2013 Goals

The New Year is officially here, and with it comes New Year's resolutions. By now, you probably have your market and performance goals for your business well-defined, but consider these seven meta-goals to help you reach those other benchmarks.

1. Delegate One Task Each Day

While planning your work each day this year, choose one task to assign to an employee or assistant. Most business owners fail miserably when identifying what they can and should delegate. This practice will help you learn.

2. Jettison 20% of Your Mass

Consider this weight loss for your business. Whether it's furniture you don't use, stock you can't move, junk in the back room or an entire department, figure that roughly 20 percent of the stuff in your office is unnecessary and costs you money each day. Lose it.

3. Automate One System Each Month

There are no shortages of activities that can stand to be automated. Bill paying services, hiring a cleaning company and finding the perfect app are just three examples of this. At the end of the year, you'll have twelve tasks you no longer have to think about, other than to read the email confirming it's finished.

4. Run a Marketing Mile

There are 5,280 feet in a mile. This year, perform 5,280 acts of marketing -- just under 15 a day. Record them in a journal and note how they worked from time to time. Examples include sending an SMS broadcast, calling a lapsed customer, and giving a business card to somebody you meet at the 7-11.

5. Commit to 365 Hours of Self-Time

Make time to rest and refresh every day. If one day is too busy, pay yourself back by taking two hours another day that week. Get enough sleep. Go to a movie. Spend time with your family. Exercise. The time will pay you back in dividends of energy, creativity and drive.

6. Run Your Numbers Every Night

Commit to looking at the key marketing, income and expense statistics for your company every single night, both alone and in context of historical performance. This should only take ten minutes a day, but has two enormous advantages. It keeps your books up-to-date, and it gives you up-to-the-minute updates you can use to make better decisions for your business.

7. Get Education Every Week

Every single week, learn something new and relevant you can apply to your business. Listen to a podcast, read a blog, read a book, attend a conference, go to a chamber of commerce presentation, subscribe to a magazine. Bonus points for talking about what you learned with a trusted friend or other business owner.

What goals did we miss? What are your top goals for 2013?