A better way to make New Year’s Resolutions

51014827_MIt’s the time of the year when most of us are making some big goals for ourselves and our businesses. Goals are important — they help us focus our efforts and give us something to strive for. But the problem is about 80% of all New Year’s Resolutions are forgotten by the end of the first quarter of the year.

The problem is that most of us set too many non-specific goals. Studies show that instead, selecting one important and specific goal for your business can substantially increase your odds of success.

One effective method for setting goals is called the SMART principle. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. Using the SMART approach, quality goals can be created by keeping these things in mind:

  • Make it specific. Instead of a vague goal of increasing your company’s revenues or cutting costs, for example, you’ll want to spell out what you will do to increase your company’s revenue over the course of the year.
  • Make it measurable. Make sure you can monitor your progress and ultimately measure whether you have accomplished what you set out to.
  • Make it achievable or attainable. You don’t want to create goals that are too easy to reach but you don’t want to set yourself up for failure, either. Set a goal that has a level of difficulty but that can be achieved with hard work and dedication.
  • Make it relevant. If you accomplish your goal, will it further your personal and/or business objections or mission? Is this something you want to do?
  • Give it a timeline. Having a deadline can be motivating and give you an exact date in the future to work toward. Otherwise, you might not feel as much urgency.

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