This article originally published January 20, 2017.
When the New Year rolls around, we are all inspired to make changes in our lives, but it can be tough to figure out the best way to get started. You want to begin on the right foot, but you don’t want to take on too overwhelming of a task. It can be difficult to settle on a goal to pursue.
Don’t worry, we’re here to help. We’ve assembled a list of 50 goals to improve everything from your money management strategies to work-life balance.
Let’s take on the year together.
1. Get your budget up to par. Start by making a monthly budget, and know what goes into those expenses back to front.
2. Improve your credit. Know your personal as well as your company’s credit. It is a valuable stat to have on hand and it speaks to your credibility when working with vendors or getting a loan.
3. Dig into your investments. When you do decide to put your money into something, whether it’s a new venture, real estate or an IPO, make sure you really understand where your money is going.
4. Make more money. Can you sell products or advertising? Flip websites? Get into a peer-to-peer lending program? Think about ways to earn more that align with your goals.
5. Cut costs. Brush up on your business model and your day-to-day processes. Explore whether there are ways you can streamline or cut costs
6. Create a more secure future. Open a 401K plan. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but it’s never too early to set aside some money for the future.
7. Worry less about financial setbacks. Set up an account for an emergency fund. In addition to your savings and checking account, which you will frequently draw from for day to day purchases or major buys, start a reserve account that you won’t touch unless you’re really in a jam.
8. Provide financial options for employees. Look into flexible spending accounts for your employees. These can cover medical expenses and transportation costs. Your employees can select an amount to deduct from their paychecks which in turn is non-taxable.
9. Boost employee morale. Start the year by sending out a survey about employee happiness. Figure out what is working and and what can be improved.
10. Provide more support to executives. Set up meetings with your senior staffers and department heads. Ask them what kind of help they need.
11. Improve your interviewing practices. Ask yourself how they could be streamlined or expanded to find the best possible candidates.
12. Attract top-notch employees. Make sure what you’re salary and benefits packages are current and competitive. Look at the other companies in the space and see how you stack up, and if it is possible to make a shift based on that information.
13. Refine your hiring budget. Have a clear idea in your mind on the amount of money you can allocate to bringing on new hires.
14. Get a mission statement. Work with your colleagues to develop a concrete description of your company’s values. With this in mind, you’ll be better able to find new hires who believe in the vision of the business.
15. Find great candidates for your company. Review your recruitment practices. Where are you looking for applicants? Are they meeting your requirements? Are they a good fit? Be honest with yourself about if these channels are working.
16. Cut employee costs. Consider incorporating a remote and flexible work policy. Ask your senior staff and employees if the system is working for them, or what could be changed, and then revise it to better serve the company’s objectives.
17. Catch up some rest and relaxation. Use your vacation days. You can’t come up with new ideas if you’re burned out, so look ahead at your calendar for the year and block out some time when you can go and just relax.
18. Decrease stress levels. If you are just starting a new venture and vacation isn’t in the cards for a bit, schedule in set breaks to get up and step away from your work. It can even be as simple as a walk around the block.
19. Focus more. Turn off your phone notifications. If you can’t check that tweet or that email as soon as it arrives, the world won’t come to an end -- we promise.
20. Embrace your hobbies. Is there something that you love to do that you just haven’t had time for? Revive that pastime, even if it’s only for30 minutes before or after work.
21. Say ‘no’ more often. Remember that it is okay to say no to something or reschedule. Nothing is set in stone, and if you can’t swing something, know that it isn’t a personal failing.
22. Think more about your health. It’s important to keep current with your health. No one loves going to the doctor, but if you don’t have your health it’s hard to be able to focus on accomplishing the things you want.
23. Maintain your personal relationships. If you are crazy busy and at the beginning of launching a new company, your friends and family will understand. But that doesn’t mean you have to ignore these relationships. Grab a coffee with a friend on the way to a meeting or go grocery shopping with your mom. Even a few minutes to remind you that you aren’t alone can go a long way.
24. Get more sleep. Take your gadgets out of your room, don’t work in bed, just let your bedroom be a place where you can feel rested and rejuvenated.
25. Become physically active. Find an exercise routine that you like and start slow.
26. Get outside your comfort zone. You can start of feel stagnant if you always do the same thing. On a weekend, go visit someplace new, like a museum or restaurant that’s off the beaten track. You don’t have to go bungee jumping (unless, of course, you want to), but don’t forget to step a little outside of yourself. You never know where you will find new ideas.
Self-improvement and growth
27. Start a journal. It can be about whatever you want -- fears, dreams, goals, a list of all the dogs you see in your neighborhood -- but just get it down on paper. You never know what you might find.
28. Become more invaluable at your job. Learn a new skill that you can apply to your job. You’ll meet new people and expand your repertoire
29. Connect with a VIP. Think about who you admire in your field and reach out to them.
30. Become a mentor. Share your expertise and help someone achieve their goals
31. Volunteer. Find a cause that you care about and donate your time.
32. Get out of your comfort zone. Do something that scares you in the context of your career. Dread networking events? Avoid public speaking like the plague. Don’t underestimate what you can do.
33. Expand your network. Talk with people in different fields. You can learn something about your own work that you didn’t expect.
34. Find a new business idea. Read, go to the movies, visit your local museum or get inspired by the work of others.
Marketing and sales
35. Get more customers. Have a company wide discussion about who your customer is. Is there a group of people you are missing? Think about how to reach out to them.
36. Review your marketing and sales budget. What worked last year and what didn’t? Allocate funds accordingly.
37. Plan your marketing calendar. Look back at last year’s marketing campaign calendar. Are there times of year that were really impactful? If so, think about what you can do to capitalize on them.
38. Improve customer engagement. Figure out the channels your customers frequent the most and work on developing a strategy that connects with them there.
39. Get big-name customers. Make a list of your dream clients, and don’t be afraid to go after them this year.
40. Be more transparent with your marketing objectives. Share your marketing and sales plans with your entire staff. Even if someone isn’t in the department, everyone should understand what the goals are.
41. Reassess your primary sales pitch. As your company grows, what you offer changes as well. Make sure your sales pitch reflects that.
42 Develop other sales pitches. Talk to your employees about what they think the company’s main selling points are. They could see something that you might have overlooked.
43. Own your online brand. Start by purchasing your domain name online.
44. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Figure out the channels where you feel the most comfortable and put all your energy towards developing your audience there.
45. Land thought-leader gigs. See if you can moderate or speak on panels to position yourself as an authority.
46. Increase the strength of your network. Reach out to people you admire. You could develop a valuable new relationship, and articulating what you appreciate about his or her work can help you clarify what you want to accomplish with yours.
47. Interact more with clients. Post regularly, but don’t inundate customers or with content. Be thoughtful about what you are sharing.
48. Improve your online image. Get high-quality images of yourself and your work to share on the web.
49. Put yourself out there. Attend networking events in your space.50. Express gratitude. Give a shout out to the people who share your content. Always say thank you, because people will remember gratitude.