Posts Tagged : New Year’s Resolutions

It’s a New Year: Stop to Change Direction

Stop to change direction

It’s New Year’s Day, 2015, and you might be wondering why I’m blogging today.

Well, I know a lot of you are home, with family, maybe relaxing for the first day in a long time. You’re probably checking your emails because you might have been up dancing a little too late, or you did a bit too much celebrating.

Whatever the reason, I have a thought for you.

I can think of no other single event that will be more important to your business this year than setting a large goal, a lofty Resolution, for you to achieve in 2015.

The reason this is so important is when you set a huge goal, it makes you stretch and step outside your comfort zones.  A goal like this will help prod you to achieve something you never thought possible.   When we set a goal like this, it will pester us in the morning, jump-start us from the moment we get out of bed, and when we go to sleep, it will recirculate in our dreams

Jim Collins called them Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals, but I think of them more as goals that when I focus on them, I say to myself: “Can I really do this?”

Setting a goal like this at the beginning of the year gives all of us a starting point, from Day 1, to make the most of this new year.

But here’s the thing:  In order to create a goal like this, you’ll have to make time to pull yourself away from your day-to-day operations. You will have to carve out some time from your normal routine to think, plan, and dream.

I know most of you have been going full-speed over the holidays.  You must put on the brakes now. It’s the time to schedule some down time, and the creative time you need. You must give yourself permission to slow down and be introspective, to think about all that is possible for you, and this is especially important right now if you want to take your business to some higher goal, or in an entirely new direction.

I love the quote by Erich Fromm: “You have to stop in order to change direction.”

Today is that day. This is your time, the time of the year to stop, if you want to be somewhere else this time, next year.

That’s all I got! Happy January 1.

Now stop and make this your happiest New Year ever.


Creating Your Business Resolutions for the New Year

Creating Your Business ResolutionsThis week, you’re going to start hearing the word “New Year’s Resolutions” being mentioned quite frequently.

But you won’t hear those words in this blog.

Instead, I’m more interested in helping owners create their Business Resolutions for the New Year, and less concerned about personal New Year’s Resolutions like “Spending more time with family and friends”, “Losing weight”, and “Getting organized” (though these are important, too).

Just ask any entrepreneur about what Business Resolutions they have planned for their upcoming year, and you’ll find they immediately start talking about all the tasks that they didn’t accomplish in the previous year, while quickly rattling off everything they’d like to accomplish moving ahead.

This response is pretty common because most owners I work with are bottom-line, results-oriented people. They focus on the question: “Did we hit our goals or not?” When they miss their target, they quickly detail their mistakes and where they fell short on a particular goal, and their minds immediately focus on what they’re going to do better in the future.

If you own a business, I have a suggestion for you. There’s a better way to create your Business Resolutions for 2015.

Here’s my advice: Before you start listing everything you didn’t accomplish in 2014, and start beating yourself up over what you didn’t complete, first focus on what you achieved.

This will be new for you, but before you focus on 2015, I want you to make a list of every major business accomplishment you achieved in 2014. If you have to, do this with your spouse, partner, employees, or anyone who has a solid knowledge of your business. Look back at your calendar if you have to. Month by month, write down the major accomplishments you achieved, the new aspects of your business that you created, and all the innovative ways you grew your business successfully in 2014.

What I want you to do is start the New Year by patting yourself on the back for what you accomplished, not focusing on what you didn’t do. This is important because the successes you achieved in 2014 can be repeated and multiplied if you focus on the steps that you took to create those successes. But this only works if you take the time to replay them.

If you’ve never taken the time to list your business achievements in the previous year, try it. It’s very rewarding!

First, you’ll find there’s a huge feeling of accomplishment when you read a list of everything you achieved in your business.

Second, if you are one of those over-achieving perfectionists who has a tendency to always bite-off-more-than-you-can-chew, and then, chew it anyway, this will give you time to reflect on the monumental assortment of tasks that you completed.

Third, you might just look at the list and say, “Now I know why I’m so tired!”

Do me a favor: Don’t rush through this exercise. They’ll be plenty of time to think about all the goals you didn’t accomplish. Being the perfectionists that most of you are, there’s a good chance that you set the bar too high on what you wanted to accomplish in 2014 anyway. It could be that you tried to accomplish too much with too few resources, like time, money, or help from others.

Trust me: They’ll be plenty of time for you to focus on all the goals you didn’t accomplish that you’ve already been kicking yourself for not achieving.

For now, I want you to focus on what was right about your business in 2014. Doing this now will give you a much better shot at creating greater successes in 2015.

At first, this might be hard for you because you’re a master at dwelling on all the areas where you fall short.

But take a day or two, make your list, evaluate where you excelled, and just bask in the afterglow of your accomplishments.  Your mind will appreciate the time you give it to replay your successes.

If you’re like most business owners I consult with, you’ll come to the realization that you achieved more than you remembered.

Face it:  You made great strides.  2014 was a challenging year and you came out the other side.

Congratulations!  Well done!  Happy New Year to all of your successes!