Do you make New Year’s resolutions? And – more importantly – do you stick to them?

New Year’s resolutions can be powerful motivators and a great tool to drive your business and yourself to a better place. The ones that work best are those that are flexible and realistic. A resolution you stick to is its own reward – if you and your career are in a better place because of it, it’s worked its magic.

In this blog, we look at choosing New Year’s resolutions, business and personal, and how we put them into practice.

What is a New Year’s resolution?

That may seem like a silly question, but in these days of business goal-setting and apps for everything, we’re constantly measuring our achievements and abilities. Is a New Year’s resolution just another one of those?

No, it isn’t. To be effective, a New Year’s resolution needs to be different from that data-led, SMART model. Effective resolutions are about changing attitudes in order to improve our life and work. They are about approach, culture, values and priorities, rather than running 5k every day, or increasing profits. Done right, however, your resolutions will contribute to achieving your SMART goals.

How to make effective New Year’s resolutions for your business

When you choose your resolutions, it’s a good idea to avoid words like “always” and “never.” High standards are good but it’s important to be realistic. For example, if you resolve to “never” send an invoice late again, and then miss an invoice date because you’re ill, you’ll have broken your resolution. After that, it’s difficult to feel like it matters when invoice time comes next month.

Instead, choose a resolution like, “address finances at work.” This is much broader and is more likely to solve any problems you have. When you “address your finances,” you look at what’s working and what’s not. Why do you get in a muddle over invoices? What would help? What’s available? Maybe the answer is to outsource to a bookkeeper, or start using an app like Xero or Quickbooks. Put one of these into action and you’ll find you’ve achieved your resolution and sorted your finances at the same time. You’re bound to have a financial goal for your business – you might find your resolution helps you achieve that too.

Get Ahead’s founder, Rebecca Newenham, finds vision boards highly effective. Rather than writing her resolutions down,  she finds pictures, words and headlines that reflect where she would like the business to be and displays them in her study. This year’s features the words “community,” “celebrate” and “versatile,” as well as “we can all wear leopard!” to keep her in mind of Get Ahead’s branding. Depending on how you process information, a vision board could be a great solution for you too.

How to make effective New Year’s resolutions for your own life

Get Ahead are huge supporters of flexible working. We know that if you’re not happy in your own life, you won’t be able to work effectively either. That’s why making personal resolutions is every bit as important as making business ones.

Again, the “always” and “never” rule applies. If you are “always” going to do Park Run, or “never” eat chocolate, you are setting yourself up to fail. Cut yourself some slack.

Instead, you might resolve to “live more healthily.” Apply this to the decisions you have to make: what will you eat? Should you sign up to that new yoga class? Can you take on some voluntary work…or is it just going to make you stressed?

When you resolve to take a healthy overview, you’re more likely to become healthier and you’ll have more fun too! If you can have a lie in or a glass of wine without feeling guilty, you can take more pleasure from your healthy choices. And that’s surely the way to change your life for the better!

Apply this broad thinking to your resolutions and see if they’re easier to stick to this year.

Let us help you stick to your resolutions

When you’re reviewing your working practices or your lifestyle, you might well spot tasks that are holding you back. If social media is eating into your work time and making you inefficient, outsource it. If work takes all your time and you can’t fit in your regular swim, we can help take the pressure off so you can live a healthier life.

To find out more, get in touch today – we’d love to hear from you.

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