By January 25, 2012 Read More →

New Year’s business resolutions – how to stay on track to achieving them

New Year's business resolutions - by Claire Habel, Inspiring FuturesToday’s guest post is a welcome reminder from Claire Habel of Inspiring Futures in the dull days of January:

Have you started 2012 with vigour or are you still trying to pick up the pace? A few weeks in, now is a good time to do a bit of a sense-check on how those ideas and plans are panning out.

No doubt as January approached you spent a bit of time thinking about your vision, goals and resolutions for your business. The key as we all know is then being able to turn that thinking into results through planning and action, which is where things can start to get tricky.

Unexpected e-mails drop in, tasks over-run and before you know it, you hear yourself saying how busy you are. So, although you may still be steering your ship, it may not be heading in quite the right direction at the speed you had imagined.

So, here are some helpful tips to help you stay focused and on-track:

  • Nobody wants to become a ‘busy fool’ but it’s amazing how easily it happens. The key to avoiding it is to avoid fooling yourself about what you’re busying yourself with. Plans and action are vital to achieving results but only if formed and focused properly…
  • Before you dive into writing long lists of things to do, start with the end in mind i.e. your goal/objective and ‘plan back’ from there. Then move onto writing your to-do lists, ensuring you focus on the most important and urgent things first.
  • Action takes you towards results but is not an end in itself. Ask yourself whether you are more focused on actions or outcomes.
  • To keep focused, ask yourself each day: “Am I concentrating on the most important and urgent things first?” Take a moment each week to consider: “What one thing could I do this week that would have most impact on moving me closer to my goal”.
  • If you need to revive and refocus, get back in touch with your ‘personal business drivers’ by reminding yourself what all of this is for. Keep that front of mind and ensure all plans start from that point. You’ll find yourself far more motivated if you do!

Profile: Claire Habel is the founder of Inspiring Futures through which she helps her clients develop personal business plans and winning marketing strategies for their businesses.

Enjoyed this? Read more by Claire Habel on marketing strategies and personal business planning for your home business.

6 Comments on "New Year’s business resolutions – how to stay on track to achieving them"

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  1. Claire Melvin says:

    I think it’s a great idea to review your goals every month or so. I haven’t achieved any that I had stated for the year, though with one or two things that have come up since I set my goals, I’m going to have to re-write a few.

    Every January I set goals and stick them on the fridge, so I’m always referring to them (or pretending not to see them!). I’m reminded of the things I need to do (such as put numbers into my business plan!) and whilst this year I’m going to be so hard on myself, giving myself a gentle kick up the backside every now and then is no bad thing!

    • Judy says:

      Hi Claire, great to hear from you – I was only wondering the other day how your plans are working out.

      I assume you mean you’re NOT going to be so hard on yourself this year!! Whoops, those Freudian slips!

  2. Great to hear that you make a point of setting goals Claire and set time aside to do it. Many people don’t and just head straight for the ‘to-do’ lists. To your point about updating goals, this is hopefully a great sign of new ideas coming to mind and perhaps daring to aim a little higher/broader than perhaps you did when you set those first business objectives. We can tend to be a bit tentative when first laying down what we want from our businesses but aiming high doesn’t have to become a pressure.

    • Judy says:

      I think one of the best things about making time to set goals is that things do start to uncannily happen soon afterwards! So true that saying about when you set an intention the world moves with you.

  3. Claire Melvin says:

    Judy – I did of course mean less hard on myself – I wrote somewhat in haste earlier!

    I do agree about setting time aside to set and then update goals. I do tend to be good at making lists and I think I need to add ‘re-evaluate’ on there. It’s not always ideal to plan too much and allowing time and flexibility to change is also a sign that you’re comfortable in what you’re doing.

    I also agree about the timidity. I do like to have some goals that I mightn’t achieve, but that doesn’t stop me from trying, though it’s important to have things that are achievable, so that you can feel good about reaching your targets.

    I’m definitely going to add ‘re-evaluate’ to my to-do list for the end of each month (it was only every 6 months!) and thank you both for providing food for thought.

    • Judy says:

      I hope lots of good reasons to re-evaluate come up for you this year, Claire.
      It’s great to hear you now have a regular customer. Good luck with the marathon training. Personally that would come under the heading of being extremely hard on myself!