Why Entrepreneurs Should Not Set New Year’s Resolutions
New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work
There are numerous research driven, fact based articles that outline why New Year’s resolutions don’t stick. There’s a ton of psychology stuff that explains this all, but I’m not going there right now.
We’re going to move forward with the premise that less than 10% of the population actually stick to their New Year’s resolutions for any significant amount of time.
And just to clarify here, I’m not talking about SMART goals, I’m talking about resolutions, about “lifestyle wants” and “should dos.”
So if resolutions are not the way to go, what’s the alternative?
The Concept of One Word
You’re an entrepreneur. I get it. Therefore, I bet you’re thinking “there’s no way One Word can encompass all I want to achieve in 2018.”
And I beg to differ.
I’m a list kind of gal. I like seeing down on paper what needs to get done and then crossing items off as I complete them. I actually have an actual bucket list and I still use a notebook to create a monthly budget and mind map my projects.
So you’d would think that writing out yearly resolutions would be right up my alley. And you’d be right.
However, this is my third year not setting New Year’s resolutions and not doing so has changed my business for the better.
Instead of listing out my “resolutions,” I chose a single focus word for the year. It was a word by which I would gauge all my actions when deciding whether a specific task would bring closer to my yearly goal or not. My yearly goal being that one word.
I first tried this in 2016 and my word was actually “Focus.”
I was born with an entrepreneurial spirit and while that means that I have an incredible vision for my business… it also means that I’ve got multiple incredible visions for multiple businesses. And despite liking to think that I can multitask… experience has shown me that having so many passion projects leads me to very little success in any one area.
I chose 2016 as the year during which I’d narrow my active projects down to one and decide where I wanted to put the bulk of my efforts.
Fit Jewess was that one project I decided to invest in.
So, I officially closed down the clothing store I had owned for eight years. I disabled the educational website that had teen empowerment workshops that I had been working on as a hobby. I stopped pursuing online affiliate marketing as a source of passive income.
In 2017 I picked the word “Systems.” As per the E-Myth, I’m a great Entrepreneur, a pretty good Technician, but I’ve got zero Manager in me. It was time to develop systems that I needed so that my business could run like a business rather than a mom-and-pop shop.
I’m amazed at how much I’ve learned about myself and how my business has evolved as I began to apply this concept by filtering my actions through the lens of “will this help me develop a long term system that’ll benefit my business or will it add to the chaos?” I didn’t always make the right decision, but it was a start.
My word for 2018 is “Hustle.”
But enough about me.
Let’s talk about you. And you not making resolutions this year.
Three Steps to Choosing Your One Word
I’d love to invite you to choose your One Word.
This is no simple feat, and is not necessarily done in a single sitting (though it could be), but I’d like to break it down into 3 steps.
1. Consider what you want to accomplish in your business this year.
As an established business, you have a mission statement which is guided by its vision statement. These are both inspired by the reason you personally felt driven to start this business. Make sure that’s all up to date and if the direction of your business has changed at all, now’s the time to make any tweaks.
And as 2017 comes to a close and we welcome in 2018, I assume that you have created a marketing plan for the new year and that you’ve outlined what you want to achieve in 2018.
Now’s the time to ensure that the goals you’ve listed are aligned with your Why, so take a few moments to review it all. To make sure that everything you’ve written on your goals list brings you closer to fulfilling your mission and bringing you closer to your vision.
2. Narrow those ideas to a single word.
Your Why inspires your vision and mission which in turn dictate your goals. Now it’s time to sum up all of those goals into a single word. Look back and see where you struggled last year and look forward and see where you want to strengthen your business next year.
Your One Word will encompass all of your goals and will get to the root of what you feel you want to accomplish this year. Some ideas might be Loyalty (if you want this year to focus on customer service), Execution or Productivity (if you feel like that’s been lacking from you and your team in the last year), or Recognition (if your main goal is to establish your brand in the marketplace), etc…
Create a list of words that you feel match up with your goals/mission in Step 1 and speak each one out loud. Tune in and notice how you feel with each word. Does it just sound like you’re reading out of a thesaurus, or do you feel a little tug in your heart that seems to be saying, “this is it.”
If that last part feels a little too “lovey dovey” for you, that’s fine. Process it in whichever way you like, but your One Word should be one that resonates strongly with you and that almost feels like it’s yours.
When I first heard this idea, I thought it was kinda ludicrous. Well, not the concept, but the verbiage of having a word speak to you. But in my three years of doing this, each time, it’s like the word has leapt out at me and said “I’m yours for the year.”
And each time it’s only brought me closer to the business that I’m looking to build.
3. Commit to your One Word.
You and your One Word will be married for the year so make sure you’re comfortable with commitment.
Put your One Word up – in your workplace, at home, on the dashboard of your car. Let it be visible wherever you are and let that One Word be the filter by which you make business decisions. Ask yourself if the choice you’re about to make, if the task you’re about to do, if the relationship you’re about to initiate is going to support your One Word and bring you closer or further from your vision for 2018.
Let your One Word represent the year 2018.
Try it. It’s not like you have anything to lose. Besides for New Year’s Resolutions.
Sara Kupfer, founder of Fit Jewess, is a fitness coach with the mission of empowering Jewish women worldwide through movement and fostering a community united through body positive and weight neutral fitness. She is a CrossFit L1 trainer and coaches girls and women in person and online. She encourages her clients to view exercise as a way to feel more confident by increasing energy, gaining strength and discovering how amazingly capable their bodies are.