It’s customary, though optional, to form new year’s resolutions to commit to behaviors that we want to observe in the coming months. We vow to lose weight (in general or a specific number of pounds), to get back into some clothes that are too small for us currently, to join a gym, to start running or biking, to begin or stick with an exercise program, to eat less, to give up smoking, to swear off dessert, to reduce snacking, to improve our cardio, to read more, to get more sleep, and on it goes. For the most part – while these activities and desires are fine on their own – they are not powerful enough to actually get us to modify our behavior for more than a few days.
So, here we are two weeks into the new year, and we can look at what we set out to do to see if we are still on track to accomplish any of our resolutions or if they have already fallen. On the other hand, many of us just vowed to ourselves – without making formal resolutions – to do better in certain areas of our lives. It’s a little early to tell how we are doing as long as we are still in pursuit of those aims.
One such area where we may have decided to focus is our aging in place business, whether it’s an ongoing effort from last year (or prior years) or one we are just preparing to begin – and whether it’s our business or one that we are growing for someone else.
For our business, aging whether it’s ours or we are an employee, we need to have an idea of how we want that business to grow, develop, and function this year. If we haven’t given it much thought until now, this is a great time to evaluate our direction. For instance, we can decide to be more organized or more punctual – to minimize the extra effort involved in looking for lost or misplaced items or to reduce our stress by arriving at appointments on time or not scheduling our day so tight as to not allow for unexpected delays.
Better organization can help us do our jobs better by responding to emails or phone messages as we receive them rather than putting them off until later – and possibly missing out on new business. Also, we can keep necessary office supplies (like toner, paper, and pens) in good supply so there are fewer emergencies and panic situations.
We also can organize our filing system (actual paper storage or online in our computer or the cloud) so that we spend far less time searching for something and can go right to where it is or should be.
Regarding our aging-in-place business, whatever type of product or service we provide, our new year’s resolution or direction should be to determine where we fit into our market area by determining who else is in the space and exactly what it is we do that no one else can provide in exactly the same way. There’s always going to be competition, but it’s being or doing something special that our competition doesn’t provide or being known for a quality not found among others that makes us stand out in our marketplace.
It doesn’t matter how long we have been providing our aging in place products or services, or if we are just starting out in the field, we need to have a clear picture of what we want to do and how we want to be known by the public. By doing this, we are much more likely to have a new year’s resolution that we can stick with for more than a few days.
We can decide that we like doing what we have been providing, or we can elect to change our business model. We can narrow or expand our focus and take on larger projects or ones with more limited budgets. We can select to work with people requiring general safety and accessibility help to enable them to remain in their homes more comfortably, or we can work with people (regardless of their age) who have specific mobility concerns that need to be addressed in order to allow them full function use of their homes.
We need to determine the direction of our business for this year – whether it’s what we have been doing previously or something new – and then work to establish ourselves in our marketplace to provide the services and solutions we are best at doing, that there is room to provide in light of the competition, and that we can support ourselves financially while doing it. Then, we create a specific resolution that reflects this and get on with making it happen this year!