A recent study showed that over 80% of New Year’s resolutions are forgotten by February. After years of this happening to me, I stopped making resolutions and replaced them with a word to theme my year. Instead of making resolutions on January 1, I spend the month of January developing a thoughtful plan that incorporates my word. I also regularly use a concept called STOP/Start/Continue to help focus my planning.
First, I start with a few questions that help me focus. The question that prompted this year’s word was, “What aspect of my business needs my focus and attention this year?” Armed with colored pens and Post-It notes, I sat at a picnic table overlooking the ocean to work on outlining my plan recently.
On each colored Post-It, I wrote a word or phrase that represented a business focus for the year– sales and marketing, messaging, administration, and revenue-.
As I started working on the goals to support each category noticed that the first letter in each word could spell SMART. I added two personal categories energy management and relationships to change SMART to SMARTER which is my word for the year. I want to be smarter with every aspect of my business and personal life. I’d invite you to be SMARTER too.
If you haven’t developed a theme or word for your year or didn’t set new goals, you can borrow mine and answer a few questions I have posed below to help you be SMARTER this year:
S – Sales & Marketing
Have you set a quota for contacts or sales calls with your customers?
If you work in sales or marketing, how can you improve your craft this year?
If you aren’t in sales and marketing, what could you learn about it that would make you more valuable to your organization?
What principles of sales and marketing do you need to understand more fully?
M – Messaging
What message do you send your internal and external customers when you answer voice mail and email messages timely (or do you ignore them, only responding to what is most important to you)?
How and with what frequency is your organization communicating to there end user customers?
What is your personal brand and how do you communicate that to your colleagues?
A – Administration
What administrative skills need polish?
What systems could you use more effectively or create to maximize your effectiveness in your job?
R – Revenue
What are your organization’s financial goals for the year? Yours?
What financial aspects of your organization do you need to understand more clearly?
How can you learn more about investing to create a better future for yourself and your family?
T – Technology/Social Media
How can you educate yourself about technological advances?
What technology is frustrating to you?
Who do you know who uses technology well? Can you use them as a resource?
What technology or social media is an impediment to your productivity?
E – Energy
Where do you get your energy?
Are you taking good care of your mind and your body?
What healthy activities can boost your mood and energy level?
R – Relationships
How do you value the people in your life that are most important?
What can you do to place a higher priority on your personal and business relationships?
Are there any apologies that you have been putting off?
These are just a few questions to help get you thinking. I hope my process of becoming SMARTER can help you discern what your focus should be in 2023. What is your word?