New Year’s Resolutions – waste of time or worth the effort?

As we head into the second half of January, how is it going with your New Year’s resolutions so far?

Are you meeting all your lofty intentions or have a few of them already fallen by the wayside?

If it’s the latter, you’re not alone.

We’re a nation geared toward self-improvement, but changing habits is hard work & resolutions are usually about big changes – lose weight, quit smoking, stick to a budget, save money, get a new job, maybe even start a business.

Statistically, about 30% of people who make resolutions fail to keep them through the first week of the New Year and around 80% fail to achieve them by the end of the year. Not such good stats.

Setting Business Goals vs. Making Resolutions

As both a small business owner & a business coach for entrepreneurs, I know that those stats would spell disaster if applied to meeting business goals. Missing your goals just doesn’t work if you want your business to succeed. Sooner or later it spells business failure instead.

As entrepreneurs, we set our own goals and are responsible for meeting them without anyone else pushing us to do so. That takes discipline and self-motivation both of which are key traits of successful entrepreneurs.

Why Do Goals Matter?

A common trait of high performing small business owners is that they set clear business goals and meet them consistently. Goals help us to move our businesses forward and to periodically assess whether we’re on track to build the business we envision.

They also give us useful guidance when we’re making daily decisions.

There are so many business challenges entrepreneurs deal with daily – operational challenges, vetting new opportunities, managing financial pressures, employee retention – that having clear goals as guideposts keeps us focused on what’s important for building our business’ success. They also help with us to keep focused on our most important tasks and help us to avoid business distractions.

Establishing timelines and breaking Goals down into measurable objectives helps to define projects, strategy and operational targets. When it comes to goal setting, I’m a true believer in the concept of SMART Goals:

S – Specific
A Attainable
R Realistic

Goal setting is both “art and science” in my experience. Look for my future blogs with tips on effective goal setting techniques as this skill is critical for achieving business success.