Actionable Goals ~ Why Resolutions Don’t Work

I hope you are having a great holiday season! As 2016 comes to a close and the New Year is upon us, many of us start thinking about what we want to change and create resolutions to improve both personally and in our businesses. It won’t surprise anyone to hear that a Nielson study found that “Staying Fit and Healthy” is the most popular personal resolution, though studies show that after the first week of January many already break or forget about their goals. For me my personal health resolution for 2017 is going to be to complete an obstacle race like Spartan or Tough Mudder. That was my goal last year too but I didn’t quite get there because of some injury issues. No excuses in 2017!!!

Why don’t most New Year’s Resolutions stick? For one, many people set goals that aren’t actionable. Declaring that you want to eat healthy isn’t as effective as creating a weekly meal plan with brussel sprouts three times a week. Take a vague goal and decide not just what you want to achieve but think about what activities are going to help you achieve that goal, whether that’s a set amount of exercise to do each day, or setting a target ratio of healthy foods on your plate. Find what healthful meals and exercises are working for you and expand them into specific days. Choose activities that are attainable, with the knowledge that you can expand once you hit that goal. Periodically review your goals and activities and course-correct where needed.

Another reason is the lack of relevant targets and measurable indicators. The scale isn’t the only number that matters when staying healthy. Keep in mind that your weight varies throughout the day and week depending on the time of day and  other factors. And as I keep telling myself – muscle weighs more than fat. There are lots of health indicators other than weight that are measurable such as cholesterol levels, your 5k time and the number of times per week you hit the gym – not to mention the constant stream of data from the fitness devices many of us tether to our wrists.

Working as a team is important in keeping resolutions too! Having a support system to hold you accountable to both make and reach your goals, as well as make sure you’re staying on track. The right team can teach you in areas where you need extra guidance or knowledge as well. And a team can also encourage you and cheer you on when you need it most. Having someone in your court can make all the difference in the world.

Resolutions can work and while most of make personal resolutions, we need to make them for our business too. You need to create actionable goals, relevant targets, and follow measurable indicators. Just like weight is all some people focus on in health, many business owners just say they want more sales. There are many equally important indicators of a business’ health such as gross and net profit margins, employee turnover and cash flow to name a few. For every business, these Key Performance Indicators are different and some thought needs to be put into which ones are most important for your business.

If you have a great set of actionable goals, a plan for how you are going to get there and a team around you committed to making it happen – great! If not, give me a call to set up a free first-time client session and see how you and your business can stay healthy and grow in the new year.