With another year behind us, and a holiday season filled with enough sweets and eats to keep you satiated for the next eleven months, it’s time to think about the New Year. Sure, some people consider resolutions at the dawn of a new year cliché and overdone, having a definitive span of time to accomplish certain goals running annually makes it much easier to track them. In the business world, goals are often much more important to keep than your standard “lose five pounds, eat better” ones. When you set business goals, they can help to guide you to success, and make impacts that not only benefit you but your colleagues and the general well being of the company.

If you’re looking at the year ahead wondering what goals to set, consider incorporating a few of these ideas into your repertoire, or if you’re feeling particularly motivated, go for the full dozen and look back at 2018 in a year at all the improvements you have made to your business, your morale and your company.

January: Identify Areas for Improvement Early On
Take the beginning of the year to review the past year, and identify areas that could use improvement. This can be areas that you’d like to focus more attention, places where there is waste, or potential for better productivity. Once you have identified these ideas, you’ll be able to create a course of action to improve and make 2018 your best year yet.

February: Set a Small Goal Every Month
Each month is a good reason to accomplish a small goal. Whether it is to get one new client, or to save money on office supplies, small goals can add up over the entire year to savings, or improved profit. These goals help you to feel accomplished and know that you have improved from the prior month. Small goals add up to become big accomplishments.

March: Look for Feedback in Unexpected Places
It’s easy to take feedback through traditional routes, but it is important to look for feedback in places where you might not normally find it. Instead of talking to suppliers to get ideas on up and coming trends, try talking to other vendors or smaller clients to get new ideas. Feedback can come in many forms, so be willing to accept it from wherever it is available.

April: Take a Dedicated Vacation
Everyone wants to take a vacation, but all too many people let it go the wayside, cash in vacation time at the end of the year, or take a day here and there to go to appointments or take a long weekend. A dedicated vacation is important for your mental health, and helps you to get a clear mind at work once you’ve returned.

May: Lay Down the Law for Business Hours
It’s easy during the winter hours to stay late or answer emails from home, but as the summer months approach you should really start sticking to a schedule. If you are constantly answering calls and writing emails during all hours, people will come to expect it from you and will react negatively if you start to limit your availability.

June: Do What Makes You Happy
It’s important to do things in the office and on your own time to make sure that you stay happy. In the office it can be small, either by brightening your workspace or treating yourself to a favorite snack in your mid-afternoon break, or big by leaving a job that you aren’t happy with. You spend a lot of your life working, do everything you can to enjoy it.

July: Find Time to Improve the Day to Day
The day by day is the foundation to the entire structure of business. Identifying areas each day that could be improved to make the rest of the day run smoother will help with the overall well being of the company. Small improvements will add up to make both the company and employees happier and better satisfied.

August: Keep a Clear Focus on the Big Picture
While focusing on the day to day is important, don’t lose sight of the big picture. It is important to balance between the two. Any changes to the day to day should help to improve the big picture as a while. As long as you have your eyes on the target you can stay focused on all the moving parts to ensure all goals are met.

September: Try a New Approach to an Old Idea
September is another time for new beginnings, so if you’ve been dealing with an idea the same way for awhile, it may be time to freshen things up and look at it from a new perspective. Just because something has been done the same way for a long time, it doesn’t mean it is necessarily the most efficient or cost effective method.

October: Prepare Early for Scheduled Projects
As you enter the final quarter of the year, it’s time to start looking at the schedule and timing projects accordingly. People take more vacations and long weekends as the holidays approach, so start preparing for any upcoming projects ahead of time before the season starts to get hectic and the rush of the end of the year and holidays puts projects behind schedule.

November: Recognize the Importance of Recognition
As November approaches, people start to think of the things they are thankful for. So include your colleagues in this, and show appreciation for what they do. Recognition isn’t expected, but when people are recognized, it helps with their morale to improve their motivation and attitudes.

December: Share the Wealth When Possible
December is a time for giving, so if your company has been profitable, share some of that profit with those who have helped to bring it to its success. A year end bonus is a way to show people that they are valued. If you’re able to plan for this throughout the year, then you will ensure that you can reward your staff.

Powered by Marion Fernandez & The Galiano Group Writing Team.