It is the start of a new year, and that means it is time to look back at the past, seeing what worked and what did not, and planning for the future. New Year’s resolutions are for more than just your personal life—they’re for your professional life, too.
As a growth coach, I’ve seen countless clients set resolutions and then not fulfill them. The trick usually is having new habits in place—and the right tools to make the resolution easier to consistently follow. Consistency really is key.
With that in mind, here are five business resolutions I frequently hear from clients—and some tools that help make those resolutions stick.
To Encourage More Collaboration: Quire
People make businesses successful. The problem is that keeping the team on the same page and collaborating often requires some form of project management solution—and those can be too process-oriented and something that team members don’t want to use.
Quire is a nice antidote for that challenge. Quire is a visually-oriented project management solution that allows both nested to-do lists as well as more visually-oriented, drag-and-drop Kanban boards. This flexibility, where team members can make lists and manage tasks in multiple ways, makes project management more accessible. The end result is greater collaboration because the team is actually using the project management software instead of going around it.
To Think More Strategically: MindMUp
To-do lists have their place, but one issue that often arises with task-oriented processes is losing sight of the big picture; it is easy to get too caught up in getting tasks done and slowly move away from strategy and the bigger-picture reasons for tasks. This is part emphasis, and part muddled thinking from not fully connecting the dots.
MindMUp helps with this strategic thinking by enabling easy mind-mapping, a favorite among business and growth coaches. This free, cloud-based app makes it simple to flesh out ideas and create project stories out of seemingly unrelated ideas. These mind maps can then be easily shared with others, or just used personally for working through complex ideas.
To Take More Breaks: Workrave
If you’re like most people, you’re chained to your computer most of the time. One issue with our digital age is an over-abundance of screen time. This constant and never-ending screen time can cause headaches, bad posture and eye strain. Most of us need more screen time breaks—but it can be hard to remember to take these breaks even if we know we need them.
Workrave addresses this forgetfulness by reminding you periodically to take micro-breaks. The app keeps track of screen time and alerts you when you’ve been at your desk too long, flashing a popup when it is time for the next micro-break. The app also logs your screen time, which can be useful for helping you track your work/life balance and overall screen time.
To Hit Those Sales Numbers: Cien
Hitting sales quotas is about more than motivation and making that next call; although we tend to simplify the sales process, achieving sales goals actually is a complex process that involves marketing, proper lead assignment and other intangible factors. But figuring out this complex equation can be hard, which is why most of us just try to work harder.
Instead, we should work smarter, which is where Cien comes in. Cien is an artificial-intelligence-driven app that connects to your customer relationship management software and helps you go beyond key performance indicators and really understand the intangible aspects of the sales process at your company. It is like having a sales coach in an app, which definitely can help you with improving your numbers this year.
To Get Higher Search Engine Rankings: MozBar
If you’re like most business owners, “improve my SEO” is probably an annual item on your business New Year’s resolutions. SEO is complicated but important, making it the perfect never-get-done resolution. Where to even start?
Start with MozBar. This browser extension is great for quickly seeing SEO info about the website you’re visiting (yours or someone else’s site), which can help you see what the search engines are seeing and where your website needs more work. Marketing guru Neil Patel considers MozBar one of the 7 most important tools for SEO. For his complete list, see this blog post.
Make This the Year
Don’t go another year with unfulfilled New Year’s resolutions. Get serious by setting some goals and then FOLLOWING THROUGH on them. That requires habits—and the right tools.