Rather than focusing on New Year’s resolutions that are too easily discarded, you could benefit more by actually avoiding these three ineffective business resolutions.
It’s the time of year when optimism abounds when our dedication to dreams and goals is renewed, and we commit to New Year’s resolutions we hope to keep all year long. Of course, that optimism is tempered a bit by the reality that most resolutions don’t last much beyond January—but the good news is that we’re entrepreneurs. We’re in the business of chasing our dreams and making them a reality. So when it comes to making New Year’s resolutions, I’d say we have a better than average probability of staying on track.
We’ve all got our own personal goals—working out more often, learning a new language, finding new ways to give back. But most of us also have professional goals that are just as important to us. Maybe they’re your own individual goals, or maybe they have to do with your company as a whole. But no matter what you hope to change or accomplish in 2022, there are three New Year’s resolutions that a CEO should avoid making.
How can making a resolution to improve be a negative? Let me explain.
Resolution No-No #1: I’m going to do more of X.
Whether you hope to close more sales, get more speaking engagements or have more fun with your team at the office, there are two problems with this resolution. First of all, it lacks specificity. More? What does that mean, exactly? How can you even tell if you’re upholding your promise, with such a vague statement as a guide? A much better resolution would include a specific target, ideally broken down into smaller steps: I’m going to increase sales by 15 percent, by finding two extra clients each month, for example.
“Being audacious and being overly ambitious are two entirely different things. It’s essential to be willing—and able—to take risks and go for big goals. But you have to understand what’s realistic and doable.”
Secondly, the resolution itself implies that you haven’t been doing enough up until now. If more is needed, why haven’t you been able to get it done before? Phrasing a resolution this way can set you up for failure, because it starts you out with the feeling of lacking something, of needing to fix a problem that hasn’t been fixable up until now, rather than a feeling of excitement and positive energy. Word your resolution so that it sparks motivation and enthusiasm instead, such as I will institute Taco Tuesdays with my team to provide them with a fun lunch forum to share ideas and boost creativity and innovation.
Resolution No-No #2: I’m going to lead my company to (some outrageous, over-the-top goal).
Here’s the thing: Being audacious is awesome. It’s how we business owners got to where we are today. But being audacious and being overly ambitious are two entirely different things. It’s essential to be willing—and able—to take risks and go for big goals. But you have to understand what’s realistic and doable, and what will end up doing your company more harm than good.
It’s possible to get so caught up in working toward a huge, exciting goal that you lose sight of the long term in favor of short-term gains. But if you’re in your business for the long haul, you should consider the long-term effects that any changes you make might have. For example, growing too fast before you’ve had the chance to put the right infrastructure in place can be thrilling in the short term, but disastrous in the long term. So make sure that any big goals you set for your company can realistically be met, without having to sacrifice all the hard work you’ve already put in.
Resolution No-No #3: I’m going to get more done each day.
You may have heard that multitasking is dead. By multitasking, your tasks may take longer, with worse results than if you’d given them the targeted attention they deserved. So piggybacking more work onto your already full plate is a no go. And all the to-do lists, schedules and productivity hacks in the world can only do so much to help you find extra time. So how can you fit more work into your day?
Answer: Don’t even try. Instead, resolve to choose the few tasks that are most important each day, and give them the undivided focus and time they need. Delegate tasks that can be done by others, so you can focus on doing what you do best. You’ll feel more productive, and your work may benefit, too.
So this New Year’s, by all means, go nuts with those resolutions. Get a new gym membership and sign up for those night classes. Dream big and start planning for even more professional success in 2016. But whatever you do, try to avoid making the mistake of putting any of these resolution no-nos on your list.
Author: Shama Hyder
CEO, The Marketing Zen Group