t's hard to believe that it’s only been a few weeks since we welcomed 2012. To me, the holidays feel like they took place months ago, and I’m hearing this from other women entrepreneurs, too. The New Year flipped by and we all jumped right in and barged full steam ahead.
Now that we're a month in, I think it’s a good time to pause and reflect. According to one study, 35 percent of people break their resolutions by the end of January. What better time to refresh your company and yourself?
From experience, I can say that it’s hugely important to set goals for the New Year. According to the National Women’s Business Council, women who set high goals for their business are much more likely to succeed. Without strategic growth goals, revenue goals and personal goals, it's harder, if not impossible, to get beyond simply “surviving.”
Women entrepreneurs grow exponentially when given access to the right tools, coaching and community. Having worked with women business owners for more than a decade, I’ve learned that that’s one of the most important distinctions between highly successful women business owners and those who are stuck with so-so prospects, flat sales, and too much work: They have a community, and they have goals.
Just look at Theresa Alfaro Daytner, CEO of Daytner Construction Group, who increased her businesses revenue from $100,000 to over $3 million in three years because she decided to set profit goals. Today, she’s at $17 million. Yes, you read that right: $17 whopping million.
But before you set goals, you’ve got to make sure that you’re feeling fully refreshed in your own life. Here are some of my thoughts and suggestions on how to do so.
- Take care of you. Before you can properly take care of your family, community, company and world, you must first take care of yourself. That means doing the things we all know we’re supposed to do: eating well, exercising, trying to keep stress levels at a minimum, and so on. It also means seeing the doctor once a year. You need to include doctors and other health professionals as part of your personal team, like athletes do. I had my annual physical on Jan. 4 to make sure my body was ready for the year ahead.
- Ask for help. I am a firm believer in not doing everything by yourself. That’s why communities exist—to help us feel like we’re not alone. And that’s a big reason I created Count Me In: to give women entrepreneurs a place to make connections, ask questions and feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves. Engage all the help you need. Drop the notion that you have to everything alone.
- Envision the outcome you desire. I always tell people to start with the end in mind, in every aspect of their lives. Define what success looks and feels like to you, so you have something to work toward. You have to see it before you can devise a plan to get there. One good way to do this is to make an outline or list of your desired goals along with a strategic plan for getting there. And then, of course, follow it!
For more tips on moving in the right direction and attaining real control of your life, work and future in the New Year and beyond, check out my book Stepping Out of Line: Lessons for Women Who Want It Their Way...In Life, In Love and At Work. I’d also love to hear any of your thoughts and suggestions and suggestions on ideas on starting the New Year off right—leave them in the comments below.