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Turn Your New Year's Resolutions into SMART Resolutions

Published: December 31, 2019       Updated: April 23, 2024

4 min read

2020 New Years Resolutions for Marketers

Will your organization's marketing vision be 20/20 in 2020? The key is to set clear goals for yourself and then make them happen. 

Some folks say New Year's resolutions are worthless because no one ever keeps them. But you simply need to have the discipline to make your resolutions SMART -- specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. You're already part of the way there because, well, resolutions are time-bound by nature. You will do them next year, right?

Here's the difference between a typical New Year's Resolution and a SMART resolution:

  • Traditional New Year’s Resolution: “I’m going to lose weight in the new year.”
  • SMART New Year’s Resolution: “I will lose 15 pounds by spring break. I will do so by working out three days per week while also reducing my food intake to 1,500 calories per day.”

As you set out to make your SMART resolutions, we sought out some high-level thoughts from marketers and agency folks to guide your thinking. Here is some of what they said:

Jeremy Pepper: "Public relations pros must think outside their area of expertise. Things are becoming so fluid with marketing, social, advertising and PR that you need knowledge and expertise in all."

Lindsay Bell-Wheeler: "I want to try and engage others to use our collective knowledge to look forward to 2020 and beyond, be mindful of the pace of technological change, and be proactive about how we can nurture it along so it’s for GOOD and not bad." 

Risa McMahon: "I need to do the rock/pepple/sand method more. The sand fills my jar more often than I'd like to admit."

Chris Strom:  "I want to document standard operating procedures for all our main processes and deliverables so that new employees can be up to speed in days rather than weeks."

Wendy Pease: "Transformation is a collaborative effort. You get more done with your team!"

Jay Mo: "Take every opportunity to be kind."

Christopher Carr: "Develop a system to have the best possible guests on my podcast. And lose 30 pounds!"

Ali Raza: "I want to serve the client’s journey by producing all encompassing, educational video content, and to multiply the reach through syndication across all platforms."

You probably can relate to some of these ideas. Jeremy speaks to the importance of broadening your professional skillset.  Lindsay and Wendy emphasize the value of collaboration. Risa, Chris and Christopher are working to become more efficient. Jay encourages us to be mindful of how we treat others. And Ali has a grand goal for using his talents to help his customers.

What are your ideas for doing better in 2020? What is your grand goal? Does it reflect your values? What are your values, anyway?

The process of developing SMART resolutions can help you think through all these questions. I'll give you an example of a simple one that I'm personally working toward next year.

Earlier this quarter, I brought on a new president and COO, John Lacy, to run Idea Grove day-to-day.  This was a big step for me, as I have always served in the role of president. But I recognized that for where Idea Grove is now -- a company with a talented team and valuable offering that must now focus on scaling effectively -- our new president can do a much better job than I can. If you know the Traction EOS model, John is a classic "integrator" and I'm the typical "visionary" -- with all the limitations that entails. 

And so while we recently had a two-day leadership offsite focusing on every aspect of Idea Grove's business and our goals for the coming year, I also have a SMART resolution for myself. It's this:

In 2020, I will spend at least 80 percent of my time working on the business and no more than 20 percent of my time working in the business.

This means I've committed to focus on building our agency's profile, to write more, to network and speak at events (despite my persistent introversion), and to make sure that the tech companies that are our ideal customers are finding out about us in new ways. I've got specific objectives related to each of these elements of the primary goal as well.

I can't promise I'll achieve my SMART resolution, but at least I clearly understand what I'm setting out to do in 2020. Maybe this can be a starting point for you, too.

Happy New Year!







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