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Keeping New Year’s resolutions achievable

I remember a friend of mine saying years ago that she didn’t like it when people made a resolution on New Year’s. Her opinion was that every day is a new year so why do people wait till January 1st of each year? I paused when she made her comment because she did make a good point! Humans tend to be creatures of habit, however, so I don’t foresee the New Year’s resolution tradition going away anytime soon.

With that said, as the December holidays are almost upon that means that New Year’s is right around the corner. As the week between Christmas and New Year’s tends to be slower for the small business owner, now is the time to think about your professional goals (err, resolutions) for 2014.

New Years Resolution 1915It is a well-known fact that if you make a resolution that is attainable the chance of you successfully completing that resolution is high. Begin by creating a list of things you want to improve upon or change in your business. What are the top three items that have the ability to improve your bottom line the most? These are the three resolutions to focus on for your business throughout the New Year. Now develop a bullet-list under each item of no more than five bullets per resolution of how you plan to achieve each goal. These bullets should also mimic the criteria for choosing your top three resolutions – that being keep them simple and achievable.

Now consider how you plan to complete those bullet items based on your current work schedule and time demands. Planning ahead of when you will actually accomplish the bulleted lists is imperative. If you don’t carve out time in your calendar to focus on how to go about achieving your resolution, they most likely will end up being part of a list that collects dust on your desk.

Finally at the end of each workweek take a few minutes to review your resolutions and the bullets underneath. Ask yourself these two questions, “How successful was I in meeting my goals this week? How can I improve upon my actions to better meet my goals next week?” Although you know what the list says, visiting it repeatedly and asking yourself these questions (and enacting your answers!) will help to make your resolutions achievable.