I’m like the rest of the world: I suck at resolutions. This year, like every year, I’ve convinced myself that it’s going to go differently. But this year, unlike years past, I’m changing the what and the how..
Like you, I’ve read oodles of articles about goal-setting. “The more quantitative you can make your goals, the greater the chance you have of achieving them,” I read. Well, OK, I thought. I’ll make measurable goals, measurable resolutions, resolutions about how much I wanted to earn and how many hires I wanted to have by year’s end. It’s quantitative, I reasoned. It should totally work!
Except it never did, and when I failed to stick with my resolutions, it was depressing as all get out.
Sound familiar? Welcome to my New Year’s Eve Pity Party.
I figured out why my New Year’s resolutions always fail. This is my answer
I’m all about words, but I got “resolution” dead wrong. I equated New Year’s resolutions with end-of-year goals, and that’s not what they’re about. My dollar-based resolutions failed for the same reason “I want to lose 20 pounds” fails: They’re goals, not actions.
Resolutions need to be action-oriented. You should resolve to do something, not to achieve something. And the smaller your something is, the more likely you are to do it and to stick with it.
Resolutions also need to be reasonable. They need to suit the way you live. Or, in this instance, the way you do business.
This is another reason my “make $X by December 31” didn’t work out. It required me to squeeze my business and my customers into packages, and that’s not how I operate. Of course it didn’t work! I set myself up to fail from day 1—uh, literally.
How I’m changing the way I make my New Year’s resolutions
This year, I’m making a handful of resolutions that are really just positive changes I want to make in my business. They’re not dreamy. Instead, they’re conventional. They’re practical. And they’re small, which makes them both feasible and unintimidating.
I’m also changing the way I come up with them and when I implement them.
Last year (and the year before, and the year before that), I earmarked the week between Christmas and New Year’s as a week of learning, strategizing, and planning. I’d cram in books and blog posts and worksheets, and I’d come up with big ideas about what I wanted to accomplish in the following year. Then I’d craft resolutions based on those big ideas with the notion that I’d get to work on January 1.
Except I’d never get to work on January 1, and by the time I did get to work, I felt overwhelmed by these high-brow aspirations I’d had while I was riding high on Christmas chocolate and candy canes. I’d freeze up. I’d lose my focus. And just like that, my resolutions went out the window.
This year will be different. In fact, it already is. I made my brief list of resolutions before I sat down to write this post and I’ve already started to act on them. 2018 will be more about keeping up the good work than getting started on something new, and I think that will set me up for success.
(I’ll let you know what happens a year from now, of course!)
MY 2018 BUSINESS RESOLUTIONS
Ready to see which actions I’ll be taking forward into the New Year? Onward and upward, friends! Onward and upward.
Here are my 2018 business resolutions (and all of them are currently works-in-progress):
#1. Nurture my business relationships every day
I’m on Instagram every day. I’m on Facebook every day. Most days, though, I spend most of that time scrolling through pretty dresses and scowling at news articles. Now, I’m shoving that agenda back 20 minutes for the good of my business (and, let’s be honest, my brain).
Instead, I’ll be spending 10 minutes a day reading staffing blogs, listening to recruitment podcasts and learning as much as possible. I set a timer. I get it done. And I go back to fashion and news.
#2. Delight my clients (on auto-pilot. Shh!)
One of my favorite things to do is to surprise people with things I know they’ll love. It’s a huge part of why I look forward to the holidays: I love finding gifts for my family and friends.
This extends to my clients. It tickles me when they email me their thanks when I send them a “just because” card, or when they express their glee over a project proposal that goes over the top for them.
And you know what? This response costs me, at most, a few bucks, and it an excellent way to strengthen my relationships with the wonderful people I work with all year round.
What I’ve decided to do is to automate reminders for my surprises. Events like birthdays and business anniversaries are entered into my calendar, with a reminder set a week before so I have time to send out a little something digitally or IRL. Those dates are all entered now, and they’re ready to go from now through the end of time.
God bless Google Calendar, yo.
#3. Publish my daily accomplishments (or not) publicly to keep myself accountable and motivated
I’ve noticed that I always remain revved up and excited to work hard when I’m holding myself accountable in a public way. Earlier this year, I posted nightly “what I did” vs “what I wanted to do” updates to my leaders.
#4. Control what you can control. How many times have you heard this and rolled your eyes? Me too, me too. But this year, this is my mantra. Because it sounds so simple and so easy, but its true. In my line or work (staffing and recruiting) it is so easy to get ahead of myself and go 0-60mph at something that I literally have zero control over. I work in the people business, and people are uncontrollable and unpredictable. Just the name of the game.
What are some of your business resolutions?
Love & Sparkle,