With the recent Thanksgiving feast and reflection, we began the month-long period of holiday festivals filled with friends, parties, gifts and heartfelt plans for the coming year.
The standard refrain so many of us hum once the New Year has passed is our inability to follow through on those 'resolutions' - gifts to one's self - meant to change our lives with weight loss, smoking abstinence, career change, found love and saved funds.
Small business owners may make similar vows:
"This is the year I make it big'
"This is the year I hire/replace staff"
"This is the year to take it from hobby to real business"
"This is the year I really take a vacation/don't work weekends/go home before 7 pm"
"This is the year I" - you fill in the blank
Why is it so hard? Do we make these yearly promises with the underlying belief that 'a promise made to me has less import than a promise made to another'? Is it easier to believe our own excuses for not starting and not following through than if we heard it from some one else who might have let us down?
Sure - things 'happen' and 'get in the way'. But you know that's what business is made of every year - those unexpected oppurtunities, challenges or obstacles that call for a new response, technique or policy and they're what makes your business grow.
Here's an idea to make it a little easier on yourself, a means to really see those business resolutions become your business realities: When you make this year's resolution, make it a SMART one - one that is Small, Measurable, Actionable, Results oriented and Time dependent. Set your goal so that it's easily accomplished (small), you know how effective it's been (measurable), you know what you need to do to accomplish it (actionable), you know exactly the benefit it will provide (results oriented) and you know when it will be reached (time dependent).
Write down these 5 points simultaneous with making the 'resolution' and you will have created an actual plan to follow through and make it real. Writing down the goal with the plan to accomplish it is a significant step toward making it happen. And if you really want to gift yourself, you'll tell at least 5 people about this plan who'll look forward to hearing about or participating in the success you enjoy when it's reached.
The gift of personal accomplishment is empowering and stimulating and its biggest benefit to you is the desire it will create to have another win (your next gift) immediately after the first. So give yourself a real gift - the ability to make promises made to your business your business reality.
I've given you the tools - execution is up to you. If you find you need some support while you follow through, give me a call.
If you find this works, I'd love to hear from you and offer you the official "Atta girl/boy" congratulations!