New Year’s Resolutions

With 2014 fast approaching, many of us are already starting to look back on the year that was. Was 2013 the year you had hoped it would be? Did you make the lasting changes you had wanted to this time last year?

I must admit, in general I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions. I have never made any in my lifetime and it seems to me that people who do use the date as a chance to justify putting off much needed change, such as quitting smoking, going to the gym or eating healthier. The crowded health clubs from the first week of January simmer down to the usual traffic by February 1st, and most of the people who claim to quit smoking for the new year are still puffing away come February.  In fact, I highly recommend turning many of your resolutions into goals that you can focus on during the entire year. Goal setting is much more focused, deliberate and success-driven, and that’s why I find it more effective.

But, having said that, for some strange reason I find myself much more focused this time of year, and upon further reflection I feel that resolutions do have their place. While I consider goals to be measurable accomplishments that are frequently complex and made up of many different mini-goals, resolutions are simpler, behavior-driven activities that typically do not require advanced planning. Resolutions are almost mantra-like, in that they are meant to give you motivation and encouragement as you work at bettering yourself.

For example, a business goal may be to increase profit by 5%, and includes a number of actions from attending more networking events, asking for client referrals, and launching a new marketing campaign. A resolution may be something as simple as: I will respond to all client emails within 12 hours. See the difference?

So in that vein, here are some of the top business resolutions you can make for 2014.

  1. I will think and speak positively each and every day.
  2. I will stop procrastinating and hold myself accountable.
  3. I will do something each day that will force me to get out of my comfort zone.
  4. I will focus on what’s important as opposed to what’s urgent.
  5. I will work harder AND smarter.
  6. I will visit each one of my clients at least once this calendar year.
  7. I will remember why I love what I do.

While these resolutions are meant to give you focus and motivate you for the New Year, they are too simplified to include measures for your success. But you can create goals out of any of these resolutions that truly resonate with you. It’s simply about staying focused and excited about all you’re able to achieve.

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