Day 1 of 2017. Today is the day that people will make New Year’s resolutions. There will be weight loss and healthy eating goals. Some goals will be personal while others are professional. Goals are about change—changing something to make our lives better, happier or financially more secure. I’m neither happy nor sad today. I’m not sure how to feel. I often have these ambivalent feelings on New Year’s Day. I’ve often felt that there is too much expectation set on a New Year—as if a new calendar day is somehow going to make things better.

take-risksWe all know how to set goals. We’ve seen every tip, tool and template for creating SMART goals. And yet, most of us do not reach our goals.

Why is that?

Change isn’t easy. Change requires that we do things differently. To do that we must have the courage and conviction to do what needs to be done. To risk it all and win. Or, to risk nothing—and settle for the status quo.

Change is risky. Doing things differently, working with new people, listening to new ideas, developing new routines and resources is risky. “What if you fail?” asks the nagging inner voice. That’s where the paralysis sets in. No one wants to fail so we take the path of least resistance and make no changes at all, chalking it up as a New Year’s resolution that didn’t mature.  After all, only 8% of people succeed at New Year’s resolutions, according to an article in Forbes magazine.

I found this quote a few days ago, and it resonated with me for the New Year.

“Take risks. If you win you will be happy. If you lose, you will be wise.”  ~Anonymous

I would never describe myself as a risk-taker, but as I look at my life and my professional career, I have taken some fairly significant risks. Some were of my own choosing and some were not. Regardless, I’ve either won or learned a new lesson. It’s called growth. Experience is a great teacher! I’ve learned a lot of valuable lessons about people, about marketing, about life itself.

2016 was a good year for me. I am thankful for my good health and for the people in my life. Words fail to express how much I appreciate the people I work with, my friends, and my awesome husband and two fine sons. Good health and good friends give me a solid foundation from which to work.

Over the past year, I’ve begun working with small business owners who realize they cannot do it all. They have grown to understand that their company marketing is a big job that requires some expertise in the online marketing arena. Last year, these business owners made a New Year’s resolution to find a capable marketing person to work with them. I have been fortunate to be their go-to marketing person. I work as a consultant, a valuable team member, invested in the outcomes. I would like to think these business owners took a risk and won. These relationships look solid for the year ahead.

What about you? Have you made any resolutions or set any goals for 2017? Can you risk the status quo or are you ready to hire a professional? If you would like to work with someone who brings decades of experience in multiple disciplines to your team, let’s talk. Let’s find out what you need and if Next Stage Marketing can help make your 2017 resolutions come true.

Best wishes for a healthier, happier, and more prosperous year. Take risks. Find wisdom.