New Year, New Me?

It’s the first week of January and most entrepreneurs have set themselves goals for the new year. Just like our personal resolutions, many of these involve a complete overhaul of certain habits that are holding you back or creating friction in your life or business. While these are a noble undertaking, there’s a reason our goal to hit the gym 4 days a week or eat nothing but salads only last for an average of 2 weeks – they are unsustainable changes that don’t address the root of the habit itself!

So while it’s great advice to focus on the future, not look back and ask for big things from yourself and your business, big changes are unlikely to stick unless you are able to unlearn your previous habits and create new ones in their place.

As a small business owner, there are likely things that you and/or your team are doing that could be more efficient, productive or effective but old habits die hard. You may not have the time or resources to jump into a new way of doing something, or you simply don’t have the knowledge you need to know that you will excel at it. In order to hit those big goals you’ve got this year thorough, you’re going to have to take a look at what you want to improve or add to your business through the lens of “what habits do we have now?” and “what do I want those habits to look like instead?”.

There are many books about how important habit building is, such as Atomic Habits by James Clear or The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, and how to hack your current habits and make minor changes that will get you closer to your goals. We highly recommend grabbing both books and making them your starting point to understanding how you can make more progress by removing the roadblocks that habitually get in your way.

You may be wondering what your habits have to do with hitting a million dollar sales target, adding another product line or opening an online shop this year and though what you do every day will move the needle on these goals, the biggest reason habits are important is because often they are what’s stopping you from taking action towards your goal.

This looks like having a habit to check in on your team too often (ie. micromanaging) or taking on too many tasks you could delegate. It looks like being constantly available and allowing your phone to become a distraction. It looks like ignoring the need to automate tasks or hire an expert to do a time intensive task that would free you up for more important things.

If you’re looking to make major gains in your business this year, consider setting aside the intensity (and impracticality) of the “New Year, New Me” mentality and instead examining the habits you and your team have that keep you from taking the small daily steps needed to achieve your goals this year!

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