Strengthen Your Resolve

New Year’s Day has come and gone and you’re settling in for winter. So how are you doing on those New Year’s resolutions? If you’re like most people, the icy road isn’t the only thing you’ve slipped on by now. Take heart. Here are some ideas to get those resolutions back on track.

  • Give Yourself a Break – Changing habits is hard work. The American Cancer Society reports that only 4 to 7 percent successfully quit smoking on any given attempt. But with each try, they get closer, and eventually they succeed.*  So try again. This may be the time you do it.
  • Forget the New Year’s Resolution – Instead establish monthly resolutions. Break down your goal into smaller, more manageable parts. It helps to focus on one thing at a time. For example, reducing business expenses by 12 percent can be daunting. But a goal of just one percent each month helps you concentrate on smaller, more manageable items. Combined, they will help you achieve your goal.
  • Tell Someone You Trust – Share your goal with someone supportive, perhaps another small business owner. Say it aloud to them. Confiding in another person holds you accountable. It gives you the opportunity to brag about success the next time you see them or to get ideas if you’re falling short. Consider reciprocating with the person to provide feedback on their goals.
  • Don’t Wait Until It’s Over – Don’t wait until you achieve your ultimate goal before you reward yourself. Plan for regular rewards along the way. It will motivate you to take incremental steps and serve as a scoreboard for your progress.

Whether it’s business or personal, think of resolutions as part of your planning process. You’ve taken the first step by establishing the goal. But not all plans go as expected. So you make a contingency plan that moves you in another direction, but achieves the same goal.

* American Cancer Society. “A word about quitting success rates.” cancer.org , Web.  Sept 2013.

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