The Itch to Ditch: 3 Tips for Sticking with Your Resolutions
You probably think January 17th is just another day. In reality, January 17th is actually Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day. While this isn’t an official bank holiday, it’s does mark how quickly people abandon their positive intentions for the New Year.
As a small business owner, you’ve likely put some thought into how you would like to change for the New Year, and may even have goals for your personal life, and these aren’t resolutions you want to drop. So how do you make it past January 17th and set yourself up for success? We have some tips that will keep you committed for the whole year.
It’s great to say that you are going to eat healthier or you want to grow your business sales. But those goals are pretty vague, and may lead you to struggle to see real change. A common practice for setting a goal is to create a SMART goal:
Specific: Set a specific intention for your goal such as “cook my own meals 3 days a week” or “increase sales by 15%”. The more specific your goal is, the easier it will be to stick to because you know exactly what you are hoping to achieve.
Measureable: By measuring your goal you’ll actually know how you’re doing. When you have a vague goal there is no way to hold yourself accountable and see results. Decide how you want to measure. Writing things down is a great way to start to keep yourself on track.
Attainable: It’s great to set high aspirations for yourself and your business, but make sure you are thinking of what is realistic and you can achieve. You want to set a goal that’s a challenge, but also in a reasonable reach—hitting it doesn’t mean you’re done with improvements, but it does help you celebrate small wins and keep going once they’re in sight.
Realistic: Similar to being attainable, you want to be realistic about your goals. While being optimistic is great, you also need to approach goals with realism and acknowledge what is actually more likely to happen.
Time-bound: You want to put a time limit on your goal to make sure you stick to it. With the example of growing sales, maybe you measure quarterly to see how you’re doing and break up your greater goal into quarters to stay on track. Again, by being vague with when you want to reach your goals, you may never reach them.
Patience is a Virtue
We can call a car to arrive in a manner of minutes from the palm of our hand, or order items online and see them at our door in two days or less. When these things don’t happen, we grow antsy and restless as we wait for items to arrive. Goal setting is no different. We want to reach the finish line so fast when setting goals that we don’t like to be wait for results. Have you ever completed a workout and thought “ok I’m definitely down those 5 pounds” or expected to grow hundreds of social media followers overnight? Reaching goals takes time. Embrace time as part of the journey and don’t rush the results. Additionally, don’t let the speed of reaching your goal stop you from achieving it. It’s easy to throw in the towel early on, but don’t. The results you are looking for will come as long as you keep working on them.
Spread the Word
Some people find that sharing goals is helpful in achieving them. By letting others know of your goals, you are holding yourself accountable because now there are people who can check in on your status. It’s hard to disappoint others, so this trick can make sure you’re doing everything you can to reach your goals. Additionally, this is an opportunity to get help from others. If you’re trying to lose weight, by sharing with someone else you may learn they have the same goal and perhaps you get a new workout buddy out of it. If you want to increase business sales, maybe friends, family, and customers will promote your business with their networks or write you a positive review.
When sticking to your resolutions keep in mind that it is a process. Don’t be so hard on yourself while you are going through the process. If things aren’t going as you expected, instead of beating yourself up over it, find a way to make a change and cut yourself a break. The only way you can guarantee you won’t reach your goals is if you quit working towards them – everything else, no matter how small the effort, will help get you to where you want to be.
Is there a trick that helps you stick to your New Year’s Resolutions, or goals in general? Tweet us @SurePayroll.