The New Year offers opportunities for each and every one of us. Whether you’re looking to press the reset button if things haven’t been going your way or simply renew your focus and build on your recent successes, the New Year affords us all the chance to build a productive, prosperous future. There’s no reason that brighter future should be restricted to your personal life either. Don’t make the inadvertent mistake that many of us do in setting goals or resolutions and neglect your professional life, personal happiness and professional success go hand in hand; ensuring your continued success as a businessperson is at least as important as success in any other aspect of your life. To help you achieve that continued success, on behalf of BNIGTA I’d like to offer you our top 4 tips to help you successfully set your business-related New Year’s resolutions this year.
1. Take a Vacation
Let’s start this list off nice and easy with something we can all agree we would like to do this year given the chance: take a break. As professionals, we all face the same concerns when it comes to leaving work for an extended period. Who will take care of our work while we’re gone? How will we deal with the increased workload when we’re back? Isn’t the work we’re doing right now absolutely crucial to the success of our business? These anxieties are completely normal, don’t let them hold you back. Work ahead as much as your schedules and files allow, lay out a well-structured plan for whoever will be taking up your responsibilities while you’re gone and enjoy a stress-free break from things. You’ll be a better and more effective professional once you’ve taken time off to rest and disconnect from your work.
2. Separate and establish both short and long term goals
One of the biggest problems people have in completing the goals they set as New Year’s resolutions relates to time frame; they set goals that are too long in duration to be attainable in the short term and too short in duration to be real, long-term aspirations. Long term goals should be on a timeline of a year or more, reflecting the realization of your business’ mission statements and your personal career objectives. Short term goals should be on a timeline of days, weeks, or months, and help you take small steps towards those longer goals. In the short term, try implementing a system like S.M.A.R.T. in order to ensure that you can maximize the efficiency of your goal setting. Set a series of both short and long term goals in the New Year and you’ll be in good shape.
3. Be realistic and establish milestones for your long-term goals
There’s an old saying that goes “shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you will land among the stars.” It sounds nice, but it hasn’t been the case in my experience. You need to have ambition, but if you set unattainable goals, you’ll run into the same problem as those who aren’t able to distinguish between short and long term in their goal setting, unable to see real, measurable progress towards those goals can lead to disillusionment and will ultimately hinder your progress rather than help it.
4. Step up your networking
Networking events aren’t always as easy to find as we’d like them to be. Try to track down a regular, scheduled event or set of events in your area. If you can’t find the events you need, organize them yourself. It may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be, contact other professionals in your network and enlist their help. If there aren’t already networking events in your area, there’s likely to be an appetite for them. Seek out those other professionals who are looking to expand and structure their networking too, their help could be the difference maker that allows you to begin hosting your own networking events and take your networking to the next level. I won’t lie to you, though, this will take a lot of work. A whole lot of work. And it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. If it isn’t for you, seek out your local BNI group. We’re the largest organization of our kind in the world, we facilitate billions of dollars’ worth of business every year and we’ll put you in touch with a broad, diverse, group of professionals. Making the effort to join our group will revitalize you and your business and help ensure your continued success.
All the best in 2016.