May all your troubles last as long as your New Year's Resolutions!
This old traditional toast still applies today. For all of the talk about Resolutions, very few last very long. So, why do we make Resolutions in the first place?
Resolutions have changed significantly over time, but the basic concepts remain the same.
Ancient Babylonians made promises to their gods at the start of each year to return borrowed objects and pay their debts. The Romans began each year by making promises to the god Janus, for whom the month of January is named. It was felt that if Janus was happy then all Romans would prosper.
The tradition is also built into many religions and generally manifests by reflecting upon one's wrong doings over the year as well as both seeking and offering forgiveness. It is often about sacrifice. The concept, regardless of creed, is to reflect upon self improvement annually.
Eventually the practice evolved into what we are more familiar with today - a person resolving to change an undesired trait or behavior, to accomplish a personal goal or otherwise improve their life.
By definition, a Resolution is a firm decision to do or not to do something, or to solve a problem dispute or contentious matter. Therefore, one would think that they would last longer than most do. Perhaps it's because many Resolutions focus on unattainable goals. Baby steps are often required to meet large goals, or to change a behavior or habit.
However, businesses can and do make Resolutions and many do make them stick. Why? Because they build and plan for success.
Consider your business health. Could it be better? Are there things you could and should do to make improvements? Maybe there are things that need to stop, habits that aren't effective anymore. One likely place to make a difference is to look closely at your marketing and communication plans. Are they up to date? How much of your human and financial resources will be devoted to some form of marketing in 2019? What will you do differently?
Many businesses short-change this function to the detriment of the overall business. Areas of focus to consider that are most likely to provide the greatest returns for your business include: communication planning and strategy, key messaging, media relations, social media planning and website updates.
Rather than focusing on very large goals that may not be achieved, take a look at what smaller steps can be taken to move your business forward in key areas. Review your business thoughtfully to identify activities that will move your business forward. Success in one area will pave the way for success in others.
Achieving a few smaller goals will make it easier to take on larger goals. Many people find it helpful to write down their resolutions to keep them in mind. Sharing with others will also keep you honest. The key is to keep moving forward. Don't quit on your business resolutions.
A key business resolution for me in 2018 was to meet and visit with more people. I kept the resolution and found that my business benefitted. So did I. The connections I've made will continue into next year and beyond. It's also been fun reconnecting with people I haven't seen in some time.
No matter how you approach the New Year, it provides opportunities to up your game. Build upon your current successful efforts. Make Resolutions that are doable. Don't make 2019 In one Year and out the other.
Stacy Cornay is the owner of Communication Concepts Public Relations & Advertising.
She may be reached at 303-651-6612; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.comm-concepts.com; Facebook.com/Communication Concepts; Twitter @CommConceptsPR; or Linked In.