Are New Year’s Goals Overrated?


Are New Year’s Goals Overrated?

With all the social media posts compelling us to set goals for the New Year, it might be easy to feel you’ve missed the boat.

But will the earth stop turning just because you haven’t mapped out your life for the next twelve months? I think not.

The first of January may seem very special, but if you look past the parties and fireworks, it really is just another day. And while some people find motivation in the start of a new year, it shouldn’t create pressure on you to jump through unnecessary hoops.

Structure and strategy are important for any business venture, but these are my thoughts on why they don’t have to be locked into a fixed timeline:

1. One size doesn’t fit all.

One approach to business success is to start the year with a set of goals compiled over the Christmas break. The major flaw to that theory, however, is that we all actually had a ‘break’. Some industries slow down over the festive season, and holidays or downtime fit in beautifully. But for other enterprises, it’s their peak period, or at the very least ‘business as usual.’ And if you’re in the latter category, it’s unrealistic to start the year with anything particularly ‘fresh’.

I can’t think of a year when I’ve implemented new plans in January, but my business ticks along nicely. I certainly have ongoing strategies for growth, but I don’t review them in December/January because it’s not practical for me.

As with fashion, ‘one size fits all’ has its limits, but the ‘fear of missing out’ or being ‘left behind’, can often see us cramming ourselves into something that feels uncomfortable.

It’s important for us to know what works best for our business, and not feel anxious if that’s something different from those around us.

2. Tomorrow isn’t promised.

Morbid, I know, but how often do we acknowledge the fragility of life, only to return to bad habits in the very next breath? Plans and goals play an important role, but if they rule us, or schedule us so tightly that we have no time to enjoy life, are we truly making good decisions?

If we’re committed to prioritising experiences that really matter, does it make any sense to turn ourselves inside-out just to formulate a set of goals before New Year’s Day? Even if you’ve had time off over Christmas, is goal-setting the best way to have spent it?

3. Enough already.

Life generally comes with ‘stress’ as standard. Add to that some optional extras like a bunch of kids with their own individual needs, a teenager learning to drive, ageing parents who require care, or a factory bonus of your own health concerns, and that’s quite enough for anyone to contend with.

So for the average Small Business owner, life is full, time is precious and each day has enough challenge without creating new ones.

So just keep your head up and move forward.

If you’ve had a decent break in late December and used that headspace to plan for the coming year, then I commend you and wish you all the best for the months ahead.

But if you’ve just dragged yourself through a season of emotionally taxing gatherings, juggled Christmas Carols with deadlines, taken work-calls while stuffing a turkey and issued invoices before guests arrived on Christmas Eve, I also commend you and wish you well this year.

Your ship has not sailed, you survived to play another day, and there are eleven other months in which goals can be set.

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