The new year has arrived, and along with it, perhaps a renewed sense of vigor to tackle a list of tasks that were left undone in 2020. However, naming resolutions to accomplish over the next 12 months usually proves to be easier than achieving the set objectives. Use the following tips from Wisconsin entrepreneurial, finance and fitness experts to follow through on your 2021 personal and professional goals.
- Develop a road map, and write all your ideas down. Start with a plan. Every successful business owner needs a plan of action of how you hope to execute your business model.
- Create a kitchen cabinet of helpers. These can be individuals you are already know and work with—or that you decide to contract with to outsource needed assistance.
- Cultivate connections by networking. This is key in regard to expanding your contacts and promoting your business. (Finding opportunities to network virtually works too!).
- Avoid obsessing about money. Enjoy the process and have passion for your business and “the hustle.”
- Learn your niche. Industries, even those with global reach, have become very niche specific. Many small businesses identified a “special sauce,” then proceeded to take over that segment of the market .
- Keep track of all your financial and expenditures. There are apps (like InDinero, LivePlan and Wave) that can help with this.
- Surround yourself with the right people. Everyone needs a team of supporters to run ideas by and/or help move your plan forward.
- Stay ahead of the market. Do research, know your brand and services, plus keep improving it.
- Self-care—always! Maintain a healthy mindset by striving to maintain a balance between work and your personal life.
Want to be a better budgeter? LBW Wealth Management co-founders Timothy S. Bickmore and Daniel J. Weiss suggest simplifying in manner that makes less begin to feel like more.
- Ask yourself: Is it worth the “calories”? Tim talks about all the time how when he finds a cookie (he loves cookies!), he always puts himself in check and pauses to think about “how good is that cookie?” Is it good enough? Could bring him greater happiness, thus, is worth eating? Sometimes the answer is yes; sometimes it’s no. It depends on the timeframe and the particular cookie. Not all cookies are created equal. Same with overall spending. Don’t spend it unless you really, really think it’s worth it—and it brings enough joy. Quantify what has value specifically to you related to what you purchase. What you value is not the same as what someone else value, which is completely OK.
- Elude spending if you don’t have it. It really is the thought that should count. We know the holidays always come at the end of the year. This means that each year we have 10-plus months to save. Sounds simple right, it is simple…Maybe not easy to do, but simple. Take advantage of this if you can. Trust me, no family member or friend wants you to overspend and use debt to buy them things. This makes your purchases more expensive, plus likely indicates that you can’t afford those purchases if you aren’t able to pay them off within the month. No friend or family members would accept a gift knowing that later may put them in a situation of having to assist you financially at a higher cost—all because you purchased presents outside of your means. If you can save for items you wish to spend on, outstanding! If you can’t, remember: Gifts take many forms; not all are material.
- Do an expenses analysis on a consistent basis. We know this is harder than said, but financial clarity is the first step to financial freedom. Which is why this is the heart of what our firm does professionally. Know where you stand before you start making changes in terms of budgeting and optimizing how you utilize cash flow. The long-term result will be less stress—and more capacity to obtain the things that are important to you. We know many people shy away from the results of such an exercise, but the results are there regardless. It’s just a matter of do you want to be prepared…or not? Success doesn’t often happen without preparation.
Need a nudge to be more active this winter than in previous years? Fitness model and TRX master instructor Shana Verstegen advises coming up with a concrete plan to individuals she trains at Supreme Health and Fitness. “It is one thing to have an idea—but to write out that goal, share it with others and come up with a game plan—is the secret to success,” she says. Verstegen also recommends:
- Set a specific goal. Simply saying “I want to lose weight” is setting yourself up for failure. How much weight do you want to lose? Five pounds? Ten pounds? Do you want to change clothing sizes or reach a certain percentage of body fat?
- Come up with a “WHY.” Envision how your life will be different once your goal is achieved. Create a desire to get there. How important is this to you? If you find that the goal isn’t something very important, you may need to reevaluate it.
- Be realistic. Even though you have seen people lose 20 pounds in one or two weeks on TV does not mean this is realistic—nor healthy. Base your goal on success you have had in the past in addition to how hard you are willing to work.
- Come up with an action plan. If your goal is fitness/weight-loss related, get into the gym, meet with a trainer and figure out the best way to achieve it. Write down specific planned actions. For example: “I will drink 70 ounces of water daily”—or “I will run for 30 minutes, non-stop one day per week for the next 10 weeks.”
- Write it down. Don’t just write down your goal; write down every little goal and part of your action plan you want to achieve in your calendar.
- Involve others. The more people aware of your goals and intentions, the more people there are to hold you accountable. Post it as a Facebook status; share it with your trainer; or challenge friends and family to achieve similar goals with you. The more of a support system you have, the better!
- Have fun. At times, working toward your goals can be daunting. Find ways to make it fun! If you hate running for weight loss, then don’t! Try shaking your hips in a Zumba class or a recreational outdoor activity such as cross-country skiing. Also try inventing a mini-reward system for yourself (like a new workout outfit) for each step obtained toward your goal.
- Start now. If you procrastinate, progress will not happen. It just won’t. Start today while the resolution is fresh in your mind.