According to research, the failure rate for people keeping up their New Year’s resolutions is around 80%, with most individuals losing their resolve within 6 weeks. It is estimated that only 8% (1 in 12 people) stick with their resolutions over the entire year.

Why do New Year resolutions fail?

One of the key reasons New Year resolutions fail is that they are not specific enough. For example, “I want to create more work-life balance in 2024” is a great mission to have but it has no accompanying road map showing your desired result or how to get there.

The same could be said of New Year resolutions for your business. While resolutions focus on the idea of achieving, goals focus on the effort needed to achieve them. They are more action oriented, which makes it easier to create and follow an action plan. And New Year’s resolutions are often focused on short-term goals, which may not be aligned with the long-term goals of a business.

How to turn your company’s New Year resolutions into goals

Transform your New Year resolutions into S.M.A.R.T goals by making them specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time prescribed.

Create goals for different areas of your life
The best approach to the goal setting process is to first define your priorities. You may be most concerned about getting your personal or business finances in order, but how about the other areas in your life? If you set one or two goals in each area, you will very likely see a ripple effect across every area. Consider these areas of your life:

  • Personal life
  • Relationships
  • Business plans
  • Career development
  • Financial security
  • Health and fitness

Write your goals down

Writing down your goals is the start of the SMART goal setting process. When goals are written down you will be more likely to intellectually engage with them and emotionally connect with the results you want to achieve. It helps to provide clarity – taking your goals from being envisioned to being more concrete and real.

When drafting your goals, try to answer five “W” questions:

  • What do I want to accomplish?
  • Who is involved?
  • Which resources or limits are involved?
  • Where is it located?
  • When is the goal deadline?

Ensure your goals are attainable

Your goals need to be realistic and attainable to be successful. While they can be stretch goals, which exercise and grow your capabilities, it is important they remain possible. When you set an achievable goal, you may find yourself identifying previously overlooked opportunities or needing to find new, additional resources that enable success.

  • Ask yourself “Why?” The first step to making your goals attainable is to link each one to a “why?” When you take the time to understand why you want to reach a goal, the resulting drive helps to avoid distractions and provides focus and determination.
  • Break your goal down into action steps. Select the goal you’d like to achieve then identify the steps you must take to reach that goal, moving in chronological order. Break down the first step into daily tasks you can accomplish. Each of the subsequent steps can also be broken down into daily plans.
  • Identify the resources you need to reach your goals. In a business context there are several kinds of resources that will support achieving your goals:
    • Time is a valuable resource, and effective time management is essential to reach goals.
    • When it comes to time saving and efficiency, specific IT equipment and software might be necessary.
    • Taking on experienced, high performing people can make all the difference in reaching business goals instead of being overwhelmed or stagnating.

Track your goals in a visible place

Reviewing your written goals and action plan to measure progress on a regular basis helps you stay motivated and on track.  Visual measurement comes in many forms from habit trackers to journals, weekly planners or even using a whiteboard. Whichever method you choose, keeping your goals visible will make sure you don’t forget about them – starting with having a list of your goals up on your wall.

Here are 3 ideas for tracking business goals:

  • Use a project management tool. This makes it easy to create customised “goal project” folders and assign task due dates to ensure you stay on top of your goal progress.
  • Make goal tracking collaborative. Bring your team members into the goal tracking process.
  • Keep a journal. Even though it may be seen as better for tracking personal goals, keeping a journal can be a powerful way to track your business goals, too. By writing down your goals, reflecting on your progress, and noting any challenges, you create a record of your journey.

Employees contribute to a company reaching it goals

Being properly staffed and taking on the right people is vital for the success and growth of any business. With the right team members in place, goal setting provides direction and focus, which helps the team reach company objectives. And goal setting is a tool that can be used to create purpose and engage team members, increasing their job satisfaction and fulfillment. By being clear on the contribution each person makes to reaching company goals, leaders provide purpose, motivation and are able to empower each individual to hold themselves accountable, to keep track of their progress with support and encouragement along the way.

Do you have the right people in place to reach your goals in 2024?

You do not have to be so bogged down under the weight of everyday tasks that you do not have the time to formulate and achieve exciting new goals for your business – to see it thrive and grow in the year ahead. Cost saving and efficiency are two key drivers to success in today’s challenging marketplace. And taking on experienced Virtual Assistants with the right skills and experience deliver on both. They are the key to freeing up a business leaders’ time so you can focus on important work and oversee reaching the goals that will ensure business success in 2024.