I don't like New Year's Resolutions. The truth is that if you are trying to “resolve” yourself to do something that you secretly don't want to do, you're not going to be sufficiently motivated to do it. That's why close to 90% of New Year's Resolutions fail.
What I do like are New Year's Goals. A goal is something you want. A goal is something you are willing to work towards. Goal setting is how you get things done.
I also believe that, as a small business owner, my personal life and my business life are intricately connected. If I'm spending too much time dealing with business stresses, for example, I'm going to be less available to my partner and family. Likewise, if there's something going wrong in my personal life, I'm going to be able to pay less attention to my business.
This breaks down to even the smallest level. Let's take a look at that familiar New Year's Resolution bugaboo: losing weight. If I spend a few months working long hours at my business, I'm going to have less time to eat right and exercise and I'm going to start gaining weight. The “business problem” of long hours bleeds over into a “personal problem;” as my weight rises, my energy drops, my clothes become uncomfortable, and I start to feel less healthy overall. You get the idea.
With that in mind, here are a few of my New Year's Goals. Some of them are business-related, some are personal, and some are both. I hope this list inspires you to make similar goals of your own.
1. Walk 10,000 steps every day
Starting on January 1, I'm going to try to hit 10,000 steps every day. That's approximately five miles total, or the amount of exercise the Surgeon General recommends an adult needs to get to stay active. If I have time to go to the gym in the afternoon, great! If not, hitting my 10,000 steps will make sure I stay in good health, which benefits both my personal and business lives.
You can get a gadget that will count your steps for you–or just find one of those endless outdoor public staircases, like the beautiful and mysterious Secret Stairs in Los Angeles.
2. Tackle Your Website and Online Profiles
Your online presence is of critical importance these days and nearly everyone is neglecting at least (probably more) avenue of optimization. Maybe you’ve been procrastinating a new site design, or making your website more responsive to mobile phone use. This year, make your site look better. Same goes for your social media profiles. Have you been neglecting Pinterest or a network that is perfect for your niche. Make this the year you tackle social media!
3. Set up a date night every week, and a “special kid day” once a month
My relationship with my husband always come first. However, we had a really busy fourth quarter this year, as we both expanded our headquarters, and I started spending much more time in the office than I did with my family. This year my goal is to set up a date night with my husband every week. (That means you are on a date, not talking business.)If you have children, create a “special day” with each of them — a day where each child gets a one-on-one adventure with Mom — once a month.
4. Increase sales by 20% in 2014 Q1
A business has to grow, or it will stagnate. I am always working with my business owner clients to increase their sales each quarter. Whether we need to reach new target audiences, develop new revenue streams, or create new promotions to increase sales, you always want to be looking at how to take your business to the next level. And, of course, the greatest engine for business growth is confidence and passion, because the more you love what you do, the more energy and effort you will have to give.
Voice for Business Success
Allison Maslan, CEO of Pinnacle Global Network, The World Leader in Scaling Businesses. She is the Wall Street Journal Best Selling Author of, Scale or Fail, which is endorsed by Daymond John and Barbara Corcoran of Shark Tank. Allison’s built 10 successful companies starting out at age 19. Her client list has included Ben & Jerry’s, Supercuts, Charlotte Russe, and Allstate.
Now she and her team of CEO Mentors pay it forward by helping business owners scale their companies, fast-track their success and create a more meaningful life. The Pinnacle Global Network, her private mentoring and mastermind enterprise has guided thousands of business owners over the past 10 years. Allison’s been featured in Inc., Success, Fortune, Fast Company and Forbes Magazines, is a regular contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine and a featured expert on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and Fox across the US. Allison has also hosted her own podcast, The Scale or Fail Show, since 2011.