2016 has finally arrived, folks – and with it comes countless tides of New Year’s resolutions. With 2015 still fresh in their mind, everyone’s started looking back to think about what they might change and what they want to improve. A resolution is always a pretty personal thing, in all honesty, but it doesn’t need to be.
You can formulate one for your business every bit as easily as you can for yourself – and in all honesty, you should. That’s easier said than done, of course. A business tends to be a little more complicated than a person. Thankfully, that’s where we come in.
Today, we’re going to talk about how you can cobble together a killer New Year’s resolution for your business – one that’ll leave you better than ever by the time 2017 rolls around.
Step One: Figure Out What You Want to Change
So, first thing’s first: what do you want to see changed or improved within your organization? Do you want to stretch your budget a little further? Do you want your employees to be more efficient?
What’s important here is that you focus on one specific component of your business – one factor, however great or small, that you need changed. Be specific as possible here, as the vaguer you are, the more difficult it’ll be to achieve your goals. It’s also important that you focus on how to accomplish your goals (but more on that in a moment).
“Take some time to evaluate this year’s events and see what you want to happen next year,” reads a piece on the Ashton College Business Blog. “What would you like to continue doing and what things you would like to change? What aspects of the business would you like to work on?”
- Have a solid vision of what you want to achieve, and keep it clearly in mind.
- Make sure your goals align with your business’s core values, desires, strengths, and weaknesses.
- Your goals also need to align with your own values and desires.
- They need to be something that feels good to think about.
- Now that we’ve got all that out of the way, let’s move forward.
Step Two: Proceed Wisely
Alright. You know what you want to change, and you’ve a general idea of how you want to do it. Your next step, then, is to make sense of the resources you have at your disposal. After all, it wouldn’t do to start on some big project only to discover that there’s simply not enough money in your budget, right? Again, we’re going to refer to Mike of Be Build Have for some solid advice, with a bit of our own thrown in for good measure:
- Make a thorough account of the resources your business has at its disposal – make sure you know you’ll be capable of seeing your goals through before you get started on them
- Break your business’s goals down into smaller parts; daily habits and small things that you’ll do almost unconsciously
- Take responsibility only for what you can control – don’t try to change something about your business that you’ve no say in.
- Have a plan – take the time to sit down and think of specific ways you can inch closer to bringing about a change.
Step Three: Get Your Employees Involved
You may be the founder or CEO of your organization, but your staff is the business’s lifeblood – and that means that you’ve the greatest chance of success if you get them involved in your resolution. Tell them your goals for the new year, and brainstorm with them how they can accomplish said goals. Better yet, tap them for ideas that could improve your business.
Who knows? You could very well wind up with something brilliant that you never considered on your own.
“Share your goals and visions with your employees and partners, and make them a part of those goals,” continues the Ashton College Business Blog. “After all, the objectives you set for your organization can only be achieved if other people are working towards them. When the goals are set, everyone should be regularly reminded of them: common goals can help the whole team to stay motivated and keep each other accountable.”
“Furthermore, when you openly communicate about what you want to achieve, you give opportunities for creative thinking and input from people who may have a different view on the situation, and therefore who can give you new ideas and perspectives you didn’t consider.”
Step Four: Keep At It
The problem with New Year’s resolutions of any sort is that there’s a long and storied tradition of abandoning them partway through the year (or never starting on them at all). According to research carried out by the University of Scranton, only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s goals. See, making a large change, whether in one’s personal life or their professional one, is difficult.
So how can you do it, then?
According to Fortune’s Robin Koval, aside from keeping yourself uncomfortable and embracing discomfort, the key is perseverance. Dive headlong into your efforts, but do so in small steps. If you try to change everything all at once, there’s a good chance you’ll end up taking on too much and getting overwhelmed.
And should that happen, in 2017 you’ll wind up right back where you were in 2016.