. Then find a place in your office or building so you see them every day. Before every Notre Dame home football game, the players leave the locker room with his sign above the door that they pat on the way out. This is their reminder of what their goal is at that particular moment.

7. Break down your goals into smaller steps. Set deadlines and dates for each so you develop accountability and are moving forward. This demonstrates success along the way and help you develop confidence.

8. Be prepared to make new habits. Like someone who says they will eat healthier and exercise more, you must make a concerted effort to change. Unless your goal is to change your lawn mowing services for a cheaper one, this doesn’t happen overnight. You must do this every day with consistency and effort.

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