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New year’s resolutions are a bit of a joke these days. Let’s be honest. To the point that breaking them seems par for the course. Only 9-12% of the 41% of Americans who make resolutions in the first place follow through with them.
As business owners, we face this every year too. We set goals for our team, or we have growth forecasts to hit. Right from the jump, we commit ourselves to deliver a long list of lofty promises.
And do we come through?
It would be very glib of me to accuse you of writing checks your…um…”bottom” can’t cash. But statistically, that’s precisely what you’re doing. In the warm, cozy confines of the Christmas holidays and new year celebrations, you concoct all of these wonderful new milestones for you and your business.
Then reality hits. The day-to-day operational issues, supplier delays and client requests. They all conspire to slow your progress to a crawl. Before you know it, you’re preparing for Christmas again, having hardly achieved any of it!
The problem is that you tried to change too much!
We all look for magic bullet solutions, but your mind is just not set up to cope with massive and sudden changes. As much as 97% of your decision-making is done subconsciously. That means that no matter how strong your intellectual resolve is — unless you can internalize your intentions and communicate them favorably to your subconscious — you’re unlikely to see them to fruition.
You might think that working on your subconscious is a personal indulgence you don’t have time for, but trust me: you have to. Like it or not, your business is an extension of you. It exists because you created it and gave it purpose.
If you are locked in a personal battle between your consciously held desires and your subconscious emotional programming, your business will rapidly lose direction and focus.
So with that said, here are three easy new years resolutions that every business owner should make in 2023.
1. Make ‘check-ins’ a part of your everyday routine
What do I mean by this?
I’m talking about taking five or ten minutes twice daily to take yourself off to a quiet space and check in with yourself.
We can often become derailed as we go through our day. We unknowingly carry the baggage of the various issues we encounter into our subsequent decisions on unrelated matters.
By checking in regularly, you’ll be able to hear and let go of your frustrations. Your ‘stuck states’ will be freed, enabling you to address your needs with a level head. Thus improving your ability to lead and your team’s ability to deliver.
2. Take regular ‘VIP Days’
I do this at least once or twice a month, but it’s crucial in getting that 97% of your brain onboard.
A VIP day involves you indulging in your favorite things to do. This could be shopping, a spa treatment, going to your favorite restaurant for lunch…anything.
A big part of why you face so much internal resistance to change is because you are hardwired (thanks to millions of years of inherited, genetic wisdom) to resist it. The change represents the unknown, and the unknown is unsafe!
Bearing in mind that this simple reasoning pre-dates language, reasoning and certainly globalization. It simply doesn’t have the awareness that your conscious mind does. What taking a VIP day will do for you is show your subconscious that you are a person who has taken chances and they have given your more security. Not less.
A significant point of resistance to growth for so many of us is that we simply do not see ourselves as successful. By enforcing the taking of regular VIP days, you’re actively stepping into becoming that new person holistically. And your subconscious will notice.
3. Set micro-goals for your business
It’s easy to drag everyone into a meeting on their first day at work of the new year and proclaim that “this year we’re going to aim to double growth in sales!” before dusting your hands off and returning to your office.
Setting top-level goals is your responsibility, sure. But you won’t get there in one leap!
Going back to what I just said about your subconscious programming. Looking at a high-level goal like that, with no conceivable way to break it down, is simply going to result in overwhelm for you and your team. You need to think about the lower-level steps along the way to achieving that end result and then walk those through with your team.
Of course: delegate operational responsibility for them, but recognize your responsibility to understand what they are in the first place! When everyone can see the path clearly, understand precisely how to execute their part in it and feel confident in their ability to do so: you’ll be unstoppable.
Limiting these to three and keeping them simple is to avoid overcommitting yourself and risking a shutdown. The reason for giving your three personal resolutions (rather than ones for your business directly) is to better resource you in terms of your mental resilience so that you can handle whatever comes your way.
Make no mistake: the challenges of 2022 are likely to continue well into 2023. The best way to hedge against them is by better equipping yourself with the internal resources to guide your team decisively.