Christmas is here, and all the focus is on gift giving, finishing up the to-do list and planning for the year ahead. It is also the time when people consider changes they wish to make in their business and often these come in the form of New Year’s resolutions. However, New Year’s resolutions tend to get a bad rap because of the number of people who make them and then fail to get past January before they give up on them altogether. When it comes to your business resolutions, you might want to think about taking a different approach.

Set Milestones

The best resolutions are quantifiable. Rather than say you want to grow your customer base, pick a specific number to aim for and then make it happen. Opt for a quantifiable resolution that is achievable sooner rather than later. You don’t want to spend all of January trying to reach your February goals. And, don’t forget, once you reach them, take the time out of your busy schedule to celebrate your successes.

Make it Viable

If you spend the whole year trying to reach your goal only to find that it is so far beyond your reach, it can be a real de-motivator. Goals should be able to be achieved – otherwise, you are just aiming for a pie in the sky. There is absolutely no benefit in trying to aim for unattainable goals. If it is a large goal, then break it down into smaller increments, so it doesn’t seem so insurmountable.

Create Deadlines

Rather than make year-long resolutions, set deadlines. Make resolutions which are adjustable each quarter to give you something new to aim for. Consider them mini milestones to help you along the way. By adding specific deadlines to your goals, you are creating a sense of urgency to get them done. The reality is it’s only a dream until you start doing the work to implement it.

Assess your Goals Monthly

If you are not actively trying to reach your goals, then it’s a waste of time even thinking about them. If you want to succeed, then you have to make it a priority. Plan monthly meetings and check where you are in relation to your objective. Are you on track? Does something need to happen or change before you can reach them? Strategizing sessions are important for the future of your business.

Schedule It

Some activities, due to the nature of your priorities, continually get pushed aside in favor of other things. Resolutions are one of those things. But if you plan for it and mark it on your calendar, or add it to your journal, then you have no choice but to tackle the task. Don’t make excuses; when the time comes, then do it. It may seem like a hurdle in your day, but it’s important that you maintain your focus on the long-term achievements, as well as the short-term day-to-day efforts.

Know Your Why

You may WANT to bring on change, but, do you know WHY you want to change? Knowing that in itself is a huge motivator and will help you keep your eye on the ball. Knowing your why will help you stick to your resolution when the going gets tough. Make a resolution which is beneficial to your business and which will resonate on a personal level. The why will be your reminder!

Update Your Team on Progress

If the resolution involves more than one person, update the team or the department involved on a regular basis. That will help everyone prioritize the resolution and enable it to be a firm fixture in everyone’s mind. The writing down of resolutions and the practice of sharing them with others increases the success rate enormously. Make sure they will not be forgotten.

Forgive the Bad Days

Quite often we are too hard on ourselves. If you have a bad day and don’t accomplish everything on your to-do list, it doesn’t mean that you have to throw the resolution away altogether. Some work towards your goal is better than no work at all. Don’t give in out of frustration or resentment. Just get back on the wagon and try again.

If you use these strategies on a regular basis, then you will not only achieve your New Year’s resolutions more quickly, but you will also learn how to better set goals and develop your patience to match. Persistence is definitely a vital trait to have when it comes to meeting your goals, as is optimism. No one can expect any more than your best. If you know what you want and have noted it clearly with real direction, then you cannot fail.