Proverbs 16:3, “Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.” (ESV)
Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful…wait, Christmas is over. On Dasher, On Dancer, on Prancer, on New Year? Already? It seems like this year has flown by as fast as Santa’s sleigh on a foggy Christmas Eve. Ok, all Christmas fun aside. This year has flown by.
It is now time to move on to next year, and you know what that means? New Year’s resolutions. We all have them, and we all want them to be a success. Some studies have shown that up to half of them fail. We enter the New Year excited, only to fall flat before the first month is even over.
As business owners, you have goals for the New Year, at least you should. If you don’t, stop reading, start planning, and come back when you got some goals.
I want to give you seven simple tips for achieving success this year with your Business New Year’s resolutions, or goals, whatever you want to call them.
Before we go any further, we have to know that our plans and expectations should be rooted in God’s word. Proverbs 16:3 says, “Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.”(ESV) As you plan and get ready for the New Year, consider this. Have you given your plans to God, have you committed your work entirely to Him? If so, He is offering a promise to establish your plans. If God is leading it, He will bring it to pass. This doesn’t necessarily mean success, but you better believe if God has your works only good can come out of it.
Ok, now on to the tips:
1) Be Realistic
You can’t accomplish everything at once.
So often, we have these huge dreams with huge expectations. That’s great, just don’t plan on achieving it all at once.
Don’t set your goals so high, that you get overwhelmed and frustrated, only to give up after a few months of discouragement. Dream and dream big, but make sure you can manage what you are dreaming. Success rarely comes overnight, and it often requires much work. Take it in chunks.
2) Write it Down
It is often said, “what gets written, gets done.” I am not saying write a novel but figure out what your goals and take a pencil and paper and write them down.
This does a few things. First, it keeps you focused on what needs to get done. Second, when goals are accomplished, you can cross them off, thus motivating yourself when you see progress. Lastly, it helps prioritize your thoughts and emotions.
So seriously, right now, grab a pen and paper (or pull up google drive) and write down some goals.
Side note: if you want to make a list but know you’ll lose it, go to www.trello.com and set up a free account. You won’t regret it.
3) Have an Accountability Partner
Find someone who will keep you accountable to your goals. They don’t have to be a drill sergeant. They just need to be someone who is consistent. They need to check in on you every so often to see where you’re at with things.
Maybe, you’re on the cusp of a breakdown; they can remind you why you’re in it. Perhaps you’ve experienced success, and they remind you to keep moving.
Even more importantly, find someone who is honest. You don’t need a ‘yes man,’ you need someone who will motivate but keep you grounded.
Also, it’s a whole lot harder to let down someone else.
4) Imagine how great that success will feel
This one seems a little funny but hear me out. Think seriously about why you want to accomplish your goal. What would that do for you?
Maybe your goal is to increase your social media presence by 50%. Imagine how awesome it would to see your followers steadily grow.
Imagine, how cool it would be to see your sales increase and your web traffic grow all because you stuck to your goal of pushing social media? Make sure you keep that thought near you and let it motivate you to keep pushing.
5) Be Specific
This one may be the most important on the list. When you are thinking about your goals in the upcoming year be specific. Not too specific that you can’t adapt, but specific enough to keep you on track. If your goal is, “I want to be more active on social media” that’s great but how can you focus on that and what does it mean?
Do you want to lounge on Instagram and fool around on Twitter all day? No, you want to grow your company.
A better goal would be, “I want to grow my organic traffic by 10,000 followers on Instagram and increase engagement on Twitter by 50%.”
Now you have a goal you can measure and keep track of. Please, for your sanity, be specific.
6) Strategize How You are Going to Get it Done
Now that you have your particular goals it is time to game plan how you are going to get it done. Sure, you got a cool goal, but a goal without a plan is like a boat without a rudder, it’s moving, but it’s got no idea where it is going.
Let’s say you want to drive traffic to your brick-and-mortar store. You may determine you need to develop targeted, local Facebook ads in your vicinity. This leads you to develop a campaign highlighting your products in local settings, maybe with local celebrities. Now you know whom you need to contact for your campaigns, what platform you are going to use to reach your audience, and how you’re going to advertise your product. Now when it’s time to act you have the road map to meet your goals.
7) Don’t Ever Give Up
Please, please, please whatever you do, don’t give up. You have already put so much effort into making your goals a reality.
I wish I could say you wouldn’t face difficulty and struggle with a few helpings of discouragement but you probably will. That’s a good thing, you learn from those things.
When the difficulty comes, look to the list you wrote down (or you made on Trello, that’s cool too). Envision, the excitement you’ll feel when you accomplish your goals, and remember if something isn’t working, adjust try again and keep moving.
The true mark of success is someone who has scars from defeat. They had some fierce battles along the way and maybe even lost a few but they never gave up, and they won the war.
Commit your works to God, and He will establish your plans.