Last week, I revealed how the  Hershey's first female CEO planned to spend the first few days of the new year. Hershey, of course, is a huge company, so I thought it might be useful to see what the entrepreneur CEOs of a few smaller (but still highly-successful) firms are doing this week. 

1. Reassessing strategy.

"Our focus next year will be to re-evaluate our business and incumbent practices to ensure we're prepared to handle our growth and competition. Over the past decade, many aspects of business have been shaken up as a result of rapidly developing technology. Because many of the companies that formed during this period have begun to mature as viable solutions, we're looking forward to see how we will be able to streamline and improve the way we run."
-- Young Lee, CEO of Flame Broiler

2. Committing to lifelong learning. 

"My New Year's resolution and a practice I will implement on day one of the new year will be to open myself up to learning more. Learning how to help my franchisees grow to be hugely successful; learning how to add the right people to my team, and how to pace myself, too. I spent 35 years in the ownership world and built successful swim schools in two continents - but then I entered into the world of franchising as a newbie. I never realized that I could know so little! Whilst I have gained a great deal of knowledge over the past five years, and have had amazing people who have taught me so much, I recognize that I have to keep on reading, asking questions, attending conferences, and keep on learning."
-- Rita Goldberg, CEO of British Swim School

3. Reigniting the passion.

"The first of the year signifies my promise to deliver on creating a culture of expansion, innovation, and success with great enthusiasm. It is our opportunity to breathe life into the plans we've created, and to re-ignite the passion in the individuals that I am fortunate enough to lead. The first few days of the year are usually filled with New Year's resolutions and decisions to make better choices. I personally think that a "failure to plan" is a plan to fail, so we don't wait for the new year to begin implementation."
-- Sagi Cohen, CEO of Pioneer Landscape Centers

4. Creating some balanced goals.

"On our way home from vacation, my family will make lists of our individual goals for the year ahead. We'll take time to reflect on our intentions from the past year and consider them while creating our new ones. I've always loved this tradition as it ensures that I balance my personal, professional and family-based goals. Striking this balance just right is something I'm always striving toward; it makes me a better CEO to my team, a better dad and better to myself." 
-- Ken Plasse, CEO of Fishpeople Seafood

5. Being more thankful.

My most important action in the new year is to be actively thankful. While the start of a new year is always a new beginning, history is not erased. So I find it's important while I'm looking forward to where we're going to also look back at where we've been. As I reflect, I always--without exception--find I'm thankful for so much: our team, our mission, our customers, our franchise owners, etc. So while New Year's Day is a day of renewal for many (and for me as well), it is also a day of reflection and gratitude. This puts me in the right frame of mind to get the year off to a great start!
-- Alex Bingham, CEO of The Little Gym International

6. Planning more deeply. 

"With a new year comes relaxation and grand planning. I usually like to take a long walk or drive early to gather my thoughts of the past year and identify what I can do better in the new year. I start making a mental list of all my goals and plans to make things happen starting immediately. Once I sort this mental list I will usually sit quietly and put pen to paper, prioritizing initiatives and outlining timelines to complete each one. The first is always a mental rejuvenation day. Instead of TV or other distractions, I spend the day reflecting and thinking. I truly enjoy my NYD as it's time that I truly spend enjoying my thoughts which is not common in the rat race we are in day in and day out. It's a welcome change and much needed to ensure the year starts off right."
-- Bart Silvestro, CEO of Chef's Cut Real Jerky Co.

7. Doing something crazy.

"At 10 a.m. New Year's Day, I participated in the Polar Bear Plunge in La Jolla Shores with 200 others. Thanks to the currents coming down from Alaska, the water was around 57 degrees - enough to make your toes turn blue. Besides being a fun event with family and friends, this event is also about the start of another chapter/another year professionally and personally. The ice cold water shocks your body and mind into a profound state of aliveness, so after I got out of the water, I wrote down my goals both personally and professionally for the new year." 
-- Danielle Dietz-LiVolsi, CEO of NuttZo

8. Implementing a mobile strategy.

I will spend the first days of 2018 reminding our operations staff that, with all that is new in our business, our success depends on the same principles as always-dependable speed of throughput, menu simplicity, and a positive guest experience. We will be rolling out our mobile ordering app in January, and we cannot lose sight of the fact that 95% of our business will still be walking in the door and ordering as it always has. We need to rollout and grow mobile ordering without disrupting the majority of our customers. We cannot lose focus and disappoint existing business while trying to grow new business.
-- Rodney Anderson, Founder and CEO of Pancheros Mexican Grill

9. Training for a marathon  

"The most important thing I'll do in the new year is reset myself physically and mentally after a busy and cookie-filled holiday season by going for a jog. I'm training for a half marathon in February."
-- Ryan Farr, CEO of 4505 Meats

"Running clears my mind and eating great resets my system, immediately establishing internal balance. Balance from the inside out helps me be the best version of myself. There will inevitably be many things we face as entrepreneurs that are out of our control, but killing it where we can helps navigate it all with our best foot forward.
-- Jon Sebastiani, Founder and CEO of Sonoma Brands

10. Cleaning up my desk

"I start the year by setting aside time to completely clean off my desk. Year-end leaves a whirl of projects and reports. Setting aside time, without distraction, to review and start fresh makes all the difference in focusing your intention on the future and your goals."
-- Buffy Simoni, President of Paper Mart

Published on: Jan 3, 2018
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