Don’t Make News Year’s Resolutions. Instead, Develop a Plan

Hanukkah is over. So is Christmas. And Kwanzaa has begun. Hopefully the gifts you didn’t really want have been returned and the gift cards have brought you some happiness. And you are now starting to turn your attention to the New Year. The week between the holidays and New Years is a great time to take stock of your business or career. It is the perfect time to relax and be introspective… to figure out what you want to achieve in 2013. So, this is the perfect time of the year to make your New Year’s resolutions. Right? Wrong!

You see, we don’t believe in making grand, unrealistic, albeit well-intentioned resolutions. Most resolutions are lofty goals without a plan. And what are goals without a plan? They’re dreams… or maybe better yet, hallucinations. Most people don’t make their resolutions specific enough and time-sensitive enough to be truly useful and motivating. And since they don’t have a plan on how to actually make the resolutions a reality, they wither on the vine and become a source of frustration and despair.

Most resolutions are made in response to something that is causing you pain or something you don’t want; such as extra weight. We think a better alternative is to create plans to achieve what you do want.

A Better Alternative to Making New Year’s Resolutions

We propose that you do something different this year. Instead of making New Year’s resolutions, make a First Quarter Action Plan.

This first involves setting SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-oriented and Time-sensitive goals. “Making more money” is NOT a SMART goal. Rather, set a goal of increasing revenues by $125k by March 31st. Also, rather than only thinking of your ultimate goal, consider setting goals that, if reached, will result in you making more revenue. Examples of such goals are:

  • Increasing qualified leads by 20% by March 31st
  • Increasing traffic by 12% by March 31st
  • Increasing the number of consultations by 25% by March 31st
  • Increasing the percent of consultations that turn into clients from 30% to 40% by March 31st
  • Increasing your retention rate of existing clients or customers from 70% to 80% by March 31st

Once the goals are set, think of ways (or strategies) you can use to help you achieve that particular goal. In other words, how do you plan on making that goal a reality?

And lastly, for each of your goals and the related strategies you plan on using, detail all the specifics steps, tasks or actions you will take in order to bring that strategy to life. Make these action steps very specific. Keep asking yourself… “How will I actually do that?”… “Ok, how will I actually do that?”… until you get to an action you can take immediately. Put all the action steps in chronological order, along with a date that you will complete the task.

Here is the simple, but effect outline to use to create your plan. Use it and you will begin 2013 on the road to success.

Goal #1: ______________________________________________________________

Strategy #1: ____________________________________________________________

Strategy #2: ____________________________________________________________

Strategy #3: ____________________________________________________________

Action Steps Related to Strategy #1

Complete by:

1. _________________________________________________________________
2. _________________________________________________________________
3. Etc., etc.

Action Steps Related to Strategy #2

Complete by:

1. _________________________________________________________________
2. _________________________________________________________________
3. Etc., etc.

Don’t make New Year’s resolutions. Make a Plan instead!


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