We are nearly two months into the new year, and I’m thinking about the status of our resolutions.
In the business world, many of us have resolved to pursue revenue growth in one way or another, and our hearts tell us that this year we’ll succeed; our intentions are good!
However, it is commonly said that the road to “you know where” is paved with these good intentions! And as the adage suggests, many of January’s goals will sadly join the ranks of the unachieved, falling prey to the countless emergencies and new priorities that will most assuredly present themselves in the ensuing months.
If you’d like to take measures to avoid this oh-so-typical situation – that is, to avoid sacrificing the important in favor of the urgent, here are five ideas for keeping this year’s resolutions alive and well:
- Set both “result” and “activity” goals. Many of us will plan on increasing sales by X%, but fail to also set the activity goals that will generate the desired result. These may include making an extra number of sales contacts each day, attending a certain number of networking events each week or planning more customer retention meetings each month.
- Schedule the activities identified in step #1. Research indicates that things entered into calendars are less likely to be “postponed” or procrastinated due to other demands on our time.
- Keep score. Goal achievement will require documentation and consistent implementation.
- Measure progress and results; hold yourself and the team accountable for not only completing action steps, but also for assessing the effectiveness of each step.Make improvements or refine the approach as necessary – and be careful to avoid the usually-inaccurate conclusion that, “if the activities don’t produce the desired gains, then these activities are a waste of time!” Instead, if outcomes fall short, it’s better to reexamine execution.
- Hold yourself personally accountable for steps 1 through 4; lead the way!