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New Years Resolutions vs. This Years Goals

About Resolutions

Every year, I hear people discussing their New Year’s Resolutions and I can understand why people decide to set them and why they choose January 1st to start their quest. However, I have never been able to jump on board with this tradition.

It’s not that I am ‘better than that’ or don’t have any changes in mind for my life.  I simply think that if I have a change to make, I am going to make it NOW!

While others are deciding in early to mid-December about what they want to change (or what the media tells them to change), I’ve got a 2 week head start.  More likely, it is a larger advantage than that, because the moment I feel unhealthy, behind in my work, or overburdened, I can adjust my schedule and make a change to include a new behavior.

The definition of resolution is “A firm decision to do or not to do something“.  Why do we have to wait until the first day of a new year?

How About Goals?

The majority of businesses (especially small ones) chart their fiscal year from January 1st to December 31st.  Most personal calendars work this same way as well. Goals are much better positioned to be set in a given year.

Revenues, salaries & budgets are all set in the fiscal year (or quarters, but we are talking years today).  It makes sense to set goals within the constraints of your revenues, salaries and budgets, right?

Of course, you can set new goals at any time – and I recommend that you do, if:

  1. You don’t have any goals set yet and it is not near the beginning of your fiscal year.
  2. You have beat your goals already, and it is not near the new goal setting period.
  3. You have overwhelmingly under-performed your goals (see goal setting)

The definition of goal (in our context) is “the result or achievement towardwhich effort is directed“.

Goal Setting

How do you go about setting your goals?  There are quite a few ways.  For me, it is always a list that I feel is attainable within the year.  Most goals require some effort, but should not be out of reach.

I recommend that you use the SMART technique; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.  Search SMART on Google.com for many writeups on how to do this.

My Interesting Conclusion

I have always found that goals, written down and kept handy, are the best way to ensure consistent growth in your business and personal life.  Keep them handy and visible, such as pinned to a wall, PC desktop image, the default homepage on your browser, etc.

I claim that my conclusion is ‘interesting‘ for this unintentional, unconscious result.  A few years ago, I created a list of items I wanted to accomplish on a yellow legal pad.  It was not titled as a set of goals, but they were just that.  Then, I promptly lost that pad.  A little over a year later, I found this pad and its list.  As I looked down the list, I realized that I had accomplished over 75% of the ‘goals’ on that list.

Simply writing down the ideas in my head may have been the thing to push me forward and complete those goals.

What about you?

Do you prefer Goals or Resolutions?  Do you wait until a certain point to start a resolution, or dive right in?  Do you set goals for your business and personal life each year?  Have you in the past and did it work?  Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

Definition Source: Dictionary.com

Your Business on Google Maps

Google Maps introduced a new feature a while back that now shows the names of businesses, right on the map, no charge, one postcard.

Try This

(As of 02/22/2010) go to:  maps.google.com, type “Boiling Springs, PA”  into the search box.  No big deal, right – you get a map centered on Boiling Springs.

Ok, so on the left hand side, right below the orange man – there is a plus sign, to zoom in the map.  Click that once.   Now you can see the High School, Gelinas Bed & Breakfast, and Allenberry ‘listings’.  Click the plus sign again and you see the Boiling Springs Tavern, Boiling Springs Pool, Village Artisans Gallery, Mateya Law Firm, the Boiling Springs, PA Post Office and more.   Another click shows a few more businesses.

I am not sure what rankings determine at what zoom level your business shows up, but it should be clear that your business NEEDS to be here.  Look closer at the listings.  The pool shows a swimmer, using the normal signage icons that you see on the highway.  The tavern shows a martini glass.  Gelinas shows a lodging icon.

Your Business

Check out your own town.  Is your business there?  Can someone stop by your business because they saw you on the map?

If your business is not there, or if you have not taken ‘ownership’ of your business in Google’s directory, you need to do that.  Once you have control of your listing, you can add hours, services, special information and even coupons.  If you work at all on improving your businesses relevance on the internet, this is one thing you need to address.

Get Listed

So – how to get your business listed, if it is not there already?  Go here: Google Local Business Center and follow the instructions.