The problem with New Year’s resolutions is that most of them fail, and this can be as true of business as it is in our everyday lives.
Meeting up at our first MEG of 2020, we focused on what planning really means, how much randomness can alter our plans, and what the more realistic ways of looking ahead might be.
The Problem with Resolutions
Apparently, around 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. Part of the problem may be the word itself. Resolution is pretty strong-sounding. It demands a level of commitment which many of us can’t sustain.
Resolution suggests iron-willed discipline rather than flexibility, but it is flexibility, more often than not, which gives us the space to make changes.
Here’s another thing with making business resolutions: a lot of what will happen in business depends on other people.
You can find yourself very much at the mercy of their calendar, even if you’ve pencilled in some milestones of your own.
Planning at the start of the year may not really compensate for the randomness we may then experience as the year unfolds
Therefore, rather than make a bold declaration about change, why not take time to consider how you would like things to be different?
How Change Works
The drama of enacting a resolution might seem appealing at first, but often the reality of change in business is that it takes small but persistent steps, and a developing a large degree of self-knowledge.
There has to be some proper discernment behind change:
- Recognising what obstacles have prevented you from doing the stuff you really wanted to do
- Realising that change might come as much from stopping some things as starting others.
Change might be about filtering your workload and, ultimately, repositioning yourself in your market.
Or it could involve finding the right balance between expanding your business and still retaining a clarity of vision.
When it comes to clients or customers, you are only a sub-plot in their story. You might have a vision of how your own story should unfold, but will your version of your business tally with theirs?
Realistic planning therefore should also be about recognising your limitations, and working out how to make the most of your time and resources.
Above all, real life, with all its messiness and randomness, can get in the way of even the best-laid plans.
When or if this happens, the most important qualities will be resilience and a degree of acceptance: sometimes change comes from unexpected places, and it runs at its own pace, not yours.
Develop a Support Network
Change need not be a singular force of will, nor do you have to face problems and obstacles alone.
Developing a good support network should be an essential aspect of running your own business.
What does this look like? Come down to MEG for an informal, friendly networking breakfast and find out.