10 New Year’s Resolutions for Business Owners

In my latest blog, Planning for Success in 2012, I shared a simple process that can help you think about the importance of taking time to prepare and make a start for the New Year. If you’ve read that, I bet you’ve already planned and set new goals and objectives for your business. But if you haven’t started and are having trouble getting ideas, I should tell you that one of the best ways to start is by setting New Year’s resolutions.

Why New Year’s Resolution?

As everyone may already know, New Year’s resolutions are commitments made at the beginning of the year to reach certain goals or projects in life. Usually, a resolution is geared towards a personal objective such as reforming a habit, but it can certainly be used in a business point of view because of the enormous amount of effort and a high level of commitment people exert for it.

With that said, did you set any New Year’s resolutions for your business? If not, here are some you should highly consider.

Set Targets for 2012

As business owners, it is crucial for you to set targets for 2012. This is to increase productivity and performance, to provide context, focus, etc. for decision making and strategy development. The direction your business takes this year will very much depend on your targets. And as the leader, it is your responsibility to set these goals as early as now.

Give Back

Get involved in a Community Organization or Charity and donate your time to make a difference. It is amazing what this will do to for your confidence and sense of well-being which will have flow-on effects for your business. As the saying goes, it is better to give than to receive.

Build Your Team

Devote 20% of your time to building your team especially in times like these where many leaders have lost the art of developing and growing their teams. Don’t be like most modern managers that manage their teams with pressure and fear. Go back to the basics. Be a great mentor and coach your team to success. Build skills, knowledge and change behaviors when necessary.

For more ideas on how to build your team, read my recent blog – The Lost Art of Management.

Stop Doing Things

You can never do everything by yourself which is why this year you should pick out at least 3 things that you will “stop doing.” This will free up available time to do some of the other activities on this list. Depending on what kind of activity you’re going to stop doing, you can choose to do 3 things: cease the activity, delegate it to someone in your business or family, or outsource it.

Get Physically Fit and Active

As the business owner, it is important for you to have enough energy to be up and running. Use a Personal Trainer or go to the gym, that is, if you’re disciplined enough. Cut out refined carbohydrates, have alcohol-free days. This will help with energy levels and your body as well as your business, will thank you.

Get Mentally Fit

Buff up your mind too by turning off the TV and reading a business book or biography instead. Set a target for books per annum and read it. If you don’t like reading, get audio books. Make the most of your time in your car – turn off the radio and listen to podcasts or audio books (free from iTunes) that are related to your field of business or your expertise. Use an iPod or something similar.

Be Decisive

Make decisions and stick to them. Don’t vacillate. Do your research and do your thinking. Make a good decision and implement it.

Get Your Priorities

Think of the 3 most important things you must do for your business or for yourself as a business owner in 2012 – no excuses? Take note that these things should be large in scope and must have a large impact on your business. Getting your priorities right will give your business the right start it needs for the New Year.

Make Time for Family & Friends

Focus on your life balance and aim to correct any imbalances. This may mean that you will need to dramatically improve your time management or “stop doing” things more. Find a balance between your family, friends and your business.

Formalise Your Support System

Make sure you formalise your personal Support Team. These are the people who support you and help you (usually not employees). This can be your spouse/partner, Business Coach, Professionals, Mentors, friends, counselor, priest, AA sponsor, etc. Define who they are and let them know that you will be working with them to help you achieve your goals.

You might say, after reading all this that it’s tough to get these resolutions done. It may be at first, but I say it’s doable. The important thing is to set your mind to achieving these resolutions and remember that you’ve got the whole 2012 to do it! Good luck!


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