For many, including me, the start of a new year is accompanied by the ritual of resolution making and setting my intentions for the year ahead. In my experience, the more concrete the resolution, the better. Promising to exercise more or be more organized at the office is just too vague. How do you measure your success against something as indistinct as “more?”
I’ve learned that the more specific I can be with my intentions, the likelier I am to follow through on these promises to myself. The vague “more” in these earlier promises became “I will exercise four days per week and will organize all incoming emails at the time I receive them.” With a distinct target to aim at, I’ve been able to achieve these goals. Well, email organization is less a daily thing than a weekly thing, if I’m being totally honest. But it’s still better than an inbox that dates back to 2000.
In addition to personal and professional goals, many of us also set goals for our businesses at the start of a new year. The same logic applies to these goals in that the more specific your target, the more likely you are to achieve what you intended.
Here is some additional advice, drawn from my own experience and from a number of articles on the subject, for sticking to your resolutions in the year ahead:
- Write down and post your resolutions in a spot where you will see them daily.
- Share your goals with a friend, coworker or your employees. Knowing that other people know your intentions can help you push through the tough spots. These confidants also can help to keep you honest about how hard you’re working toward achieving your goals.
- Break down your resolutions into incremental steps that you can achieve monthly or seasonally.
- Don’t be afraid of what you don’t know or of being a beginner when tackling something new. Learning is part of the process.
What are you hoping to achieve in 2013? I invite you to share your resolutions, personal and professional, with SDB on Facebook (www.facebook.com/SDBmagazine) and Twitter (@SDBmagazine). We’d love to cheer you on as you work toward achieving your goals.
I’d like to welcome Tom Adams, our newest contributor. His column, Marketing Jolt, makes its first appearance in this issue. We’re excited to have an expert of Tom’s caliber as a contributor and are certain our readers will look forward to reading his thoughts in upcoming issues.