Steps for Business Owners to Evaluate Progress and Set Strong New Year Goals

Written by Tom Marino

December 8, 2021

new year goals

It’s time to set new year goals!

December is a time to evaluate our progress and make plans for the new year.

If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur, follow my steps for success as you set new goals for your business:


1.     Celebrate your progress before you outline new year goals

We are too quick to beat ourselves up for the things we have not yet accomplished, and these become our goals or “resolutions” for the new year.

There’s a reason so many resolutions fall by the wayside in the first few weeks of January, and that’s because we quickly lose motivation. We need to better understand how our motivation works.

We are motivated by progress.

This is why it’s critically important to look back on your year and celebrate your “wins,” big and small.

When we measure our progress by what we have yet to achieve, the perception is that we are always falling short. This is demotivating and frustrating. However, measuring your progress in contrast to where you started is motivating, because your gains will inspire you to keep moving forward.

In other words, you must first acknowledge how far you’ve come, and then allow it to inform where you go next.

Ask yourself, “What have I achieved this year?”


2.     Make note of what you’ve learned

Now that you’ve celebrated your “wins,” it’s time to identify areas for improvement. But as you look back on your year and evaluate your progress – more specifically, where you fell short – do not call it “failure.”

It isn’t “failure” if you’ve learned something.

In business, we are always learning difficult lessons when we make mistakes. But that’s how we improve. We’re armed with new knowledge to help us avoid repeating the same mistakes.

Make a list of those experiences you do not want to repeat in the new year. On a more positive note, make a similar list of the experiences or successes that you would like to replicate.

Take a closer look at those lists to identify the potential pitfalls or challenges you may face again. It’s helpful to know ahead of time where you might get tripped up, so that you can prepare for it (or prevent it!).

Ask yourself, “What have my experiences and mistakes taught me?”


3.     Find the people who will help make your dreams a reality

As a beginning entrepreneur, I almost burned out because I tried to do everything myself. I took on too much, and I felt overwhelmed. When I read the book Who Not How by Dan Sullivan, I learned the importance of building a team.

When it comes to setting goals for your business, you want to think about the people who will help you achieve them.

Is it time to scale your business by growing your team? In what areas could you delegate tasks or responsibilities to free up your time for the tasks that matter most to you?

Maybe you need an executive assistant to help you manage administrative tasks that drain your time and energy. You may grow your marketing or sales teams or work with a consultant or executive coach to help you clarify your mission and next steps.

Take a look at your goals and think about the skills or expertise you need to make them a reality. Play to your strengths and delegate the rest.

Ask yourself, “Who will help me accomplish my goals?”


It’s time to set SMART new year goals

Having taken the time to evaluate and celebrate your progress, it’s time to set your new year goals.

I teach my clients to set SMART goals. The acronym will help you “grade” your goals to be sure they’re concrete and tangible. “SMART” goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based.

If you’ve followed these tips, you can feel confident that you will have the motivation and energy to pursue your goals and follow through. Progress is motivating. Celebrate how far you’ve come and get excited and adrenalized to move forward in the new year.

Are you ready to find fulfillment, clarity, and purpose? As a Certified Life Coach, I can help you overcome burnout to choose your adrenalized life. Book my calendar for a complimentary session and let’s chat about the positive changes you want to make.