New Year’s Resolutions!
Let me start by wishing you a very Happy New Year!
At this time of year, it’s common for many people to think about making New Years resolutions. They resolve to do something different than they did last year. The point is, a New Year’s resolution is very often nothing more than a wish – a wish that things were different, a wish that things would change.
Because they are nothing more than vague wishes, if you’re anything like me, there is usually no follow through with the result that by the end of January, if we get that far, our resolutions have long been forgotten.
As a result, New Year’s resolutions should not be confused with setting goals.
As I say, New Year’s resolutions are very often nothing more than a vague wish which we have forgotten about within a few weeks.
A properly set goal on the other hand:
- Should be based around our purpose
- It should be written down
- It should come with a clear plan of action that ensures the goal is achieved.
As business owners, it is vital that we have clearly thought through goals for our business. How are we going to grow this year? What are our plans for expansion? What new markets do we want to break into?
And what better time than the start of a New Year to take the opportunity to work on your business rather than in your business.
What do I mean; work on your business, rather than in your business?
Most of the time we work in our business – dealing with customers, handling operational issues, sorting out problems, fulfilling orders. It can feel like being on a “hamster wheel” at times.
So we need to make sure that we take time away from the business – even if it’s only for half a day and work ON the business – planning, creating strategy, setting goals for the year ahead.
If we don’t do that, if we don’t take time out to work on our business, then we are in danger of not being able to see the “wood for the trees”.
The result? Our business isn’t forward looking, it loses direction, doesn’t grow.
So why not take a day away from your business, with no distractions. That means switching off your mobile, not checking your emails, and instead, taking the time to think about your business, plan for the year ahead and SET SOME GOALS.
When setting your goals, here’s three things that will really help:
- Write it down. Write down your goals. Experts reckon that the very fact that you have written down your goals means you are already doing things differently than 98% of the population.
One of the reasons 98% of the population don’t keep New Year’s resolutions? They don’t write them down.
But having written down your goals, don’t just put them in a drawer and forget about them. Read them regularly – at least 2-3 times per week. That way you start to not only memorise your goals, you start to live them.
- Create a plan of action. This is why you need to take time away from the business because this is where the hard work starts. You need to create a detailed plan of action to enable you to achieve your goals.
One thing I do which I have found to be really helpful is to “reverse-engineer” your goal. In other words, start with the goal and work backwards, creating a plan of action of what you must do to achieve your goal.
Take it all the way back to today – what activity can you do today that will help take you one step closer to achieving your goal.
- Work on it every day. Do something every day that will help you achieve your goal. The cumulative effect of doing something daily will astound you.
Let me give you an example. Two people each start at the beginning of the month with a penny.
Person A doubles their penny on alternate days for a month. At the end of the month, by doubling every alternate day they have accumulated £327.68. Not bad you might think!
Person B on the other hand, doubles their penny EVERY day for a month. At the end of the month, by doubling up every day they have accumulated £5,368,709.12!!
Imagine now the effect on your business of focusing in, and instead of working on a new project once a week or when you remember, working on it every day……
In summary, ditch the ‘wishy-washy’ New Year’s resolutions and instead get clear on one or two important goals – write them down, create a plan of action and work on them every day.
And watch your business fly!
All the best for 2018 – I hope it’s your best year ever!