Making business New Year Resolutions is a pointless exercise unless you’re willing to do the work, and work a plan that can bring your goals to fruition.
An estimated 45 percent of Americans say they usually make New Year Resolutions and another 17 percent say they do so some years (but not others). Of these fewer than 1 out of 10 achieve their goals, though half said they made at least some progress. One out of 4 admit they always fail to achieve their New Year Resolutions. (StatisticBrain.com) People who explicitly make Resolutions are 10x more likely to attain their goals than those who don’t specify what they want to accomplish.
Obviously though, just making Resolutions is not enough, given the low number of people who achieve them. In fact, there’s a danger in the feeling of satisfaction that comes from putting goals like these into writing. Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist at Duke University and best-selling author suggests that many people experience a false sense of accomplishment from making to-do lists, a feeling that progress has been accomplished.
Beating the Business New Year Resolutions Odds Stacked Against You
In many cases, what may be standing between your resolve and your success is the how rather than the what and the why. Let’s take one of the most common of New Year Resolutions, weight. Nearly 4 out of 10 people who made New Year Resolutions in 2015 made one related to weight, most specifically for losing weight.
People whose New Year Resolution is to lose weight often already know they need to make changes in some form of “eat less, move more.” In fact, for many it’s not the first time they’ve decided to lose weight, and some have been yo-yo dieting their way up the scale for years. What’s missing isn’t the head knowledge or the will power; it’s the plan.
Come January 1st, the would-be dieter without a plan may skimp their way through a few meals or take a couple of walks around the block. But without some kind of support system, these changes are likely to be short-lived.
By contrast, the person who sets themselves up for a better chance of success to achieve their weight loss goals may have joined a weight loss program, met with a consultant, gotten medical advice, joined a gym or signed up for an exercise class, found someone to go on the journey with them, gained support from their family or roommates, and so on.
What Weight Loss and Business New Year Resolutions Have in Common
The same goes for business New Year Resolutions. Without a plan that supports the marketing goals you want to achieve, you’re going into the New Year like our first subject. You might have a general idea of what needs to change, but minus specifics, it’s going to be far easier to fall back into long-established, familiar patterns of behavior at work.
Like our second subject, the one with the support system that creates a greater chance for success, you need to have a plan and people on board capable of creating the kind of change you say you want. For sure you need a plan that connects the dots, strategically, from where your company is now to what it will be when your business New Year Resolutions are achieved. This could include anything from finance, to marketing, operations, staffing or all of the above.
A long range or strategic planning process is one way to define your plan, and it’s a great place for you to start if your business doesn’t yet have one. If you already have a long range plan, it’s time to dust it off and see what needs to change in order for your business to evolve in the way it needs to.
You may also need to sign up for education or training – a business exercise class, if you will. You may need to bring in an experienced consultant who can help evaluate and change your internal processes or lead your company through an organizational shift. You might want to form a peer group of like-minded business leaders so you can help each other on the journey.
You might need to get employee buy-in and make sure that your staff understand the importance of your business New Year Resolutions as well as how achieving them benefits them and where they see themselves in the future-company that your business will become. You might need to get extra support at home to enable you to spend more time focused on your company, and so on.
Your Business New Year Resolutions = Your Moment of Truth
If you were going to set 3, 6, and 12 month goals for your company, what would they be? These are the type of items that make for ideal business New Year Resolutions because they can’t be instantly realized but they can be achieved during the year.
We would love to be part of your story. Share your business or professional resolutions for 2017 with us by tweeting it to us @marketingdesks with the hashtag #TheResolutionDesk.