5e37cf34c15eb35119d9c46bc11abf8bThe new year is just around the corner, and we all know what that means: You’re about to get bombarded with commercials, emails, blog posts, billboards, flyers, ads, and any other available medium used to convey messages (smoke signals likely not included) that will remind you that it’s time to make a New Year’s resolution. Oh joy.

Sorry to be a Scrooge, but I’m terrible at keeping my New Year’s resolutions. I resolved to stop eating junk food, do pilates daily, and be more “present” about five years ago, and as I write this I’m eating a pastry, thinking about my to-do list for the week, and have made zero plans to exercise any body part aside from my brain (is brain pilates a thing?).

Why can’t I keep my resolutions? Probably because those three things I resolved to do are really freaking hard. I’d be impressed with myself if I could keep just one of them. Let’s be honest: I set myself up for failure. I had no strategy to accomplish those goals, and without a plan, my motivation is minimal.c41dac4a9ba7392415d545c27bbdeb71

With strategy, and a plan, those resolutions don’t look so scary. 

This doesn’t just apply to personal resolutions—think of your business, and all of the goals you want to set for it. You can reach those goals if you have strategies and a plan for implementing them.

This morning, I stumbled across a post by Lewis Howes, a former pro athlete and current entrepreneurial champ. He shares 5 Steps to Dominating in Business in 2014, and they’re pretty doable. My favorite step is the very first one:

1. Set action-oriented goals early, not on New Year’s Eve.
Goal setting should be part of your daily and weekly routines, and should not be based on a calendar year or month. In 2014, don’t make New Year’s resolutions based on what you promise to stop doing or a change in your behaviors. Instead, set goals today as to what new actions you will make to get you closer to your desired outcome.

By setting actionable goals that move you forward, you move toward your goals rather than simply stopping behaviors that leave you at a standstill.

Howes is right—the best time to start planning is now.

Bailey KoharchickBailey Koharchick

I firmly believe in three things: Creativity, dedication and adaptation. I work at the No.1 business planning company in the world.