New Year resolutions – we’ve all made them, and broken them − often before the end of January. There’s something about New Year celebrations that makes us yearn for a fresh start, but is there a way to make that desire for change more permanent?
Here’s a twist that can make your resolutions more durable, more beneficial and less prone to that embarrassing quick fade.
Align goals to your business
Try aligning personal goals to your business goals. This can deliver more benefits than you might have anticipated. For example, suppose your goal is to take a month’s holiday in September of this year – perhaps the first real holiday you’ve had in years.
If you’ve booked your tickets in advance, your goal has a fixed deadline and you’ll need to have the business ready by then to operate without you. So what do you need to do? You might decide the critical steps are:
Notice how aligning your personal goal of a holiday with business goals provides both purpose and motivation to empower your original resolution. Your goal was simply to take a real holiday this year, but achieving the goal will deliver extra personal and business benefits:
When it comes to setting the actual goals for your resolution, use the SMART system (Specific, Measurable, Realistic and Time-bound). It’s a timeless oldie.
Two more tips
Break goals down into simple, smaller steps. For example, to complete your operations manual by the time you leave, you may be aiming to complete one section a month for each process in your business, such as customer service, shipping, order follow-up, credit management or inventory control. Break this down further into smaller steps of what needs to be done this week, and this fortnight.
Creating some kind of graphic for each goal, such as a chart, a calendar or graph, allows you to see progress. The visual impact of a graphic tracing your progress is a powerful motivator that keeps everyone on track towards the finish line.