I had a wonderful chat yesterday with a client, Beth Fynbo of Busy Baby, LLC. She shared a couple things that are important reminders for this time of year. Beth has grown her business from concept to $5 million in sales in just a few short years, so she’s doing a lot right! She reminded me of the benefits of celebrations and the weight of resolutions. Let’s dive into each of them so we can use them to our advantage.

Why Take Time to Celebrate?

As we start a new year, it is so easy to focus only on the future. We get so busy setting goals and targets that oftentimes we forget to look at what we have accomplished and formally celebrate our wins. Why take time to celebrate? First, it gives us, the business owner, and our families, perspective. Most likely you focus on the problems, and at the end of the day you share them at the dinner table or with your partner. The picture we paint is always of the struggle bus!

The entrepreneur’s problem-solving gene is important. We are programmed to solve problems, so we are always looking for them, finding them, and tackling them. It makes up a large and important part of our day. Yet it doesn’t fill our soul. In fact, it can feel depleting to always face an uphill climb, which can lead to burnout. I can’t tell you how many business owners I talk to that say, “I hate my business. It sucks the life out of me. I’ve created a monster!” Beth shared, “I can’t emphasize how important that exercise in year-end celebration was for us.  We were reaching an interesting version of burnout and it brought us right back to life.” Without the occasional celebration, we and our families equate our business with struggle. Look for your wins and make sure you take a moment to share them with your family.

Another reason for reflection is to ensure we benefit from lessons learned over the year. Lessons aren’t always the result of a problem, sometimes they are learned from doing something right. We easily forget the lessons as we move on to the next “opportunity.” A big “ah-ha” is yesterday’s news if you don’t reflect on it and then take action to ensure the learning gets incorporated into your processes.

Take 5 minutes now. It will be worth it, and the pressing issues will wait. Jot down a few of your successes from last year. What are you proud of? What did you learn that you didn’t know before but that could have a big impact on your business and home life? What will you do to ensure that you implement what you learned to continue to reap these benefits for your business? Now take the next step and do something special with your family and make sure you and your team incorporate learning into your systems.

Resolutions Don’t Have to Be Scary

The traditional focus of a new year is resolutions. In our businesses we call them goals. I found it interesting that this time of year makes Beth feel “icky.” There is so much pressure to achieve more than the year before or at least not to go backwards. She shared that as time progresses in the year, she starts to feel more comfortable with her goals and her progress. Beth is achieving great things and every year is like facing the unknown for her. By setting these “scary” goals, she is stretching herself. These goals are motivating to her. You might not find “big, hairy, audacious goals” your style. Maybe you are more conservative and want to show some modest improvement over the previous year. That is fine, too. Just think about what you want to achieve, what motivates you and be intentional about the year ahead.

February is the month of Valentine’s Day, let’s show a little love for our businesses. By celebrating our wins and setting goals with intention, we can avoid burnout and create a business that serves us.