New Year's Resolutions You Can Keep

Jan. 1 is coming, and it’s time to make those New Year’s resolutions!

Yes, I know I said in an earlier article that the New Year is a bad time to set arbitrary goals about changing your life. But while it may not be the best time to start a successful diet, it can actually be the perfect time to do certain resolution-related things for your business.

  • Accounting: Jan. 1 isn’t just the start of a new calendar year. For most of us, it is also the start of a new fiscal year for our business. So if we’d like to improve on our methods of accounting or record keeping from the past, Jan. 1 is the time to start implementing those improvements so that any new systems we implement cover the whole fiscal year. Many of us don’t get really motivated to make these changes until we have to deal in-depth with the previous year’s mess as tax time approaches in April. By then, at least a quarter of the new fiscal year may have passed and we have missed a prime chance to start improving our systems from the beginning.
  • Statistics & Goals: The calendar/fiscal year is also the natural time frame that most businesses use to set financial and other goals by. As Jan. 1 approaches, it’s a good time to evaluate how you did against your current year’s goals and create a new set of goals (or resolutions) for the new year. Then, put in place a plan that will allow you to make progress towards meeting those goals.
  • Projects: We all have a traditional resolution-type project that has been sitting uncompleted: the file cabinet that needs archiving and shredding, an out-of-control inbox, or computer files that really should have an off-site backup. Take advantage of all that social programming that says you should be making a resolution and use it convince yourself to set aside the time to do some of those projects. Don’t bother trying to convince yourself that your file cabinet will be in that pristine condition three months from now. But at least you’ll start out 2010 in better shape than you ended 2009.
  • Organizing: Some of the pressure for New Year’s resolutions in January comes from retailers as they spend the month pushing sales on products that are targeted at “traditional” resolutions such as organization and weight loss. So if you have any organizing projects that need to be done, now is the time to do them, because you can save money on any supplies you’ll need to complete them. Everything from labelers and fire safes to closet shelving goes on sale in January. Who isn’t motivated to get things done by saving money?

Don’t expect to change your whole life overnight just because the date on the calendar changed. But if you are realistic about your expectations and make the best of the arrival of Jan. 1, you can use it to start off your business year on the right foot.

What will you be doing to start off 2010 better than you ended 2009?

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