The onset of a new year is an exciting time. A new year brings opportunity to reset, refresh and renew our life’s goals, aspirations and perspective. We all have a sense of anticipation for what amazing and wonderful experiences lie ahead.
But resolutions get old and tired quickly. Look at the gym - it’s packed during the first two weeks of January with people resolute about losing the holiday gain. Resolutions to stop smoking, cut out carbs (hello, me), and be nicer to the loud neighbor.
Resolutions are noble and bold - but they always fall short.
Especially in the world of business. Small business owners, entrepreneurs and individuals who want to start their own business are gung-ho to put together resolutions and goals.
To really make new year “resolutions” stick, throw them out and instead, create your intentions. Intentions are not wishy-washy. It’s a strong word that resonates deep in your heart and spirit. When you intend to do something, it is willful and purposeful. Goals should have intentions behind them - not just a task to check off your list.
Here are some useful ideas to make your this new year one where you accomplish what you set out to accomplish: personally and professionally.
Don’t invent what’s already been invented.
For goal-setting newbies, it is daunting to try to figure out what is the “right” way to set your goals. You don’t need to figure it out on your own. Free downloadable worksheets, workbooks and charts are available online. Use these free resources as a template to get your started.
About goals and intentions:
Don’t make a huge laundry list of “things to do/ finish that you started in 2001, but need to do now.”
The purpose of goals and intentions should be to keep you on track (and execute and complete) with actionable and do-able items.
Things to keep in mind:
Make incremental accomplishments. This means break down your “big thing” into small bite-size chunks. Finally starting your business? Your one goal would be to launch, for example. Your first small chunk to bite would be to create your landing page or to send your pitches out to your email list. Check. Small goal accomplished. Done. Take it one step at a time - don’t attempt a huge moon-landing leap!
Work toward your mini finish lines. Create a deadline for each action item. For example, my goal in January is to send ten (10) pitch emails per week to my new prospects. My mini finish line? To have reached out to at least forty (40) new businesses by January 31st.
Stay consistent. This is where most people fail with their goals. And I raise my hand to this. Consistency is a key factor to success. Even when you don’t feel like it, especially when you don’t feel like it, stay on course. One of my personal intentions this year is to become fluent again in Italian. I downloaded an app called “Coffee Break Italian” and when I’m driving home from work, I do my ½ hour lessons. Everyday I committed myself to have my Italian coffee break. So far, I’ve completed eighteen lessons (I started in December). And it’s only the beginning of January!
Be focused. I am hugely guilty of the shiny object syndrome. I love getting training and looking at what other event planners and entrepreneurs are doing with their marketing. And so I have subscribed to a gazillion newsletters. One of my intentions is to stay focused on a handful of online mentors and stick with them. Focus means not allowing distractions, no matter how tempting or justified. It can also be a matter of keeping your eye on the prize. A runner doesn’t stare at the ground in front of him, but has a focal point he runs toward, with the finish line being the ultimate goal.
Be proud of yourself. Celebrate the fact that you are setting a new course and destination for yourself and your business. It takes guts to do something new and different that will possibly change the trajectory of your life. When you hit your small finish lines, do a happy dance or take your team out to dinner. Reward your victories, however small, medium or large. The fact that you’ve finished what you started is no small thing.
So toss out your resolutions and instead be intentional with the goals you set out to do. Intentions are powerful and create a mindset for success, health and joy.
What are some goals you have set out to reach this new year? I’d love to hear from you. Send me your comments below.