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You did it! Another year has come to a close and you’ve navigated lots of challenges and lived to tell the tale! Whether you had a stellar year or one that you are not sorry to put behind you, it is natural to reflect back as it comes to an end and reset your intentions. Thinking about a brand new year is so attractive, right? It’s an exciting feeling to open a new planner and look at those blank days, how will you fill them?

As a salon owner there are so many things vying for our attention on a day-to-day basis. While you can make what seems like a reasonable plan, it is so easy to get caught in the weeds. I find that if I’m not mindful about how I’m spending my time, I could get bogged down solving unforeseen day-to-day issues instead of the big picture items. It’s always something. Seriously. A winter storm is brewing and we need to decide whether to close and move all the clients. A leak in the guest bathroom needs immediate attention. A wobbly salon chair needs tightening but perhaps replacing it altogether is best. And ongoing personnel nurturing.

While the day-to-day issues do need attention, you’ve still got to remember to keep an eye on broad brush goals as well. What are the things that will move the needle and create a successful and profitable business? It can't always be putting out fires. You need to make sure these little things don’t impact the proactive strides you want to make for your business.

What kind of year do you want 2024 to be? I like to take a moment to visualize how I’d like to look back at the end of 2024. It’s a powerful exercise. What would you like to have accomplished both personally and professionally by the end of the year?

Setting goals is certainly one thing that deserves some thought. Goals are concrete and measurable. But setting goals is only the first step to success because life gets in the way.

A few years ago when I was grappling with multiple personnel and salon logistics issues I decided to take some time and reflect on what makes me not only happy but productive and centered on a personal level. How can I avoid feeling overwhelmed with so much on my plate? I decided to develop my own principles, or guidelines, that I could refer to help me stay focused. Tying back how I conduct my time and set my intentions are rooted in what I refer to as my very own principles and it has helped me feel more in control of my time and progress.

While I update my principles annually in line with my birthday, most people tend to start new behaviors or goals with the new year. I find it is important to update them annually to make sure they are still in step with where I am in my life. Such as how my family dynamics may have changed, my kids are growing and changing with different demands on my time for example. I’ve added more salon locations and a bigger management team to guide. Naturally what I’m trying to achieve is in constant flux as my business grows or changes.

It’s important to note that my principles are mine. Hopefully you’ll find some inspiration from them and the concept of writing down your principles. We may even have some in common. But I think they need to come from you and your personal set of circumstances so they are uniquely yours and can resonate and be effective.

My Principles for 2024

I embrace Mondays Actually I LOVE Mondays. My kids think I’m so weird, but I decided a long time ago that I didn’t want to be someone who hates Mondays. That would be like hating 1/7th of my life! If you are one of those people that hate Mondays, or maybe Sundays, or any day or time of the week, I would challenge you to change your mindset. I dedicate Mondays to working on things that I love a well as key initiatives on my business which also makes me happy. It helps keep me on track of my goals when I recommit to my plans on a weekly basis and cut through the noise of all that I have going on.

I believe the glass is half full. Heck I believe the glass is filled to the brim. I have trained myself to try to see the positive possibilities in any circumstances no matter how bleak they seem at first. I look for the opportunity with what may initially seem bad and it keeps my outlook positive. Having that kind of “can do” mindset helps me navigate difficult issues and it also sets a good example for my team. Try turning your attitude around for your next unforeseen challenge, it’s been a game changer for me.

I know it’s okay to make mistakes. I don’t like to brag, but I’m pretty good at making mistakes. But hey, that’s just part of life and running a business. We all make them, I just try to learn from them, apologize when I’m wrong and not dwell once I’ve digested it and do what I can to correct it. Dwelling on mistakes can make you not only feel worse but can cause a dangerous kind of knock on effect that just isn't productive. So I accept that I will make mistakes, learn and move on.

I believe in myself. It’s a great feeling to know that you can’t let yourself down. Believing in yourself doesn’t mean that I have to DO everything myself. It means that I know I can always find a solution.  I just really just never give up and I have a pact with myself to keep focused and when something or someone needs attention, get on with it and figure it out. It means that if I set out with a goal whether it’s launching a new product or service or opening an entire new location, I will make that commitment and follow through.

I don’t waste time.Not wasting time doesn’t mean that I work all the time. It’s more about time management. I schedule in fun, family time and work to varying degrees. But I’m intentional with my time. It's the most precious thing I’ve got so I don’t waste it. In fact, I manage time increments down to minutes. I don’t allocate an hour or half hour to a task or meeting unless it requires it. Sometimes you just need 7 minutes or 3 minutes. It depends on the task. Once you figure out that time doesn’t have to be allocated at the top of the hour or half hour, it’s a game changer.

What Are Your Principles?

If you want to implement some principles for yourself, the first thing you need to do is set goals. Once those are done, think about how you operate. What makes you tick? What are your strengths and weaknesses as a salon leader? What takes joy away from you? What makes you feel happier and more productive? You’ve only got one shot at 2024. Make it a good one!

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