With 2019 more than halfway over and only a few months left before it’s officially in the rearview mirror, how are you doing with those New Year’s Resolutions?

As a business owner, the question isn’t so much whether you have goals you’d like to reach, it’s more about which ones are the most important. Almost without fail, issues come up that you didn’t anticipate, whether they’re related to personnel, inventory management, operational costs or supply chain logistics. To plug these holes, you may have to put many of the aspirations you aimed to complete on ice to resolve more pressing, hot-button matters.

How do prioritize your objectives so the most important ones get first and foremost treatment? Here are a few suggestions:

1. Plan from last to first
One step at a time. That’s the conventional wisdom when it comes to accomplishing tasks so you don’t wind up putting too much on your plate, which can lead to burnout and stress. But instead of going from A to Z, it may behoove you to begin with the last letter, or at least to visualize that manner.

“Reversing the steps involved can provide understanding for how to reach the proverbial finish line.”

University studies, one of which was published in Psychological Science, have shown that reversing the steps involved in accomplishing significant goals can enable people to better understand what is required to reach the proverbial finish line. It may even be better for stress management, as the joint study found that those who planned in reverse, instead of chronologically, felt less pressed for time.

“This suggests that simply changing the way of constructing plans can produce different outcomes,” said Jooyoung Park, assistant professor in the Department of Management at Peking University, the Association For Psychological Science reported.

Planning from Z to A also can help with goal prioritization by visualizing the ultimate upshot of completing a goal and how it would compare to the end result for other missions accomplished.

2. Create workday themes
Running a business effectively, much like life, is all about finding the right balance. This may be why some try to work on several goals at a time so one doesn’t wind up getting short shrift. But the back and forth can cause confusion, disorder and discouragement that can lead to a dead end – nothing to show for it.

As noted by Inc. Magazine, assigning themes to each work day – such as Collaboration Monday or Thoroughness Thursday – can categorize what tasks to address so you know they’ll be focused on from week to week. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey swears by this strategy, telling Forbes it helps him work more efficiently.

3. Make a list
From to-do to wish to bucket, lists come in all shapes and sizes and people love to make them. As a business owner, you’ve probably gone over the goals you’d like to complete in your head a few dozen times. If you haven’t already, put it down on paper. Whether from 1 to 10 or 1 to 50, write out each in no particular order. Then, see if you can cross out the ones that aren’t quite as important so only the top 5 are remaining. The ones left should be stacked in chronological order of significance.

'Goals' over numbered 1-6 list.
Listing out goals encourages thought and contemplation about what’s the most important.

4. Make your goals known
Accountability is crucial to goal setting, which is why so many people often exercise with partners or personal trainers. Teamwork provides incentive and perspective. Additionally, it’s virtually impossible to accomplish goals all on your own. Whatever aim you intend to reach, let other people know about it. They can offer insight into how to tackle it and may even be the reason why you get the job done.

Whether it’s increasing revenue, visually enhancing the in-store shopping experience or reducing injuries through strategically placed printed panels, signage is an authentic way to get going on your goals. At NGS Printing we use the finest materials and state-of-the-art equipment so retail banners, pole signs and posters advertise the events and warnings that can advance your aspirations. In short, they can serve as a written means to successful end, fabricated through screen printing or digital printing. For more information, please contact us or visit at our Elgin, Illinois headquarters.