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10 New Year’s Resolutions for a More Successful 2012

By:     Topics: Entrepreneurship     More posts about: ,

The New Year is a fresh start.

The person you were last year no longer exists. All that matters is who you are on New Year’s Day and who you become by the end of the year.

January 1st is a perfect time to make a personal change, but it’s also a perfect time for entrepreneurs to make big changes to their businesses.

The 12 resolutions below are for entrepreneurs hoping to help their business thrive in 2012.

#1 Resolve to Finish Every Project You Start

I’ve written previously about how most entrepreneurs have so many good ideas, that it can be difficult finish one project before starting the next one.

Don’t make that mistake this year. If you decide to develop a business, commit to seeing it through completely.

#2 Resolve to Start Charging Your True Worth

When trying to get your business on its feet, sometimes you have to charge less than your product or service is actually worth. It’s a good way to gain clientele and experience. But it’s not a good way to get rich.

Eventually, you’ve got to start charging clients for the actual value that you’re providing.

If you’ve been working for less than you’re worth, then 2012 is the year to make a change.

#3 Resolve to Keep a Clean Work Space

It’s hard to be productive in an environment that’s cluttered and disorganized.

Look around your work space right now. If it isn’t clean and controlled, then make a commitment now to maintain a focused work space for the next year.

#4 Resolve to Improve Work Systems

When Henry Ford implemented an assembly line in his factories in 1913, he completely revolutionized the automobile industry. By making the production system more efficient, The Ford Motor Company was able to produce more vehicles for less money – and profits went through the roof.

A business is only as efficient as the systems it employs.

Some systems are simple, like the way you organize your inbox. Others are very complex, like your step-by-step approach to completing a project over the course of a month.

We often create systems without much thought and then take them for granted once they’re established. As long as a system works, what’s the point in meddling?

But this is one thing where you really need to put in the extra time and make sure you’re doing things right. Take a step back and look critically at the systems you implement regularly with your business.

Systems are so important because their effect is cumulative. If you improve a system one time, that improvement continues to benefit you every time it’s implemented.

If you haven’t paid much attention to your systems lately, then make a point to focus on them in 2012.

#5 Resolve to Be Authentic

People are spending more time online than ever before. By now, they’re pretty adept at recognizing who’s being genuine and who isn’t.

2012 is a great year to tune out the voice in your head that tells you to pretend to be someone you’re not. Instead, communicate online with your authentic voice. People will take notice and respond.

#6 Resolve to Keep Track of Your Hours

How many hours are you putting into your business a week?

It’s not necessary to have a set schedule or to work eight hours every day. That’s part of the joy of being your own boss. But it is important to be aware of your work hours – and four hour days aren’t going to cut it (at least not at first).

When you begin to keep track of your hours, you start to understand where your time is going and how you could use it more effectively.

If you’re doing freelance work and you’re being paid by the project, this will also help you in pricing your services.

A Time Tracking Tool

There are many applications out there that help you keep track of how you’re spending your time on your computer.

Rescue Time is free software that automatically tracks which programs and websites you’re using throughout the day. Over the course of a few weeks, you begin to get a clear picture of how efficient your computer time is and how it compares to the work habits of others.

At the end of the month, take a look at the data. You may be surprised to realize how much of your time goes to work that doesn’t actually you earn you any income (like answering emails or being active on social media).

#7 Resolve to Redesign Your Website

Even if you’re website is up-to-date now, it won’t be in six months. The Internet keeps changing and the most successful online companies will continue to change with it.

Don’t risk becoming outdated. Make sure you update and improve your website at least once this year.

#8 Resolve to Eat Right and Exercise

Okay, okay – I know these are the two most cliché resolutions in the history of New Year’s. But they’re cliché for a reason.

Eating right and exercising are great resolutions for anyone who operates their own business. It will give you more energy and focus to make the most of your work day.

Of course, it will also make you healthier and it may even help you look better in the bathroom mirror.

#9 Resolve to Spend 20 Minutes Actively Learning Each Day

Solo entrepreneurs must be proficient in many different fields. In any given day, you may work as a designer, marketer, salesperson, and writer.

There’s not always time to master each of these skillsets. When you’re just starting out, sometimes all that matters is that the task is completed. Whether or not it’s completed perfectly is beside the point.

So entrepreneurs tend to become jacks of many trades, masters of none.

The good news is that means there’s a ton of room for improvement. And even if you’re getting by with your current ability-level, honing your skills will make for better and more efficient work.

That’s why it’s such a good idea to spend 20 minutes actively learning every day.

Ways to Learn

Podcasts

This is a great learning solution for the time-crunched entrepreneur. Maybe you’ve got a full-time job, run your business on the side, and you don’t have 20 minutes to spare.

Pop in a pair of headphones and start learning while involved in an activity that doesn’t require your full attention. Suddenly riding the bus, doing the dishes, and exercising are opportunities to become a smarter, better entrepreneur.

Video Tutorials

While audio is a great learning tool, actually seeing something is often the most effective way to understand it. There’s simply no substitute for watching a pro as they complete a task, talking you through every step of the way.

In the last few years, a huge number of quality video tutorials have been posted on YouTube. Simply search for a subject, press play, and start learning.

Video isn’t the best if you’re just looking for a few bits of essential info. You can’t skim a video like a written tutorial. But they’re an ideal method when you need to sit down and learn a process from front to back.

