It's that time of year--when ads bombard you from every billboard, commercial and magazine. "Lose weight fast in the new year!" "Resolve to change your life for the better in 2007!" No matter where you go this month, you're bound to be bombarded by hundreds of messages that encourage you to change things for the better.
Are you feeling the pressure yet? A majority of Americans are: About 71 percent say they plan on making a resolution for the new year. What's among the popular resolutions? Losing weight and saving money top the priorities, according to a recent study by Corporate Research International.
What resolutions top your list? We decided to take a trip down memory lane to discover what some of the entrepreneurs we interviewed in 2006 plan to work on in both their business and personal lives this year. From taking a silent retreat to stopping cursing, our entrepreneurs have some unique takes on how to make 2007 their best year yet.
Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad
"To be a better communicator-vs. a 'better curser.' I keep blaming the Marine Corp. for the fact that I curse a lot...and in the new year, I'll work on swearing less and communicating better."
Alex Tew, creator of MillionDollarHomepage.com
"My New Year's resolution is to have more time to think. It's really easy to get bogged down in day-to-day issues and not have perspective or freedom to think creatively."
Jen Bilik, founder and owner of Knock Knock
"For business, my resolution is to move further ahead in our development cycle by starting to develop products earlier and give longer lead time. I'd also like to spend less time on administrative matters, and more time on creative development and strategy. On a personal level, I'd like to minimize my own crankiness and exercise regularly, regardless of my workload. I'll try to walk my dog daily--she deserves it, and it's good for me, too. I plan to eat healthy meals more consistently and work on reviving my personal life."
Joseph Einhorn, co-founder and CTO of Inform Technologies
"My resolution is to become a better listener and to listen more closely to our customers."
Mark A. Emalfarb, president and CEO of Dyadic International, Inc.
"To continue making great strides to further our scientific discoveries and to commercialize them into products that will improve health care, reduce the world's addiction to oil and ultimately provide a healthier, cleaner, brighter future for our children."
Sona Mehring, founder and executive director of CaringBridge
"To take compassion, technology and CaringBridge to new heights. To reach out and help more and more families going through a health crisis. I want to have a minimum of 250,000 CaringBridge sites created, connecting 2.5 million people."
Gerald Prolman, founder and CEO of OrganicBouquet.com
"To do all I can every day to make a positive and meaningful difference"
David Roth, president and CEO, and Rick Bacher, CCO, of Cereality Cereal Bar & CafÃ©
"We both have the same New Year's resolution: to take back Saturday morning! As you probably know, our whole business is built on the promise of delivering a Saturday morning experience to each of our customers, no matter what time of day or week they visit us. So we make it our mission, personally and professionally, to instill the spirit of Saturday morning in everything we do--especially when it comes time to make New Year's resolutions!"
Donald Trump, chair and president of The Trump Organization
"My New Year's resolution for 2007 is to make 2007 the best year ever!"
Greg Ubert, founder and president of Crimson Cup
"To get 100 percent of Crimson Cup's employees involved with Junior Achievement."
Debbie Weiner, co-founder of Sugar Sweet Sunshine
"Everyday I read a passage from my Angel Wisdom book. There was one passage that seemed profound to me even though I'm sure I've read it before. It seemed so simple, it's titled, "Happiness": Live in the now and be awake to new experiences. See events as interesting and instructive instead of good or bad. Accept people as they are. Give up suffering and worrying. Be generous with my love.
"One more resolution is to get myself ready for MORE magazine's half-marathon for women age 40-plus. Forty rocks so far."
Tina Wells, CEO of Buzz Marketing Group
"My resolution is to take six trips outside the United States next year. London and Zurich are at the top of my list!"
Lena L. West, founder and CEO of xynoMedia Technology
"I don't really believe in New Year's resolutions. In the past when I've set resolutions and didn't quite stick to them, it made me subconsciously doubt my inner resolve and that didn't feel good. So, I started working with one of the top wellness coaches in the country, Cheryl Miller, and she helped me to shift my thoughts and plans for the incoming year to a New Year's evolution.
"My New Year's 'evolution' is to make going on silent retreats an annual tradition. For the past two years, I've been saying I want to go on a silent retreat--this year, I made it happen. Alone, with no books, music, magazines, radio, internet, computer or TV, I spent three days at a women's retreat center in bucolic Cornwall-on-Hudson. The first day-and-a-half was pure hell, but I stuck with it and the remainder of my stay was pure bliss. I got unprecedented clarity about my business and my life. I made a list of everything that was no longer serving the business and transitioned those relationships and agreements immediately upon my return to the office. The results? A stress-free annual strategy session, and now we're only involved in projects that are in alignment with the direction of the company. I'm inching way up to two weeks of total silence which is a huge stretch, so in 2007, I'll up the ante slightly to five days."