It’s a new year! Happy New Year! Have you made any resolutions? What were they? Can you tell I am full of exuberance? Or perhaps it is just one too many cups of coffee as Travel Research Online kicks off 2015! No it is legitimate excitement that each year brings. I am a believer in setting goals for yourself, both personally and professionally. But I also believe that any goals need to be attainable.
Sure, I’d love to personally sell $10 million in travel this year. I’d also like to cash that commission/fee check. But that is unreasonable. I am not sure I am even going to set any solid numbers this year; but will direct my efforts to more broad results. I have seen time and time again in this industry, outside forces have a way of thwarting any progress. And I have had some success with broad results on a personal level, that I want to bring it into my travel business.
Last year, I decided to lose weight. It was a resolution, but I approached it a bit differently. I did not say that I needed to lose X pounds per week or that by December 31 I needed to be a specific weight. My broad goal was to lose weight. I decided that I was going to severely reduce my calorie intake and increase my exercise. The actual goals were made as I went along. Losing the first ten pounds. Getting below a certain number. Walking one more mile. I used technology to help me too. I bought a Fitbit to track my steps; and I use the Map My Fitness and My Fitness Pal apps to track exercise and meals. After a rough start, I finally got into the groove. And I saw some results. After the first month, I realized I could do it. I kept at it. And here I am a little over a year later, nearly 90 pounds lighter, feeling better than I have in years, and fitting into some clothing sizes I hadn’t seen since the 80s.
So where does this all fit into travel and New Year’s resolutions? As I was going through my whole weight loss thing, I realized that long-term success is about biting off manageable pieces, executing them, and moving on. If you want to increase your cruise business, rather than talk in dollars and cents, set your goal to book 2 cruises per month over last year. It is manageable. It may fall into your lap, or you may need to work at it. If you need to increase your income, rather than raising fees or cutting essential costs, why not look to be more consistent with your fees and costs? For me and my niche, I want to offer just two more groups this year than in years past. My customers have told me what they want (active vacationing) and this year I plan to put a whitewater rafting trip and a biking trip into my mix. Two groups are not a huge goal—I realize that. But they are a smaller, more manageable step towards increasing my business. And most importantly, accomplishing these goals will likely motivate me more. As when I was losing weight, when I saw the results, I strived to see more. Two more groups may lead to three or four; but two more than last year is more revenue for the agency.
Do you have any strategic goals for 2015? How do you manage them? Are they big and bold? Or do you prefer small and manageable like me?