New Year’s resolutions are easily made and just as easily broken. According to a Wikipedia entry on the topic, a recent study showed that 78% of the people who make New Year’s resolutions fail to keep them.
Research done by psychologist and author Professor Richard Wiseman showed that those who succeed have certain characteristics in common:
- They are specific with their goal setting, not general. For example, instead of “lose weight,” a goal people can more easily reach is to lose a pound a week by cutting out complex carbs and exercising three times a week.
- Successful resolution makers tell others about their resolutions.
My personal resolutions are just like everyone else’s – lose weight, exercise more, save more money. I also resolve to make my resolutions more specific this year, in an attempt to be one of the 22 percent who succeed in meeting their goals. But business resolutions are less predictable. I know, because I asked a wide range of other small business owners what their business resolutions are for the new year. I’ll get to mine, but first I’ll share some from other small business owners’:
1. Eric Brody, President, Trajectory (a branding and marketing company in Morristown,N.J., working across health, wellbeing and beauty):
Eric’s resolution is to more strongly focus. “To focus our passion, people, products, process, procedures to better deliver results in the industry verticals in which we provide the most experience and expertise to our clients.”
2. Elayne Kling, owner, ZP Auto (auto repair shop) and ZP Vintage Stuff (vintage fashion & home accessories ), Williamsburg, Brooklyn , N.Y.:
Elayne comments that, after a move to a new location in 2011, she resolves to improve her company’s online presence. “I’ve also expanded to include a completely different business, so I’ll be working hard on tying the two together online with social media, blogging and coupon promotions.”
3. William A. Regen, Partner, Regen, Benz & McKenzie, CPA’s P.C. (an accounting firm in New York City):
Bill says he will focus on communication with clients: “I always find that the most important part of my business is communicating with clients, making sure they I respond to them timely and effectively.”
4. Douglas Simon, President & CEO, D S Simon Productions (a video production company headquartered in New York City, with offices in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Chicago):
“My resolution is to travel more in support of my regional offices,” Doug says. “I recognize the challenge of running a separate office in a different location and that it is easy to become separated from the headquarters operation. By traveling more, it will dramatically increase growth opportunities for the company and for those I employ in those key positions. Building the strength of our DC, LA and Chicago offices are a major goal of the company. Increasing my travel will help us be successful.”
5. Lee Weinstein, President, Weinstein PR (a Portland, Oregon-based boutique PR agency):
“My resolution is to give our business a hard scrub,” Lee says. “I’ll be looking at what we need to stop and start doing, what our weaknesses are, and how we can take our work up to the next level. I particularly want to examine where I spent my time as CEO in 2011, and how I need to work differently going forward to be of maximum value to the business and our associates.”
6. Andrea Westmeyer, President, RMi (RMi provides marketing measurement and optimization services for the pharmaceutical industry. The firm is headquartered in Des Moines, and also has offices in New York City and Los Angeles.)
“One of my resolutions: think creatively about where competition may be lurking,” Andrea says, “and then ask myself if they are a potential partner rather than foe.”
7. My own business resolution for Bridge Global Strategies is to keep my vision for the company in front of me at all times, and be more vigilant in assessing all of our activities to make sure our time is spent in ways that further that vision. There’s always pressure to spend time on things that may seem admirable and worthwhile, but don’t help us progress. I want to be very careful to stay on course.
Since the research shows you’re more likely to be successful with your New Year’s resolutions if you share them with others, I invite you to share them with us here. (Come on, spill your guts – it will help you take the first step!)