When new year’s resolutions roll around, the same old mantra begins: “This is going to be our best year yet!” Of course, we all want to be better people and even better business owners. The concept behind New Year’s resolutions and that optimism and positivity toward a fresh start are beautiful. There’s no doubt about that. But when it comes to running a business, new years resolutions just don’t cut it.
To explore further, here are the six main reasons why:
Setting unrealistic resolutions
Rather than deciding what you ‘should’ do, resolutions are about your desired outcomes. Unfortunately, many of us tend to set incredibly hard goals that become unattainable or simple ones that we quickly grow bored of. It is essential to assess whether the resolution can be achieved – is it measurable? Is it realistic? Etc, etc.
Lack of accountability
Working with an expert, mentor, or someone to keep you accountable guarantees that the drive and enthusiasm are present to help you become more successful. But who are we kidding – we don’t all have access to experts and mentors to make our resolutions come true – oftentimes, business owners are expected to be the experts and mentors.
Just like any new concept, tracking and review must be in place to measure progress. This can easily slip by the wayside when it comes to new year’s resolutions, as many people become overly optimistic and forget the importance of refining objectives and assessing performance. Just because it’s a resolution doesn’t mean it should be treated as a side project. Not making it as important as any other business endeavor is sometimes where owners tend to go wrong.
No plan for failure
Successful businesses recognize that some ideas or plans will fail, but they also know how to use these failures as learning experiences. When it comes to new year’s resolutions, there is often no understanding of what happens if things don’t go according to plan – this can lead to disappointment and a lack of motivation. As humans, we’re also more likely to beat ourselves up for what we deem personal failures – especially when a “resolution” is something we kept to ourselves.
When it comes down to it, new years resolutions take up a lot of time and energy. Oftentimes, individuals attribute their inability to fulfill resolutions to an absence of time, resources, or motivation. Research has demonstrated that only a meager 16 percent can realize the goals they set for themselves at the start of each year. Unfortunately, most cease attempting after just one to six weeks and then find themselves making similar promises in subsequent years – not achieving the
So, clearly, setting unrealistic expectations for ourselves is something we seem to have mastered (also the lack of learning from our mistakes).
The question remains: how can we actually benefit from a new year refresh? And not just in January but for the rest of the year ahead? What are the right resolutions to set?
It just depends on how you go about it. Think of New Year’s resolutions as avenues to explore new ideas and reflect on what needs to change. It’s not always about sweeping changes or “perfecting” yourself. But that doesn’t mean New Year’s resolutions can’t help you become genuinely happier if pursued consciously. The key is developing manageable goals focused on improvement rather than perfection – and the New Year is a great place to start.
So, we urge you to say goodbye to new years resolutions and hello to achievable goals this year. The truth is that resolutions are often based on emotions and feelings – not tangible results, which can lead to disappointment or even abandonment of your desired outcome. Most of the time, people don’t even bother putting together a plan or having regular check in’s with themselves. We tend to get in the habit of setting broad resolutions, like “I want higher revenue this year,” with no serious action plan behind it – more of a mental sticky note moment. So why bother setting those? Instead, take some serious time to reflect on what actions you can take in the new year to improve your business and implement them.
Business success only comes from planning.
That’s the cold hard truth. That means taking stock of what you have accomplished so far, setting realistic goals for the future, and creating actionable plans to get there. No new years resolution can do that for you. So how can you start building an actual plan to propel your business forward? Well, let’s get into some tips we have for that.
- Start by breaking down your goals into smaller, achievable steps and plan out the months ahead. Put dates and deadlines on your milestones, give yourself room to breathe, and check in regularly with yourself. Take the new year as an opportunity to reflect on what’s been working and hasn’t – then use that to create a new plan of action for the new year.
- Think about what new skills you can learn, resources you can access, and collaborations you can pursue. Smart business owners recognize the need to work as much on their development as they do on the growth and development of their businesses. Remember that lack of accountability we talked about earlier? If you’re a business owner, you probably get this one on a deeper level. No one holds you accountable for your own business except yourself (and maybe the tax collectors). So how can we start to take steps toward accountability? Some small business owners seek executive coaching to get a perspective on what’s happening. Executive coaching can also be a way to learn more about leading people forward. Our executive coaching program teaches owners how to do more to build teams. We work on their interpersonal skills and help them break through personal roadblocks. Most importantly, we hold them accountable. This helps owners get a better handle on how to achieve their goals. Think of executive coaching as the gift that keeps on giving. It can be lonely occupying the seat at the head of any organization. Engaging with executive coaches can help you step beyond isolation and explore the potential to share your opportunities and challenges. Ultimately, this works to build yourself and your business into leaders in your industry.
- Build yourself and your team a timeline with deadlines that make sense for your business, and set aside consistent time to review progress with everyone involved. Thinking about successful businesses, what do they all have in common? Besides their determination and great ideas, strong project management is always a significant factor. Set yourself up for success by creating a timeline with realistic deadlines that keeps your team motivated and organized. By putting aside regular time to evaluate progress, everyone involved will stay focused and take accountability for their part of the project.
- Finally, don’t forget to be kind to yourself while doing all of this. We know the temptation is real: when running a business, there’s always something new to learn or something that needs improvement, but don’t let that pressure get to you! Self-care should remain at the top of your priority list if you want your new year’s mission statement to come true.
In short, we’re saying this: You don’t need New Year’s resolutions to make positive changes for your business – just dedication and commitment to actual planning.
The new year is an excellent opportunity to become intentional with your business – but new years resolutions are definitely not the answer. Real progress happens when you wisely plan, act on those plans and measure what works (and doesn’t). Set yourself up for success in the new year by taking a realistic approach that focuses on measurable goals and actionable steps. That’s how you can actually benefit from a new year refresh – so let’s get started! Contact us today if you’re interested in any of our services. We’d love to assess how we can help your business and be a part of your plans – even if the planning part is where you need the most help.
Happy 2023! ????????✨