It's that time of year that many of us make resolutions and plans for the new year. Entrepreneurs are no exception. And for entrepreneurs who are in their second act, resolutions are a bit different than their younger counterparts.
If you're like me, you hate to make resolutions because the feeling of not meeting your goals at the end of the year feels a bit like failure. According to Forbes magazine, just 8 percent of people actually achieve their new year's resolutions.
There's nothing wrong with setting goals but don't over do it. Make your resolutions attainable. When you're over the age of 50, resolutions become more about quality of life and flexibility.
Here are a few easy-breezy resolutions for business owners over the age of 50:
1. Don't write a business plan. If you haven't already written a business plan then don't. Start with writing a business timeline and let that evolve into a real-deal official business plan by the end of 2016. Treat it like a future journal with all of your ideas to grow your business with deadline.
2. Document your year with photos. Set up an Instagram account or create a special bucket list album on Facebook where you put all of your photos of activities you partake in throughout 2016. If throughout the year, your photo timeline is looking a little boring, do something exciting to add spice to your life. Get outside of your box then at the end of the year go back and look at all you have accomplished.
3. Stop doing one thing you don't like and replace it with one that you're passionate about. I read this somewhere and I love this idea. It's actually my resolution for 2016.
4. Cross off one thing on your bucket list. What are you waiting for? You have to schedule it to make time to do it. No excuses. What is the one thing you've always wanted to do? Go for it this year and at the beginning of 2017, do another item on your list until it's complete.
5. Expand your business network. Find a business networking meet-up group on MeetUp.com or start one. I started a new group where I live for older entrepreneurs to look to each other as a resource. When you work for yourself, it can be isolating. Don't get so wrapped up in your work that you don't meet with people who can actually help grow your business.
6. Family First. We often are deeply involved with making our businesses successful that we don't make as much time for family as we should. The one thing that I always wanted to do was to take my husband, my mom, my adult daughters and their families on a cruise or to the Grand Canyon. It's often difficult to get everyone's schedule coordinated to make this happen but start small, plan a picnic or a pool party. If your family is spread out, plan a Google Hangouts and have a family chat. Be the lead in planning a family reunion in 2016. It's always a real shame to only see family when attending a funeral of a loved one.
7. Help others make a difference. If you are a business person then you have life experience that you can share and help another who is just starting out with their business. Sign up to mentor someone and make a difference in their life and yours. The Encore Entrepreneur Institute, an advocacy organization for older entrepreneurs, is just one agency that offers free mentoring matching at http://encoreentrepreneurinstitute.org/mentor-match. You don't have to live near your mentee. Today, you can use Skype or FaceTime and shape the next great business mogul.
9. Stay healthy and fit. If you're not already doing it, get moving. Forget the gym. Start by walking in your neighborhood. Search Groupon.com for activities in your area and signup. Be sure to have fun with staying active and it won't become a chore.
10. Enter a contest this year. It doesn't matter if the contest is for your business or for you personally, just enter something. Doing so gets you out of your comfort zone and encourages growth and self-improvement. You will find that you will make new connections and it puts your name or your business out there for all to find. If you win, the possibilities for publicity are endless.
Janice Celeste is the founder of the Encore Entrepreneur Institute, an advocacy organization for entrepreneurs ages 50+. You can catch her on Twitter and on her Blab live stream show, ENCORE @EncoreInstitute.