Books

Ink and paper may be old-fashioned, but a big “how-to” book is still one of the best learning resources available.

Even if all of the information within its pages is available online, that’s no replacement for having it right there in your hands. You won’t have to search the web for quality instruction and you can take it with you wherever you go.

A 500-page tome can set be pretty expensive, but the cost is small when you think of it as an investment in your business. Check out your local bookstore or Amazon to find a compendium on whatever subject you want to master.

Refresh, then Rest

If you really want to get the most out of your daily lesson, revisit it for a few minutes right before you go to sleep. If you read an informative article, skim through it again. If you learned a new technique in Photoshop, create something simple with it.

Not only will this reinforce what you learned the first time around, the new knowledge will sit at the fore front of your brain as you prepare for sleep.

Sleep is your brain’s opportunity to organize and store all of the knowledge it gains throughout the day. So you stand a better chance of actually remembering your daily lesson if you revisit it before you call it a day.

If you resolve to devote a little bit of time to learning every day for the next year, you’ll be see a huge improvement in the quality and quantity of your work by the end of the year.

#10 Resolve to Keep Your Resolutions

Every January, people across the world make resolutions to change the way they act.

Every February, many of those resolutions have been broken or forgotten.

It’s only over the course of the whole year that a change can have any real impact. But if you do stick to your resolutions, they will eventually become habits that will improve your life (and business) for years and years to come.

So, the most important resolution you can make is to really stick with whatever changes you decide to make this year.

What’s Your Resolution?

Let us know how you’re going to make 2012 the best year yet.

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Comments

  1. Garin Kilpatrick says:

    My plan is to build greater awareness for my brands by doing at least one interview with an expert a week!

    At the end of next year not only will I have built better relationships with influencers from this I will also have some solid content that I can use and perhaps even create a product from!

    • Nick Scheidies says:

      That sounds like a great idea. Interviewing experts also helps build your network (hugely valuable).

  2. Onyimbo Oliver says:

    Hello Nick, these are the best resolutions ever heard of. It touches directly on my intentions for the new year and am probably going to implement each and every bit of it. Thanks for providing these.

  3. Irshad Ahamed says:

    Being as a Freelance PM, Web designer & Front end developer
    my plans for the year 2012 are
    > Going to use word press, light CMS, Business Catalyst etc for my clients and find the right clients for it. because custom based CMS’s take time, hiring a developer is always not easy, developers always do not understand the importance of creativity
    > I am going to start a web designers blog, not that to share information with others, but it will help me keep a track of things i have learned through out the year

  4. Inspiring indeed. I will make it my checklist for 2012 resolution. Happy 2012 to all.

  5. Thanks for the great suggestions, Nick.

    My 2012 resolutions are to manage my time better AND enjoy the little things in life!

  6. Nice post.

    Honestly i’ve failed in all the ’10’ this year. But come 2012 i’m prepared to up my game.

    Thanks for the post it just saved me a lot of hours of trying to come up with resolutions for 2012.

  7. Iroko@Creating Millionaires says:

    This is so timely as I am writing my new year resolution and hoping to beat the regular survey that says all new year resolution become obsolete by 15th February of the next…thanks!

  8. John Ellsworth says:

    Great information! Could I entice you to give me some help?

  9. What an opportune time to create your intentions for 2012 & beyond. I am taking on all of the above with a concentration on spending more quality time with my family, my health & well-being and my integrity to my work. Focus, action and completion

  10. My goal in 2012 is to make a full time income from my blog!!!

  11. hey nick

    I have only been reading your blog for the last 4 weeks and just want to say it is great.

    As a suggestion, have you thought about video blogging?

    I am setting up health blogs and investing my time into video blogging. also, I came across a great book called the the thank you economy, It is about how sustain your consumers/visitors, Thought I would mention it.

    all the best for the new year

    harry

  12. Piyush Agarwal says:

    Good one Nick. Would say #10 is the most important one. 🙂 Happy 2012

  13. Estevan Montoya says:

    This is a great article. I have been setting goals for the past hour and came here to get a little inspired. Talk about right timing.

    Thanks again! I can always count on you guys to deliver.

  14. Jay Gillespie says:

    http://youtu.be/W-adz9N8eDA

    I resolve to write, record and release a song complete with music video for every major holiday this year.

    -Jay Gillespie USL

  15. noobbgodlike says:

    I really love tips number 6. I believes it’s the main problem for all self employed. We think that we already work a lot on a day but the reality is we tend to do mundane things that has nothing to do with our work 😀 (it happens for me; like browsing,etc). Thanks for the post and happy new year to all income diary writers :D.

    • Nick Scheidies says:

      Yes – the Internet is a very distracting place to work. Happy New Year to you, too.

  16. Dorothy Duncan says:

    These are the most thought provoking resolutions I have read for the online entrepreneur. Each one applies to me, but I found #6 –keeping track of the hours spent online is most relevant. I easily lose focus and perform tasks that are less important.

  17. Happy new year Nick..!!

    Good one… very inspiring…

    Thanks,

  18. Great article! It’s always a battle to not fall back into our rut’s. So I completely agree, set a goal to keep your goals!

  19. Josh Dunlop says:

    I’m afraid not, but it’s best read daily because it gives you more time to think.

  20. Jamie Northrup says:

    It’s been a bit over 3 weeks, and I’ve been doing pretty good on my resolutions, but with a baby due in March, I’m afraid that will mess certain resolutions up, but it’s for a good cause 😉