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“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…”

This melodic tune is all the rage in December, when people are pounding their credit cards and checking their mailboxes for gifts. But if December is the “most wonderful time of the year,” what does that make January?

Of course, January begins beautifully, with sparkling wine in your glass and the sounds of celebration in the air. However, it often concludes with a blizzard and the dread of six more weeks of winter. It can be a challenging start to the year, even before we get to the whole “resolution” thing.  

Ah yes, the new year’s resolution. It’s a serious test, as we’re forced to change quickly against a hard deadline. But the dawn of a new year shouldn’t feel like a global intervention. Instead, we should celebrate the opportunity to tackle long-term goals with renewed focus and energy.

With a few key adjustments, January can serve as a catalyst to lasting success. In the world of communications, here are four ways the new year can set you up for a great new start:

Find new ways to collaborate with others. A whopping 80 percent of resolutions fail before the calendar flips to February. When it comes to lasting success, a little bit of teamwork goes a long way. Shared goals help build team chemistry while lessening the individual load. Each year should serve as an opportunity to re-examine organizational objectives and the collective efforts needed achieve them. Are you maximizing your company’s communications capabilities? And are there some simple “divide and conquer” strategies that can pave the way to success?

Embrace change and early adoption. I like to call this the ‘try, try, try’ option. We are communications practitioners. We may not have all the answers, but we do have a boatload of gumption. Consider trying a new service or working with a new partner to help usher in the new year. It may provide a much-needed spark for you and your team, inspiring new strategic plans for your organization. Simple changes can turn into newfound energies and hidden growth opportunities.

Set frequent check-ins to revisit priorities. Each year begins with inspired goals, but following through can be a challenge. Don’t wait until January 2019 to revisit your objectives. Create sub-plans that help you achieve goals on a step-by-step basis. They’ll create a cadence that forces check-ins into tighter deadlines. Set monthly “ticklers” on your calendar to revisit the conversation, and consider bringing in the sales team and other associates for these meetings. Accountability and outside perspectives can assist on the road to success.

Don’t give up. If you don’t see immediate progress toward your goals, don’t lose hope. Only eight percent of Americans with resolutions complete them by the conclusion of the year. Being part of the 92 percent means you’re in the majority! Focus your sights on objectives that are both achievable and aspirational. Take renewed stock in your communications community and understand those that have shared interest in your success. Remember: You are not alone, and there’s always a helping hand nearby.  

With a positive mindset and an achievable plan, 2018 can be your best year yet. Consider the type of leader you want to be in the new year, then create stepping stones that help you march toward that objective. By reexamining and redefining your communications and marketing values, you can set a course that garners support, inspires your team and fills you with pride.   

If you want to create a positive start to 2018 – and would like to check off an early resolution – give us a shout!