Whether resolution or business plan, for success one must be willing to change

EXIT Realty's North East Divisional President, Victoria Rivadeneira A commentary by EXIT Realty’s North East Divisional President, Victoria Rivadeneira

It’s that time of year when we reflect on the past year and welcome in a new one.  We associate the New Year with a fresh start and a new beginning.  Many of us will delight in the tradition of declaring a “New Year’s Resolution.”   We do this because most of us embrace the opportunity to improve our circumstances, raise our standards and desire positive change while on our life’s journey. However, resolutions are known to fail for the majority, probably because they are often just "feel good" statements of wishes we may have without any attached specific activity, targets or time frames for execution.   For a resolution to be taken seriously, it needs to address the aforementioned.

Having just completed the last quarter of the year speaking about business planning, I am reminded how similar resolutions are to business plans.  Both are derived from reflection of the past and hope of improvement for the future.  Updating our business plans from time to time helps us to reassess long-term goals for the health and well being of a business.  Just like a New Year’s resolution, knowing a specific weakness makes it possible to identify strategies to correct, re-adjust and utilize strengths to improve.  It is surprising how many individuals running a business are fearful to identify strengths and weaknesses and create a written plan with specific activity, targets and time frames.  They then wonder why doing the same activities mirroring the prior year brought the same results.  This is the well known theory of insanity, is it not?

Whether, it’s a resolution or a business plan, in order to achieve success, one must be willing to change specific routines and activities for desired results.  That’s why we often tell others our resolutions which creates a sense of accountability forcing a plan of action.  By breaking the big plan down into smaller steps to follow on a monthly, weekly and daily basis, new actions become easier to follow successfully.   The easier the steps, the better the chances for success. The implementation of the action plan is critical to the success of the goal. Every time we do something or neglect to do something, we are working towards certain results. The result received is directly related to doing (or not doing) something.

Too often, businesses develop a great business plan and never review it until next year when writing another; just like a resolution recited on New Year’s Day, only to be abandoned when the holiday is over. The key to any successful plan is keeping a consistent watchful eye on it and evaluating the progress.  So how does one develop a realistic resolution or business plan? Both should have goals or targets that are realistic or they won’t be met. The goals or targets set should be measurable and far enough to reach.  Falling short of your goal should not be construed as failing. As long as you’ve grown in the right direction, you have succeeded.  Keep in mind, small failures aren’t really failures if they are recognized and the plan is readjusted. A goal met through focus and determination will be used as a stepping stone for future goals.

The key to goal setting, whether it a resolution or a business plan, personal or professional, is to recognize what is really important.  If it is important, we will do it, as simple as that. Important means, it must be done, without interruption, distraction or excuses.  Important is a must-have not a wish. Picture this; a parent seeing their child in danger and springing into action immediately!  Everything else at that moment is secondary, including fear.  That is important!

As we welcome in the New Year, take the time to identify what is important.  Whatever it is, if it is truly important, commit to reaching that goal while continuing on the journey of improvement, raising the bar and reaching a little bit further.  May Happiness, Health & Success be yours in the New Year!


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