New-Year-ResolutionsI’m done making New Years Resolutions. At least those that span all year.

Couple problems. First, if I miss something, I might feel like it’s OK to give up until next year. Second, it assumes I know what’s good for me 6-9 months from now. And although I have a plan for the business and vision for my personal goals for the full year, I’d prefer to set short-term goals to make progress.

Or not. But if I fail at some of these, I can reset and get right back on the horse for February.

I’m really excited about the year ahead – for Heinz Marketing, for our team and business, and for my family. Below are a handful of both professional & personal resolutions I felt were worth sharing, as they might be helpful for your growth goals as well.

January professional resolutions

Dedicated time for reading, writing and thinking
I need to be doing all three of these daily to be effective at my job. But I also know that if I make it an even more regular habit, all of our work and results will improve. This means literally blocking time on the calendar to get it done, and getting better at some of the resolutions below to make time for it.

Daily priority list discipline
I’m pretty good at making to-do lists, but I’m not as good at getting the most important 1-2 things done each day, and ideally early/first each day. This requires a greater execution discipline than I regularly have, but the first 1-2 things on my list are always more important than the next four combined (and then some). And I’m OK not finishing my to-do list as long as the first 1-2 get done daily.

Daily prospecting
We’re blessed with a lot of great inbound leads that have fueled our growth, but in January I’m making a regular habit of proactively building relationships and pipeline from the companies we consider in our specific sweet-spot. It’s easy to feel good about inbound lead volume and activity, but more leads aren’t necessarily the right leads.

Design a formal training & continued education program for our company
I’m not just talking about forwarded articles and recommended webinars. I want to be more proactive and intentional this year at making our team better, constantly improving our skill set, and helping our people set themselves up for better short-term results with clients and long-term results in their career. In January, that means putting time into making that program a reality.

Automate & delegate more work from my plate
Although we use a ton of automated tools to help us execute, and we have both an assistant and an intern that get a lot of work done for us, I still hold onto too many things I should execute. We all do. First step is making a specific list of these things, and the next step is to design and delegate the process of execution. Easier said than done, but it needs to be done for me to be more effective & productive the rest of this year.

Email in offline mode more often
I do keep my email in offline mode, but not nearly for long enough periods of time. I’m not talking about checking email only twice a day or something crazy like that. But if I could simply keep email off for an hour or two at a time, I’d be able to stay more focused on the right priorities in front of me.

January personal resolutions

Food, water & step goals
I need to lose some weight, but setting a goal of weight loss only addresses the end game vs. proscribing the means. So this January, I have four weight-related goals. One, I’ll drink at least 64 ounces of water a day. Two, I’ll track my food via the FitBit food log. Three, it’s Dry January (no alcohol until February 1). And four, I’ll average at least 10,000 steps a day. These are specific things I can do, and if I do them regularly, I will start getting into the shape I want.

Dedicated nights off each week
Tuesdays and Thursdays, when I get home, the laptop and smartphone go into the home office and don’t come out until morning. When I did this previously, it forced me to be more efficient with work time earlier in the day plus ensured I had at least two nights a week to focus on family, home projects and time with my wife.

Up at 5:00 a.m. every day
I used to LOVE doing this, in part because the house was mine alone for about an hour, and also because I could do things to help me get a more productive start to the day. Sometimes that means reading the paper, sometimes it means cleaning up the kitchen from the night before, and sometimes it’s just a casual & slow cup of coffee.

The other advantage of one-month resolutions is that they’re often smaller, more accessible, and easier to hold yourself accountable in a short period of time.

To that point, at the beginning of February I’ll post a quick update with how I fared, and what I’m resolving to accomplish in the next month.