New Year’s Resolutions | Macro

New Year’s Resolutions

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By Debra Ward, Managing Director, Macro

With onset of a New Year comes the obligatory (and frequently ignored) New Year’s resolutions. How many times in the past have you decided to join a gym? Or give up chocolate (NEVER!)? Or give up drinking so much? Or give up smoking? Or give up giving up? 

New Year’s resolutions are synonymous with failure – like they’re there to be broken… often by January 2nd.

With business, however, we can apply a more regulated approach, and build them into our business goals. Here are 10 suggested New Years’ resolutions:

1)     Clean your office - Tidy environment, tidy mind... Back up your important computer files, store them on a disk. Clean up your email, reduce clutter. 

2)     Develop a business plan or strategic plan - You won't get where you're going unless you know where you want to be and let your employees know as well. Take a couple of hours to put down onto paper where you want to be going in the future and what you commit to. The most important thing is communicating this to the people around you and getting full involvement. 

3)     Review action plans for each person - Make sure every team member knows how his or her job relates to the company's overall vision, and that each has individual objectives and goals with measurable standards and timetables. Use the objective Plans from your teams Personal Development Plans to make sure everyone is on target for next year’s goals. 

4)     Survey your customers and suppliers - Maybe the way you are doing business is costing you relationships with suppliers and customers. Know what bugs them and make it easy to do business with your company. In the same way, take a minute to ask your most regular customers or clients what they think – it could be invaluable. 

5)     Get a coach or mentor, or join a business support group - Build accountability into your own personal planning by asking others to help you turn your dreams into reality. Enlist people who you can trust to give you objective feedback and create deadlines for your planned successes. 

6)     Make a list of the year's accomplishments and celebrate your successes with your team - Don't forget to acknowledge and celebrate each of your milestones. The best part of creating a plan is to know when  you've reach your goals, allowing some time to pause and appreciate the accomplishment, and begin to create your next set of goals. 

7)     Learn something new - What you choose to learn may be directly related to your business, or completely unrelated. Learning something new will add to your skills and add a new dimension of interest to your life - another important part of achieving a healthy work-life balance. How will you find the time to learn something new? By delegating, remember? (May be on the resolution list as well???) 

8)     Put time for you in your calendar - It’s very important to take the time to recharge and refresh yourself; a healthy work-life balance demands time out. All work and no play is a recipe for mental and physical disaster (trust me). So if you have trouble freeing up time to do the things you enjoy, write time regularly into your schedule to have some thinking time and stick to that commitment. If you won't invest in yourself, who will? 

9)     Set realistic goals - Goal setting is a valuable habit - if the goals lead to success rather than distress. Make a New Year's resolution that the goals you set will be goals that are achievable, rather than unrealistic pipe dreams that are so far out of reach they only lead to frustration. Remember – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timebound. 

10)  Diarise -The difference between a dream and a goal is the written word, so write everything down, and put it somewhere you can see it! 

Thomas Mann (Nobel Prize laureate) said:

“Time has no divisions to mark its passage; there is never a thunderstorm or earthquake to announce the beginning of a new year. Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols.”

That being said; and knowing that it is a human phenomenon to mark the passage of time - there is no moment like the present. According to Maria Edgeworth (a novelist):

The man who will not execute his resolutions when they are fresh upon him can have no hope from them afterwards.” 

So the New Year is Your Opportunity to Pursue a Better Way – Be Relentless… it only comes once a year! 

Happy New Year.

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