Close your eyes. Think back to January. Yes, it’s already April so that was over three months ago now.
Were you one of the thousands of people who were keen to make a list of personal and business resolutions for the New Year? But with all your best intentions you ended up limping through February, your goals left forgotten by March and likely to be untouched for the rest of the year?
Resolutions are like opinions. Everyone has at least one, although when it comes to the time for action, we tend to back down at the point of least resistance.
My best advice is to dig deep, find that dust covered piece of paper you decorated with neon highlighters and change your attitude towards resolutions to make them count.
Here are four ways you can reclaim your business goals for the year and ensure they stick for the long term:
1. Choose a focus word
Many creative people in business have chosen to focus on choosing a word to guide them through the ups and downs of the coming year. They are open to opportunities when they use a keyword as a reminder to stay on track when life provides distractions to their goal. Go back over your business plan and choose a word that represents your business, what you are trying to achieve and your end goal.
2. Refine your mission statement
Mission Statements are a familiar concept in most businesses these days, so why not develop your vision further now you have had a few months of business under your belt? Focus on each month or within a particular timeframe. People tend to achieve their short-term goals quicker with a lot of drive and passion as they can envisage the goal line ahead of them. Long-term goals lose momentum if reminders are not set in place to achieve the long -term goals.
3. Visuals, visuals, visuals
Vision boards, framed quotes or mottos hung on office walls, a new logo or tagline all motivate us to stay on the path we have set for the year. Change your office frames each month, print out your mission statement as a constant reminder, in order to think outside the square to propel your business forward.
Why not take a photo of your visual reminder and use it as your phone or computer screen saver? A quick glance at the image will trigger your mind to stay with the goals & KPI’s you have set in place.
4. Remove the guilt
Let go of the disappointment that we feel with resolutions, we all feel terrible when we don’t follow through with our intentions. Start fresh. Remove the guilty feelings associated with not achieving our set goals (which were probably made on Boxing Day, sitting by the pool, cocktail in hand) Beating yourself up about past failures means you wallow or attach your self-worth to unattainable goals. Why do we feel guilt attached to failed New Year’s resolutions when they are set up to fail in the first place?
My own personal focus word for the year is “growth“. To outsiders that word might seem a little vague or a little airy-fairy in relation to measurable business goals. Traditionally we think of our resolutions in terms of SMART (Specific, Measured, Achievable, Realistic, Timely) goals for which I am aware works well for many people.
Don’t get me wrong, I do have more specific weekly and daily tasks to focus on but the overall theme of “growth” for my year ahead is a reminder of what I want to achieve and how I plan to get there. In order to stay on track and facilitate that idea I think, “What can I do today for my business that will grow my client base, my skill set, my customer experience for the future?”
Thinking outside the square in relation to achieving your forgotten resolutions for the year may just keep you on the path to business success.
What word, vision or theme would you choose to represent your business?
Lisa Berson is a freelance writer and copywriter based in south-west Western Australia. Lisa wrangles with words in order to give a voice to online business owners who lack the time or know-how to connect and engage with their ideal client. Her words have been seen on Kidspot, Leaders in Heels and My Child/Parenting Express websites. Loves chocolate, not a fan of broad beans. Check her out at www.lisaberson.com
Photo credit: Markus Spiske