Well, here we are at the end of one year and the beginning of another. Welcome, 2016!
For many people, this is the day we make resolutions for the upcoming year. Often these hopes are for something in our personal life.
Do you also take time to make resolutions for managing your business? And for those of you who are still thinking about going into business, do you outline one or two steps that will help you come closer to achieving your dream? I would encourage you to do that along with your personal resolutions. These two types of resolutions may fit well together.
So let’s talk about making resolutions.
Of the people who make resolutions, only about eight percent actually follow-through. This low success rate can be attributed to many reasons but, at the core, understand we are creatures of habit. If we haven’t been taking steps towards this goal already, it is hard to break that habit and now take steps forward.
How can you improve those odds? Let me suggest a few ideas:
- Write it down. And then put it someplace you will see it every day. Our minds are full of keeping our daily life in order. Without a visual reminder, it gets easy to push our desire into a corner and then forget about it.
- Tell others. Writing it down is good. Having others know about your plans and be there for support increases your chances of success. Start by telling family and friends.
- Do some up-front thinking. Your goal may require several intermediate steps. Quite often we make the resolution without thinking of the “how.” Your big idea will probably need to be broken down into several smaller chunks.
- Get a partner, mentor, coach, or what-ever you want to call the person who will keep you on task. That person can encourage, remind, and offer ideas on how you can move forward.
- Limit the list. Don’t plan on making ten or even five changes at once. Remember, this is changing our behavior and it won’t come easy. One or two changes, at most, offer you the best chances for success.
- Plan on hitting a hurdle. You will find yourself going off-track. That’s okay. Know that the odds of this happening are high and put pieces into place to help you get back on track. This is where your support person/team, family and friends can help.
- Celebrate milestones. Don’t aim for one big party at the end. This is where chunking the task can give you some natural milestones. However, even chunking might not give you enough reinforcement points. Maybe you want to build your business network but find it hard to meet new people. Challenge yourself to add 12 new people to your network during the year, one per month. When you find that first contact, tell your support person/team. Tell them you want to meet for a cup of coffee and tell them how this new person can help your business. You might even invite your new network friend to the meeting as well.
Making changes in our business and in our personal lives takes work. That work starts with a resolution to do so.
What’s your resolution for 2016?
For more statistics on New Year’s resolutions, go to: http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/
- About the Author
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Glenn Muske is an independent expert on rural small business, working as GM Consulting – Your partner in achieving small business success. He provides consulting, and writes articles for county extension agents and newspapers across North Dakota. Previously, he was the Rural and Agribusiness Enterprise Development Specialist at the North Dakota State University Extension Service – Center for Community Vitality.