Small business resolutions

As Whistler ramps up for our holiday visitors, many businesses that aren't directly tourism based slow down. Although it might be a welcome opportunity to take that well-deserved break, it can be overwhelming when January rolls around again. But with a bit of planning, you can push the 'overwhelm' away and gain momentum to coast into 2014.

To ensure a gentle start, you will want to wrap up 2013 and know what you want for 2014.

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Clearing clutter is a great way to start the year with renewed energy. Clean through your inbox, archive computer and paper files and do an office purge by cleaning through drawers and file cabinets. Get your invoicing up-to-date; pay outstanding bills and pull together all bookkeeping information in preparation for tax season.

Set aside time to reflect on your personal and professional development over the last year and use that to determine your future path. Following are questions to ask yourself to drive the reflection process and, ultimately, increase your chances of success:

Who inspired me in my professional life in 2013? How can I build a connection with that person in 2014?

Did I do everything possible to support myself in achieving goals? If not, what can I change?

What were my roadblocks and how can I overcome them?

Did I reach my financial targets? If not, why not? How can I have a different outcome and financial success in 2014?

What worked in 2013? Did I take time to celebrate those successes?

What was missing in 2013? Does it matter that it was missing? What can I do in 2014 so as to not repeat mistakes?

A motivational ritual is to set a word or theme to catapult you through the coming year. Did something jump out in your answers to these questions? Hone in on your values and whether you are in alignment with them.

Another way to think about that is to ask yourself if there was disharmony in your life in 2013? If there was, then maybe choosing a word or theme to turn that around will bring meaning to you. Or conversely, was there something that gave you great joy that you want to expand on?

Then ask yourself, "when I'm standing here on December 31, 2014, what does my life look like?" Your theme might resonate through that process and when that happens, it is clear as day!

A word or theme keeps you grounded throughout the year so that you stay on track to achieving your goals and targets.

So what do you want to achieve in 2014? Take those introspective answers to the above questions and rather than make resolutions that quickly fall flat, write down clear and detailed goals on one page. Keeping them on one page makes it a handy resource to keep you on track of what you are trying to achieve. Then break your goals down into smaller, achievable steps and schedule them in your calendar throughout the year to keep you on track.

Here's to a year of making dreams come true. Happy New Year!

At Lighthouse Visionary Strategies, Cathy Goddard offers business and life coaching, workshops and the popular Open Forum speaker series events. She is founder of Lighthouse Mentor Network, providing mentor groups to local professionals. Cathy can be reached at info@lighthousevisionary.com.

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