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A Better Approach To Making New Year’s Resolutions — Entrepreneur Version

It’s the end of the year, and along with all of the content boasting must-have gifts for everyone on your list and Christmas dinner recipes you’ve gotta make, there’s also a whole lot of New Year’s resolution making going around. 

You know the drill:

Eating better, working out more, getting new clients, making more money, saving more money, doing more fun things, cooking more things, oh my! Is your head spinning yet?

But I totally get all of these! Heck, I’ve made each of these resolutions at some point or other. There’s always something about a bright new year around the corner that feels like a wonderful time to step more into who we authentically are — or feel compelled to change every single thing about ourselves. 

But as I’ve gotten older, my view on these yearly resolutions has shifted a bit, for 2 main reasons really:

  1. The typical resolutions that we think of, like the ones above, aren’t at all specific. Without specificity, we don’t have any guidance. And that means that the likelihood of us actually following through with these goals goes way down.
  1. We can start making changes in our life at any time during the year. Winter has always been a time for rest and reflection, so, for many of us, it’s not intuitively a time for all the big action and motivation that today’s society has assigned to it. 

When we give the new year such a big job, attaching our biggest goals to it and keeping our fingers crossed that this is the year that changes everything, it becomes this big, wobbly thing. And if it falls apart, we’re left feeling kinda disappointed. 

So instead of setting vague, wishy-washy goals that I’ll only end up feeling guilty about when I (totally inevitably) don’t meet them, this is how I’ve been handling the new year and all the big and little dreams I have for my business instead.

Wanna join me?

Word of the year

This is something that I’ve done for several years now, but this year, I want to do it for my business, too.

If you haven’t heard of it, basically, you choose a word you want to embody all year. Your word acts like an affirmation and a reminder of how you want to be and feel.

I always feel like whatever word I choose does a really good job at keeping me on track at more of an overarching level. A couple of years ago, I chose the word “Ease,” and I still think that one worked some serious magic for me. 

So this year, for my business, I’m toying with choosing “Connection” as my word.

I’ve always been an introvert — literally every teacher at parent teacher conferences would tell me parents “she really needs to speak up more.” Okay, okay Ms. Bachus, I’m working on it! And while I love connecting with people, I find that I need to make a more conscious effort of being the first person to reach out. So, especially in regards to connecting with other business-owners, I want to make sure that I’m actively putting myself out there. And I’m hoping this word encourages me to choose actions that promote that.

Maybe one of these words feels aligned with what you want to bring to your business and how you want to show up this year.

  • Action
  • Transparency
  • Sustainable
  • Grounded
  • Mindfulness
  • Flexibility
  • Simplicity
  • Creativity
  • Growth
  • Balance
  • Adaptability
  • Confidence

Getting hyper-specific

So I realized that earlier I was maybe a little bit too hard on those stereotypical New Year’s resolutions. Besides their lack of specificity, they really are well-intentioned and handy starting points! But that’s what they really are: starting points.

What we can do instead is get super specific and focus on action.

Because what does “Bring in more sales” mean anyway?

On an everyday level, it’s not providing any direction. But as soon as we get more specific and hyper-focused on the how of this general goal, we can move into a more action-based direction: “Write weekly blog posts and create a batch of 7 Pinterest pins for each.” This is much more concrete. 

So write out all of the big goals and dreams you have for your business next year and pick the 3 that are most important to you. Then identify 1 or 2 mini-goals or actions you can make to achieve the big picture goals! (Keep these numbers small so you’re not feeling overwhelmed.)

Now just a quick note: As much as I’m all for making lofty goals, make sure your mini-goals are realistic. If weekly blog posts feel like something you’re going to completely dread doing and, therefore, never do, (though I highly recommend it for SEO purposes and to give your audience even more value!), then opt for an action that’s more realistic.

Here are some examples to get those wheels turning! Play around with them to make them fit your own business’s needs. 

Big goal: Bring in more clients

Actionable step:  Commit to making a connection once a week. Whether it’s reaching out to a past client, an adjacent business, or posting in a Facebook group. 

Big goal: Make more sales

Actionable step:  Create a new lead magnet (or update an existing one) and commit to consistently sending out a weekly newsletter. 

Big goal: Show up for my community more

Actionable step:  Post 2 Instagram posts every week and post a story at least every other day. 

Big goal: Write better copy

Actionable step: Watch one bite-sized educational video a day or read a related blog post (Hey, you can even get started with this one on everything your home page needs 😉)

Monthly Re-Assessments

Because inspiration strikes us so randomly and not just during the beginning of the year, I like to bring that clean-slate-fresh-feeling-energy feeling to each month. So on the first of the month, I reflect on how the previous month felt and on what I want to achieve moving forward. I’ll usually draw from the goals I outlined at the start of the year, but sometimes, I come up with fresh, new ones. 

Here are some good starting points that you can use to check-in with where you’re at with your business and then plan the best moves for the month ahead:

  • What did I struggle with this past month? Where did I thrive?
  • How do I want to feel/show up in my business?
  • What is one main thing I’d like to work on this month?
  • What are the tiny steps I can take to work towards it?

I’ll always refer back to my beginning-of-the-year goals to make sure I’m staying on track. (But I don’t hold onto those goals too tightly, because sometimes — actually, more than sometimes — plans shift. So commit to being flexible with where you’re guided to show up throughout the year! 

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling pretty excited about this upcoming new year and all the potential that comes with it. So. Much. Possibility!

But, as you can probably deduce from this entire post, I’m not planning on hitting the ground running on January 1st. Nope, I’ll definitely be slowly sinking into my couch with my husband watching The Twilight Zone marathon with zero interest in any sort of personal or professional development (while also building goodness knows how many houses out of Magnatiles for my son, which I have to say, I’m pretty darn good at!). But I know I’ll have my list of actionable goals ready to go when I’m feeling ready. 

So don’t feel at all pressured to feel like you immediately need to optimize all parts of your life, or fall into the New Year’s resolution black hole.

Use the ideas from this list that feel good, and forget about the ones that don’t!

Hey, I’m Kristie! And besides writing website and email copy for the best businesses, I also help business-owners like you feel grounded and less chaotic. 

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So glad you’re here! XO

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