New Year's Resolutions Faltered Already? Try These 7 Commitments Instead.
Every January, my yoga studio classes are filled with enthusiastic new customers eager to fulfill a New Year’s resolution to improve their health. Yet, like most health and fitness businesses, the numbers typically dwindle after a couple months. The problem? The people’s resolution was about what they think they should do rather than exploring what fulfills them.
This is why I don’t care for traditional resolutions. They focus on the result instead of the journey of learning more about yourself and exploring the change process you need in business and life.
So forget about making resolutions. Instead, focus on making new commitments. They can help both you and your business grow in 2019 and beyond. Not sure where to begin? Here are some areas you might want to consider.
1. Delegate more.
Let someone else do some of the everyday tasks for a change. Of course, it’s tough to hand off responsibility to someone else. What if the quality isn’t up to par? What if something goes wrong?
If you’re just starting out in business, this can be a small step that doesn’t break the bank, such as hiring a virtual assistant to help you with administrative work. If you have employees, this could be a bigger move like training someone on your staff to take on a part of the business you usually manage. This does take an investment of time, and money, but it fulfills your longer-term objectives with some short-term pain to get it started.
2. Make business planning a regular event.
Regular brainstorming sessions can keep your business fresh and uncover issues that may not be obvious when you are immersed in the day-to-day work. To get the most out of your brainstorming sessions, I always have my team go through a SWOT: (strength, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) exercise. Afterwards, we list the key takeaways and then divide and assign any tasks into short-, medium-, and long-term categories. This way we can identify areas that may need immediate attention.
3. Schedule more time for yourself.
It's essential that you schedule time every day to recharge and refresh. Your daily break can be as simple as closing your eyes for two minutes and being silent, reading a book, taking a walk, or listening to music. If you have trouble freeing up time, schedule a regular meeting with yourself on your calendar, or set a reminder on your phone, and stick to that appointment just like it was a business meeting.
4. Learn something new.
This not only adds to your current skill set, but helps stimulate your creative thinking and problem solving. I learned how to play the bass guitar as a creative outlet and found that playing not only relieves stress, but helps my brain recharge in a way that makes me more innovative in how I approach business problems.
5. Focus more.
In order to think clearly about your business when needed, you have to work at improving your focus. Be more mindful about giving your full attention to one thing at a time. Block out all distractions like email, texts, and other interruptions, and concentrate on a single task until it’s completed.
Begin with something small that may not take much time to finish. As you succeed, and gain more confidence, branch out to longer tasks and projects. The typical business setting may not always be ideal for this at first. I find that early in the morning or late at night is a good time as there are less interruptions.
6. Join a networking group.
I have found that you can often learn something of value from almost every type of interaction. Networking not only helps spread the word about your work, but helps sharpen your personal and communication skills. Join an association related to your business or industry, or even venture outside your business circle and join a civics club, local organization, or other community group.
7. Give back.
Giving back to your community grows goodwill for both you and your business. For instance, In my yoga studio, we support a non-profit organization called Project Yoga that provides yoga to underserved communities. We also created ways for people to donate that are fun and aligned with our business philosophy. Find a cause that aligns with your principles and donate what you can: money, time, or both.
Use the new year as an opportunity to assess where you are and where you want to go. But instead of adopting empty resolutions that don’t address your specific needs, instead focus on new commitments. They can help make the lasting change you need in business and life.