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January 5, 2023

“What the new year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the new year.” – Vern McLellan

Welcome to 2023! The new year can be very exciting. It’s a great time to turn a new page…a fresh start…a blank slate. This is probably why so many people make New Year’s resolutions. You have an entire year to accomplish whatever it is you set your mind to. Just don’t let fear hold you back. Did you know that most resolutions are abandoned by the end of March?

Here are a few tips on how to face 2023 head-on with changes that will stick:

Set Goals – And I don’t just mean ANY OLD GOALS. You should really take time to think about changes that will make a big impact to you and your organization, but that are also realistic. If you throw all of your efforts into a goal that is unattainable (I want to be a billionaire by the end of the month!), you will quickly lose momentum, spirit and eventually give up.

When focusing on work goals, think about those things that can quickly improve your work day but that won’t cause a lot of disruption to accomplish. For example, do you spend a lot of time on the manual manipulation of data for custom reports? How about setting the goal of getting a custom report developed to take the place of manual work. Just think of how many hours it could save you each day/month that would allow you to focus on other core management tasks. Take some time to write down the “quick hits” that can make a big impact.

After you have your list of “quick hits”, identify 1 or 2 larger initiatives that you would like to explore. But please, keep the number realistic. You don’t want to overextend yourself or your staff.

Make A Plan – We would all like things to be completed yesterday, but that isn’t realistic. Once you have your list of goals for the year, look at them closely and set realistic deadlines. Identify where you can enlist the help of outside resources to help keep things moving with minimal disruption to you and your staff. Sometimes projects are more complex/involved than you may think. It’s a good idea to enlist the advice of an expert to help explain to you the steps/work involved in your initiative and help to set realistic expectations for a timeline and resources needed.

Once you have a good understanding of what each of your goals will take, as well as any “prerequisites” that may be involved, you can make a roadmap for the year identifying when you want to kick off projects and when you can realistically expect to complete them.

Maintain Focus – Fast forward to March. You are one quarter of the way into the new year. Hopefully you have accomplished some of your quick hits by this point and you are well into the planning and discovery for your larger projects. This is a critical time, so don’t let YOUR momentum fade and don’t let the momentum of the organization stall. Discovery and planning, while they can take up a lot of time, are one of the biggest factors in successful projects. You have to know the requirements and end goal before you can start the work/design/configuration.

Be the cheerleader. Make sure both stakeholders and your general staff know the purpose of the initiative and what they will get out of it. Involve them in the process, whether it is decision making or simply getting their feedback, when they have some ownership in the process, they are more likely to stay interested.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help – Remember, you don’t have to do it alone. There are always resources available to help. If you aren’t sure if something can be done, just ask. To you a task may seem daunting, to someone else it may be very straightforward. With a little discovery, experts should quickly be able to give you feedback on whether or not your initiative is achievable. They can also help you to set both timeline and budget expectations. It is best to consult with someone during the budgeting process so that you allow enough time, resources and $$$ to get the job done right.

And finally Don’t Let Your Fears Hold You Back! Embrace this new year with a positive outlook. You can do it. Is there a project you’ve been putting off but now you’re ready to conquer? JDR is here to support you every step of the way. Complete a discovery call with JDR in January 2023 and receive a discount of $10/hr on your project quote. (Quotes valid for 30 days.)