Are you sick of making new year’s resolutions that you struggle with? I know that I am. I have gotten better, but most of my resolutions are forgotten by Valentine’s Day.

I recently orchestrated a strategic planning session for a nonprofit, and it was such a great session that I decided to apply the techniques to my own life and my own business. This got me so pumped up and excited for the new year that I wanted to share.

Although I did this before the new year, I have actually think that it will be a great way to ensure that resolutions are lasting. Luckily, because I did this a few weeks ago, this is proving to be true. So far, I feel more focused and more successful with the changes that I made for my life and my business.

Here are the steps that I followed:

  1. Brainstorming
  2. SWOT Analysis
  3. Creating Resolutions

I applied these steps to my business. First, I looked at how much I have learned over the past year and the ideas that I have in the brainstorming phase. In the SWOT analysis, I started with what I am good at, which is creating events. I have coordinated the food procurement for a conference serving 200 people this year. I have also thrown a huge birthday bash for 100 guests. I enjoyed doing these things, and I am good at it. This made me decide to take my business in a new direction, well kind of. I was an event coordinator back in 2012, and I have coordinated a lot of events on the side. This SWOT analysis made me realize that I needed to bring that experience into focus and make event planning my main hustle. I was also able to recognize my weaknesses, which are marketing and asking for payment for my services. I considered these things in the analysis of opportunities and threats as well. An opportunity that I recognized is to create a marketing plan that I can accomplish. A major threat that I face is money, so I knew that I needed to really amp up my opportunities to make money. All of these and much more came out of the SWOT analysis, and it was actually a fun way to get to a better plan for my business.

After doing these steps, I put them to application. I created goals for 2019 for my business, including a weekly challenge, a social media marketing plan, and a timeline for events. I created a strong financial plan. This fueled me to updating my websites and social media platforms, and so far, so good! I am over a month in and still working towards my goals.

Here’s how you can do the same:

First, you want to do some brainstorming. There is no right or wrong in brainstorming, but I reflected on what I was happy with, what I was not happy with, and what I had accomplished in 2018. #resolutions are about growth, and I wanted to recognize the growth that I had already created in my life and take it even further.

Next, you should do a SWOT analysis. Don’t be scared, this is a good way to recognize Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats! #swotanalysis is all about improving by analyzing the big picture as well as the small stuff. I know that these are usually reserved for business, but SWOT can be applied to your life too. Here’s a sample:

Retrieved from: https://www.liveplan.com/blog/what-is-a-swot-analysis-and-how-to-do-it-right-with-examples/

Finally, you will review these and create your new year’s resolutions.

Let’s say that one of your goals is to lose weight. I think this is one of the most common resolutions that gets thrown aside by mid-January. You would start by looking at your weight loss journey from the past year. Did you take steps to improve? If so, what steps (i.e. I started taking vertical pole fitness classes)? How did that work? Did you develop any bad habits (i.e. I started drinking soda more than usual)? After this, you would conduct a SWOT analysis. What are your strengths when it comes to weight loss? (i.e. what type of exercise/healthy foods do you like? what are you good at?) What are your weaknesses? (Do you hate to run, etc.?) What are some opportunities for improvement? Perhaps you may find it easier to exercise if you find something that you enjoy. Maybe you would eat more healthy if you buy things that you like. Taking these small but mighty steps will be longer lasting, and they can be revealed through the SWOT analysis. Finally, you still need to examine the threats. What threatens your success? Time, money, etc. If these things threaten your success, then you need to develop a strategy to overcome them. If time is an issue that prevents you from exercising, maybe you should take time away from something that is not important and replace that activity with exercise. For instance, if you spend thirty minutes in the morning on Facebook, instead go for a brisk walk. If money is an issue, then take money away from something (like your daily cup of coffee at Starbucks) and but that into an exercise class or some healthier food choices.

It’s one thing to make a resolution, but it’s another to make it last. If you truly want to make resolutions that you can see all the way through, start with an analysis that shows you the entire picture of where you are, how you can improve, why you struggle, and how you can overcome those struggles.

I hope that you are able to apply these three easy steps and create real resolutions that you can reach in this new year! As always, keep evolving & thriving, and if you would like to discuss, feel free to email me: juliestillrolin@gmail.com.