Sunday, October 24th, 2021

5 Secrets to Turning Good Intentions into Great Results

By Catherine Rocheleau on Jan 24 2011 • Filed under Business

Putting New Year's Business Resolutions to work.

If you are like most people, you probably set New Year’s resolutions with good intentions to succeed. How are you doing so far? Are you still on track? Have you postponed the implementation or have your resolutions fallen by the wayside? Life has a way of interrupting our best intentions, so what makes some of us more able to have “stick-with-it-ness?”

You probably know your goals should be SMART (Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-limited.) Goals that were exciting, energizing or clear can become discouraging, difficult or seemingly unattainable as time goes on. How can you improve your success rate in achieving your goals and remain motivated when life and business get in the way?

Create your own Board of Directors

Most large businesses and not-for-profits have a board of directors to help oversee the strategic direction of the organization. Board members are committed to the success of the business and contribute valuable skills and insights. Unlike a large business, a small business has one or two people at the helm who wear many hats – strategic planner, chief operating officer and ‘doer.’ Solopreneurs are “chief cook and bottle washer,” managing many tasks at one time. Even a small business can benefit from having a Board of Directors. Your Board will assist you to create a realistic strategic plan, gain valuable insights, stay accountable to your goals and help you stay focused.

Who do you know that could be your Board of Directors? Your mentor, an executive coach, a family member with business expertise who is dedicated to your success, a referral partner, a trusted supplier or a colleague who has expertise in an area different than your own. Gathering your Board members together to assist you can be a fabulous way to plan strategically, review options and keep you on course throughout the year.

Plan where you want to go

The strategic plan is the foundation for good business goals. A strategic plan provides a business owner with a plan of what they want to achieve in a given time period. It includes your vision, mission, values, goals and objectives. A business without a strategic plan lacks a comprehensive focus of where to go. It’s like cooking without a recipe or driving without a map – you may enjoy successes but more likely you will have a lot of detours, dead ends or disasters.

It always amazes me how many businesses do not have a plan of where they want to go and how they plan to get there. When I work with executives and entrepreneurs who are frustrated with a lack of progress or a multitude of distractions I ask to review their strategic plan. When they do not have one, or their plan is outdated, the starting point for change is clear.

Without a strategy, your chance of achieving your goals is significantly diminished. For each goal to be successful it should link to and reinforce your strategy. Every person in your organization (employees, contractors, Board, stakeholders) must know and understand how their role, and the work they are doing, contributes to this overall strategic plan.

Know Your Fizzlers

So, you have a plan, you have a Board to assist you to plan strategically and act as a sounding board, yet you still have periods when your frustration level is high and your motivation wanes. It is at these times when our “fizzlers” become most active. What are fizzlers? These are thoughts, actions or inactions that steer us off course, delay decision making, distract us from our well thought out goals and plans.

What are your fizzlers? Procrastination, shopping, starting new projects before finishing existing ones, working longer not smarter while achieving less? Whatever they are, you must be aware and take steps to overcome them. An accountability buddy, like an executive coach, is a great help!

Ask for Help

As an entrepreneur, asking for help from others helps you keep on the desired path. You have expertise in your area of business. Often our goals take us outside our expertise and we need the help of others to push us forward. Regular meetings with your coach will keep you focused, make you accountable to yourself and your goals by ensuring you plan and implement each stage and help you celebrate when success is achieved.

Retreat and Revive

Pushing beyond the breaking point reduces productivity, increases frustrations and goals and dreams can go unfulfilled! To avoid this sort of burn-out, larger businesses hold annual retreats for executives or project teams. So can you! These retreats offer an opportunity to step outside of the day-to-day operations and foster new ways of doing business. More importantly, participants are able to be creative, build teamwork and identify solutions to existing challenges and secure buy-in so business can move forward.

As a small business owner, remember to schedule times for yourself to relax, rejuvenate and regenerate your creativity and reignite your energy. Pamper yourself at the spa, go for a long hike, enjoy a round of golf, or read a novel by the fire. Take care of yourself, so you can continue to take care of business.


  1. Some great points you made here, Catherine. i especially liked your term “fizzlers” and also a great point about taking care of ourselves so we can be of better service to others. Thanks for some great information!

    • Karen, Thank you for the feedback. Taking time for yourself is particularly important to reignite innovation. It also helps improve your productivity and coping mechanisms! Always make time to schedule those “off” days!


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