There is an epidemic taking place regarding New Year’s Resolutions – people aren’t doing them. You may be able to identify. The theory behind this decision is based on the fact that most people fail to follow through. But, not setting resolutions or goals is just ignoring the problem. The New Year is in full swing already, but if you haven’t made resolutions it’s not too late. Here are 4 steps to help you follow through on your resolutions for the year.
1. Start by setting SMART goals
There is a lot out there about setting SMART goals, but most people still aren’t doing it right. To set a SMART goal it needs to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Reasonable, and Time-bound. For example, if you want to grow your business you might set a goal to increase your revenue in 2018. However, this goal is impossible to track, therefore making it impossible to follow through on. How do you know if you have achieved it or not? If you increase by just $1 is that going to be what you are looking for?
On the other hand, if you make this a SMART goal it might look something more like: Increase sales revenue by 5% within the first six months of 2018. Is this specific? Yes, it states what the goal exactly. Is it measurable? Yes, since you know you are looking for a 5% increase you can calculate exactly what that dollar amount should be if you hit your goal. Is it achievable and reasonable? Yes, this is a realistic goal. Is it time-bound? Yes, you know that you have until the last day of June to hit your goal.
2. Break it into small goals
Your SMART goal does nothing for you if you fail to make a plan to accomplish it. Take the example above about increasing revenue by 5%. How are you going to increase your revenue? If you don’t make a plan you are destined to fail. But, if you carefully think through creating a plan on how to get there you will make progress.
Break your resolution up into bite-size pieces. If your goal is to grow your business by 5% in 6 months then determine how much you want to grow every month leading up to the deadline. These smaller goals will keep you propelling forward to your bigger resolution.
3. Determine how to get there
Choosing a resolution is really only the first step, and it is by far the easiest. Once you have your resolution broken down into smaller goals it’s time to determine what tasks you need to complete in order to accomplish the goal. From our example above, what types of things do you need to do in order to increase your revenue? Here are a few examples:
- Begin SMS marketing campaign to reach your customers faster
- Restructure website to begin selling more online
- Hire additional staff
- Look for new add-ons to offer customers
4. Monitor your progress
The majority of people choose not to set goals and resolutions because they don’t want to fail. However, doing this holds them back from the progress that they could be making. Other people choose to set resolutions, but then as soon as they start to fail or have problems moving forward they quit. That way when they fail it is because they “weren’t really trying” instead of feeling like they failed.
Don’t let the fear of failure hold you back from making resolutions and working to accomplish them. Once you start working towards your goals you should spend a few minutes at the end of every week evaluating if you made progress. Take time to look and see where you succeeded and where you failed during the week. Then, look at the failures and determine what changes you need to make to start succeeding in those areas in the coming weeks.
Remember to include your staff in the process. Even if you establish the resolution you want your staff to be aware of the goals and what their role is in reaching them. If you stick to this plan you will find yourself making progress towards your business goals week after week.