The Problem with New Year’s Resolutions

7th January 2016

Setting Attainable Business Goals in 2016

The problem with New Year’s resolutions is that we set out with lofty intentions, arming ourselves with lists, calendars, post-its and coloured marker pens, but by February our business goals have been discarded along with our green juices, non-alcoholic wine and diets. We just don’t stick to them. There are a number of reasons for this. Our goals and expectations are rarely achievable. In other words we take on too much and set our expectations too high, thus increasing the likelihood of failure.

Another common reason for falling short of our targets is that they are not specific enough. Parameters are set too wide and we fail to include deadlines for completion.

During the Christmas ‘lull’, that quiet time between Christmas Day and New Year, many of us have time to sit back and relax a little. For some B2B businesses (not all) it’s a time when our clients are also on holiday, therefore affording us some downtime without interruption. It’s a time when we can think clearly about the last year and look at changes we want to make in our lives.

A brand new year provides us with a clean slate and the opportunity to set new goals. So what is the answer? How can we create effective resolutions for our business that we will stick to?

When setting any new goals, whether in your business or personal life the SMART acronym is a useful tool. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound.

Be Specific

Be specific with your business resolutions. Rather than saying, ‘I aim to increase my customer base in 2016’, try ‘I aim to increase x customer group by 10% by x date’. Being specific allows you to focus and to set the strategies and tasks that are needed to achieve your goals.

Measure

When setting goals always outline how they will be measured. i.e. How will you know that you have achieved them? Always monitor and measure carefully so you can ascertain what is working for you and what needs further revision.


Is It Achievable?

Are your resolutions attainable? Is it realistic that you can achieve them in the given time frame with your resources and budget? Can you achieve them alongside all of the other day-to-day business activities? If not, you’re setting yourself up for failure before you begin. Can this resolution be modified or can you make changes to other areas of your business to include this new goal?

Relevant

Are your resolutions relevant? Do they fit in with your business plan, marketing plan, content calendar etc.? Are they relevant to your customer base? If not you might want to rethink.

Time-Bound

Set deadlines for your resolutions. Be specific about what you want to achieve and when you will complete it. This will allow you and your team to plan carefully and work to attainable deadlines.

Ensuring your resolutions adhere to the SMART acronym will increase the likelihood of success. Do you set resolutions for your business and what checks do you put in place to ensure you keep them? Please add your tips in the comments.

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