Mid-Winter Check-In: Are You Keeping Those Resolutions?

New Year's Resolutions It was less than two months ago that many of us were resolving to exercise more and eat less, while also outlining steps to build a more productive, effective and prosperous business in 2013.

Whatever the individual resolutions you set on January 1st, chances are you’ve already broken some of them. Resolutions are notorious for being broken, but that doesn’t mean they have to be abandoned. Setting goals is essential to running a successful business and February is a good time for reviewing progress and retooling for the months ahead. Here’s a quick guide for getting back on if you’ve fallen off your resolution wagon.

Review: Think about that popular weight loss resolution for a moment. Maybe the reason you aren’t making it to your targeted 6 a.m. workouts six days a week is because the goal was unrealistic to start with. Or maybe, you set a goal to lose weight, without a game plan for accomplishing it. Now you have a choice: Abandon all your workout goals or reconsider what you might realistically accomplish. The same holds true for whatever resolutions you set for your business: Consider whether the resolutions you’ve broken were impossible goals, or if perhaps you made them without a strategy in mind. This list of popular business resolutions indicates that many goals like “fix my website,” “improve customer service,” or “keep better books” are pretty broad and might benefit from a little fine tuning. Which brings us to the second step…

Revise: If your goal was to improve customer service but you see no movement in that direction, now is a good time to outline some more specific steps for meeting that goal. Likewise, if you set a specific target for new business leads and after weeks of focused work are nowhere close to that number, it may be time to revise that goal to something that you might realistically attain. One business consultant advises that in addition to setting long term goals, its wise to set smaller milestone goals as well. To return to the weight loss metaphor for a moment, one donut eaten during a moment of weakness does not have to turn into a week-long binge; It might just mean that you have to build space for setbacks in your long-term goals. After you revise, be sure to…

Remind: It’s important to keep reminding yourself and your team of both your short and long-term goals. There’s still a lot of 2013 left and after this month there will likely still be new challenges, sudden opportunities and surprising setbacks. Resolutions set on January 1st are a nice way to usher in a new year, but in the day-to-day grind of running a business, we can easily lose sight of our longer-term goals. This piece wisely reminds business people to keep goals in front of yourself and everyone else.  Doing so won’t ensure that you’ll meet all of your goals but it will help to keep you focused.

What are you tips and tricks for sticking to your business goals? We’d love to get your feedback in the comments below!