In just over a week it will be 2017. Does it seem like 2016 flew by faster than any previous year, or is it simply that so many events took place on a personal and worldwide basis that it seems as if every day was crammed with activity, and for many, anxiety?
One thing is sure, and it’s that every year in December people make New Year’s resolutions regarding the giant leaps they will take in the following year. Unfortunately, many of those resolutions will be forgotten in the upcoming weeks. Do you set goals, or do you make New Year resolutions every year?
New Year’s Resolutions
In the true sense of the word, a “resolution” is a firm resolve or decision to do something. Making a firm resolve to do something is what we should aspire for when we make a decision in our life and/or in our business.
The problem is that most people who make New Year’s resolutions do so mentally and never take the time to write them down. And to be fair, many people who say they set goals never take the time to write them down. It must be remembered that: A goal is just a dream if you fail to write it down.
“A goal is just a dream if you fail to write it down.”
A significant difference between a resolution and a goal is that a goal starts with a specific date and has a deadline for completion. So whether you choose to make resolutions for your personal life and goals for your business, it’s essential that you commit them to paper so that you have something to refer back to and to serve as reminders.
There is an old Chinese proverb that says, “The faintest ink is better than the most retentive memory.” Life happens and we get caught up in the day to day activities in and on around our business and our lives in general, so it’s very easy to forget what is only in our minds.
“The faintest ink is better than the most retentive memory.”
Your Business Plan
So what should you do this last week in December?
- The Small Business Association has designated December as “Write a Business Plan Month.” I find that a Business Plan takes several hours to complete. In fact, it could take a couple of weeks, based on how much time you can focus on it. So if, like many business owners (including myself when I first launched my online business), you started your business without a Business Plan, you should start working on your Business Plan.
- If you already have a Business Plan, take some time to re-visit it and evaluate where you are on the path you set for your business when you started. Take a look at the goals you’ve set or are setting for 2017 and make sure that they are in alignment with your overall Plan.
- If you’re finding it challenging to revisit or even getting started for the first time on your Business Plan, get creative. Leave your office behind and head for a beautiful outdoor spot, weather permitting. If outdoors is not a good option, head for a coffee shop or a library with your notepad and computer. You may find that your creative juices start to flow by being in a different environment.
I am continuing to work on my goals for 2017. Personally, I envision sitting close to the beach so I can hear the crashing waves and occasionally look up at the water. Or, I’ll settle for sitting close to a lake with a fountain just to be able to hear the sound of water. Where will you go? Where is your “inspiration spot”?
- If you’re a little late getting started with your S.M.A.R.T goals for 2017, take some time to do that task this week. (S: Specific, M: Measurable A: Achievable R: Realistic (with a stretch J) T: Time-Sensitive or Tangible).
On a final note, as you plan or review your resolutions and goals, remember that your business is only one part, albeit a large part, of your life. So it’s important to factor in the other areas of your life when making your New Year resolutions or setting goals for the year so that you can strive for more balance and harmony.
What is the most challenging part of working on your goals? Would you like support around your Business Plan? Planning is one of the key business strategies we focus on in the Moving Ahead Community and you’re invited to learn more here.
Yvonne A Jones is a Business and Life Coach to small business owners and entrepreneurs and especially enjoys working with women 50 and Wiser who want to turn their passion into profit while working 9 to 5. She focuses on mindset and then business development. Her main website is: www.YvonneAJones.com where you can read more on her blog.