Alright. It is nearing the end of one year and the beginning of another. Many of us will soon embark on the routine tradition of reviewing our lives over the last 12 months and making a decision to do something, say something or be something better or different.
We are excited about the opportunity to start again in this New Year and by March (or maybe some are more disciplined by May) we throw those resolutions out and decide to try again next January.
Here is the deal. Creating resolutions is a strong and solid activity and it has a place. The act of thinking through what you want to accomplish is an excellent tool to facilitate and define accomplishments in our lives. But many small business owners get so caught up in running the business that those resolutions are not a priority and is one reason we do not keep them for longer than a few months.
I reached out to one of the most organized Veteran small business owners I know and asked for her advice on setting and keeping resolutions. Christine Zika, an Army National Guard Veteran, is owner of CZ Concierge Services. Here is what she had to say about setting resolutions.
Is your Resolution on your calendar?
If you are one of the 45% of Americans who have made a New Year’s Resolution, let me ask you a question: is your resolution on your calendar? Whether your resolution is to eat healthy, be a better parent (sister, daughter, community activist), to grow your business or be a better boss, make it a part of your to-do list to schedule it on your calendar!
Just as every business meeting or children’s activity gets inscribed on your calendar, so should the goals you set for yourself. How else will you remember or – more importantly- find the time to work on your goals?
Let’s say we have resolved to eat healthy. Buy vegetables and lean meat, cook and VIOLA you are eating healthy. And then the week comes and you were really busy that you weren’t able to buy groceries and what would you make tonight anyway and ohhhh look, there’s the McDonald’s (Long John Silvers, Hunan Wok). From there you slide into, the “well it’s just this week”, which leads to “let me get through the month” and the next thing you know it is the New Year and you are resolving to do better – AGAIN.
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein
This year, plan out the success of your resolution! Take an hour and start blocking the time you will need to make your resolution a reality. Look at your calendar and decide where you can block time for grocery shopping, going to the gym or whatever task you need to do. Don’t schedule anything else during that time. If someone wants a meeting at that time, explain that you are already committed and that they will need to choose another time to meet. Stay firm; you wouldn’t schedule two meetings at the same time, would you?
Never think that your resolution for positive change is any less important than what wants to interrupt it.
Use this concept with your 2016 business goals. Do you want to make more sales calls? Market at specific times of the year? A few tips from an organizing expert.
- Plan on working on your 1, 3 and 5 year goals. You want to have both short term goals that you can see immediately and long term to give yourself something to strive to achieve. This is also a great way to measure your previous year’s accomplishments and adjust as you may need.
- Set a date for you to work on your plan alone. Getting your ideas out of your head an on to paper, without the distraction of a team, is the best first step. This allows you to understand your intentions for the company and articulate them to others for the next step.
- Set a date for your team two work on your plan. Whether the team is internal or external having the minds of others to work through your ideas is very important. Getting non-emotional perspective on your business allows you to identify roadblocks or opportunities that you did not notice.
- Remember, these conversations can take several days’ even weeks to complete. Set a beginning and an end date for the conversations and hold yourselves accountable to those dates.
No matter hat it is that you want to do, make sure you know when you are going to do it and stick to it.
It takes 21 days to create a new habit so put those days on your calendar TODAY!.
Interested in how you can provide this service as a benefit for your employees? Call us at 314-779-9495 to discuss how we can start to create a great place to work. CZ Concierge Services provides Virtual and Personal Concierge Services for business and their employees in the St. Louis, Missouri Metropolitan area. We are a proud to be a woman/veteran owned business.
Darcella K Craven has over 20 years of experience in corporate, government, non-profit and military organizations. She is currently the Executive Director of the Veterans Business Resource Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting Honorably Discharged Veterans, National Guard and Reservist and Active Duty personnel and their families with transitioning back into civilian life with starting and expanding businesses. An Army Veteran, she holds a Masters of Arts in Management from Webster University and is currently pursuing her Doctors of Management focusing on impact of military experience on small business decision making. Darcella has been featured in numerous articles for her transition from the military and the welfare system to an accomplished business woman and is actively involved in many civic organizations.