- Keep it real. Don’t make your goal pie-in-the-sky
difficult, or too big. Instead, choose an area to focus on, whether it’s
converting more sales leads or gaining expertise in new productivity
software. But don’t be too easy on yourself, either. Simplistic goals may
let you check a box on your list, but do they really help you grow your
- Stop doing something. While resolutions often read like
lofty to-do lists, you might help your business more by identifying a few things
not to do anymore. Examine your processes: Are you doing something because you
need to or just because you always have? Look at your products and services: Are
they all pulling their weight? Prune ruthlessly.
- Be specific. One reason resolutions fall by the wayside is
that they may too general. Instead of saying, “I want to improve my bottom
line,” look at which products or services are most likely get you there and zero
in on those. Keep resolutions action-oriented, too. Rather than, “I need to use
social media more,” try, “I will engage customers on Twitter by tweeting twice a
- Build in benchmarks. Checking your progress regularly helps
in a couple of ways. First, it keeps you engaged. It’s easy to be motivated in
January, but by March the new year is long forgotten. Having to measure up
regularly forces you to keep your goals front and center. Plus, it gives you a
chance to review results. If you’re already off track in April, you can change
tactics. Are you back where you need to be by June? Great, stay the course!
- Pair up. Just like it helps to have an exercise partner or
a study buddy, having someone on your side can help you stay motivated to keep
your resolutions. It’s natural to look to your business partner, if you have
one. But you could look outside, too. Have you met someone in your network —
someone you’re not competing against, of course — who might have similar goals?
Or perhaps there is someone who shares your background or particular challenges.
You can compare notes and encourage each other.
- Delegate other tasks. You are already busy, busy, busy. But
if your resolution is worth making, it is worth spending time on. So free
yourself up by delegating some of your work to other people. Yes, they can
handle it: You hired them because they are talented, right?
Invest in yourself. You are your business’s best resource,
so manage it carefully. If you typically work 24/7, resolve to schedule “me
time” each month, whether it’s a massage, a round of golf or lunch with friends.
Maybe you’d like to take a college course to beef up your business expertise or
explore a hobby, or maybe you need to hire a babysitter so you and your loved
one can enjoy a date night. The bottom line: If you are healthy, rested and
inspired, you’ll be in the best place possible to lead your business through any
challenge 2015 can throw your way.