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January 2020 Spotlight

Posted By Doug Phares, Thursday, March 26, 2020

Oftentimes people prepare for the New Year by deciding on and declaring New Year’s Resolutions.

New Year's resolutions are a tradition, most common in the Western Hemisphere but also found in the Eastern Hemisphere, in which a person resolves to change an undesired trait or behavior, and / or to accomplish a personal goal or otherwise improve their life, according to Wikipedia. Forty percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions.

A New Year’s Resolution is defined as a firm decision made on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day to do or refrain from doing something over the course of the coming year, according to Oxford dictionaries. Many people decide to lose weight, join a gym to get fit, start walking, swimming or biking every day, quit drinking alcohol, quit eating fast food, change a habit, and so forth. People’s Yew Year’s resolutions may include:

• Get in shape
• Become more active
• Start eating healthier food / or less food overall
• Start writing a journal / book
• Reduce stress
• Earn more money
• Save money
• Get out of debt
• Give up cigarettes or vaping
• Learn to cook
• Improve concentration and mental skills
• Watch less TV
• Learn to be happier with life
• Meet new people
• Spend more time with the people that matter
• Find a new career
• Take a class / get a degree / get a certification
• Learn confidence and take chances
• Learn to control emotions
• Face fears and insecurities
• Stop procrastinating

• Become more polite / kind
• Learn to let go of grudges and prevent moping & blaming
• Get over an ex / former relationship
• Get more quality sleep
• Read more
• Find a significant other
• Become tidier / more organized
• Declutter
• Start drinking in moderation or quit drinking altogether
• Learn a new language
• Volunteer
• Give to charity
• Pick up useful skills or fun hobbies
• Adopt a pet
• Travel
• See a doctor / dentist regularly
• Reinvent yourself
• Stop being late
• Learn how to be more self-reliant
• Turn your hobby into a career
• Start being more responsible
• Learn more about art, music, culture etc.
• Spend less time on social media / turn off the cell phone
• Learn how to defend yourself
• Become more romantic
• Start remembering important dates
• Become more social
• Other: A goal that is not listed here

New Year’s goals are usually extreme makeovers. They can be lofty or unattainable goals without an action plan to back up the goals. These goals are not typically written down or prioritized, rather, they are pronounced.

So, we might want to encourage our clients who have made lofty goals, to take the goals to pen and paper (or computer desktop) in bite size segments.

Rather than saying, “I am going to the gym in 2020,” write a goal that says, “I will attend a dance class for 30 minutes twice a week.”

Or rather than saying, “I am going to lose weight in 2020,” write a goal that says, “I will stop eating fast food and sugary sodas.” “Next, I will begin to walk 10 minutes three times a week.”

The small baby steps make reaching the goals more attainable.

Business Resolutions / Goals
For those of us in business, instead of saying, “I am going to make more money in 2020” consider taking this approach:

Review your services, products, and income (and losses from 2019). Readjust your business budget and ensure there is enough money in your savings account each month / quarter to pay quarterly taxes, if you are a business owner. Ask your accountant to determine your annual tax rate and save that amount each month to ensure taxes are covered.

Don’t forget to build your budget to include annual fees, e.g., business insurance, umbrella insurances, web site ( type fees), hosting fees, Microsoft 365, and other.

Look at your marketing dollars; how and where they were spent; and how much was spent on each activity. Is paying for click-throughs or Facebook ads more profitable than attending conferences and hosting an exhibit booth? Or vice versa? What marketing activities produced the most revenue?

Chart the ups and down to determine if marketing dollars were spent judiciously or not – and make adjustments for 2020.

Make a list of all possible marketing activities, and determine viable expenditures, man-power, and time.

Determine your best / most profitable social media outlet; do your products and services gain more traction on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, or other site? If you notice that one site provides more interest than others, and if you are short on time, think about investing your efforts into only one social media platform – and work it well.

If you introduced a new product or service – and it excelled, you might consider increasing the fee for that product or service. If hat product or service did not gain traction and cost you marketing dollars, you will need to decide of you want to continue for another year, or drop that product or service and marketing campaign; and rather, put the marketing dollars into the product or service that excelled.

Prepare a business action plan for 2020 and chart the changes from 2019 – and indicate completion dates for new activities, e.g., complete the CPCC program by June 30, 2020, to be able to use the new certification and logo on the website and LinkedIn profile; Commit to writing two blogs a week for LinkedIn and/or the website; Commit to attending four community networking events during the next half year; plan to exhibit at one industry conference in 2020. These types of activities elevate credibility and visibility.

Decide if you need to select and complete a new certification in 2020. Save the money and determine a schedule to complete the course.

If you completed a certification in career coaching or resume writing or attended a professional industry conference in 2019, you may consider increasing your prices. The value that you provide clients became elevated.

Business Building
Building a business and managing a business is work. As a professional career coach, I am very good at coaching job seekers. I am very good at writing professional resumes and telling my client’s stories. I am a skilled interviewer; and I prepare my clients for interviews. I write articles and books. I speak at conferences, and I train clients at government agencies, military bases, and companies across the nation, Puerto Rico, and in Europe, Japan, and Korea. However, I was not prepared to manage a business. I jumped into the deep end of the swimming pool without a written plan in the beginning.

After realizing that I needed to write a plan, write my goals, and reevaluate the
plan year after year, my business became solidified and grew

Happy New Year

Take the time needed to write your personal and business goals, on paper. Turn pronounced New Year’s Resolutions into practical, doable, action plans for 2020. Stick to a plan, readjust as needed, and decide and plan to excel as a business owner.

Look at the action plan in March, July, September, and November. Identify and remove or adjust those New Year’s Resolutions that are not viable, and move forward with attaining goals that are working and are viable. Take baby steps in the process.

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