A short time ago, we rang in 2016 excited and determined to honor all our resolutions. Now we're in the end of January, with National Ditch New Year's Resolution day come and gone, and reminded that making changes are hard. But sometimes they're for the best. Especially when it comes to making your company better and more efficient.

If you're struggling to keep your business resolutions, remind yourself why you resolved to make changes in the first place. That will keep you motivated to reach your goals.

And as further inspiration, here are 16 things other entrepreneurs have resolved to remove from their companies in 2016:

1. Overtime

Since I'm in healthcare, our No. 1 cost center is staffing. As the New Year approached, we developed policies such as having all overtime approved by the staffing coordinator, recruiting a pool of individuals who are on an on-call basis, and tracking employee callouts.--Mark Salamon, Gold Crest Care Center

2. Politics

As long as you have more than one person at your company, there is a considerable risk that politics will creep into the business. While we're pretty good at being honest with each other, our internal goal is to bring a deeper level of authenticity to all discussions. Good ideas should always win, no matter who they come from.--Aaron Schwartz, Modify Merch

3. International Boundaries

With technology making the world smaller and many of the world's nations taking on forms of capitalism, the ability to market across the world, create demand, and efficiently transport around the globe becomes easier. Keep your eyes on the global marketplace for a great mid- and long-term investment.--Alexis Levine, Savvy Media

4. Waste

Time is a valuable resource. My biggest failure as a business person was to take my focus off processes. Instead, five years later we are only now building guides and checklists. A lot of what my company does, we do over and over again. A step-by-step process would not only save us time and hassle, but it would make us look a lot prettier if we were ever approached by a potential buyer.--Adam Steele, The Magistrate

5. Interruptions

My company is really working to avoid interruptions between staff. We have implemented weekly meetings. So we now ask the question, "Can it wait for the meeting?" I think we will really increase efficiency.--Brandon Stapper, 858 Graphics

6. The Bottom 20 Percent of Accounts

You need to make sure you are spending your time with accounts that are positively driving your business. We have realized that removing the bottom 20 percent increases employee satisfaction, creates more creative time, and doesn't have a significant impact on revenue. It is healthier for those in the organization to know they are spending their time effectively each and every day!--Drew Gurley, Redbird Advisors

7. Data Nightmares

We realized that over the past five years, we've stored a lot of data in various places: hard drives, Evernote, Dropbox, etc. Duplicate or outdated, unnecessary files are now crowding our workspace. It's a total data nightmare. We are cleaning out all of these files and developing a clear process for file storage going forward. It's not a sexy project, but eliminating clutter will be a real time-saver!--Erica Easley, Gumball Poodle

8. Inbound Email Distractions

We will no longer permit the torrent of emails we receive on a daily basis to block us from committing to our three or four objectives. This has been an ongoing process and now something that we are prepared to push forward to eliminate. We anticipate it will aid our productivity immensely.--Kofi Kankam, Admit.me

9. The Extra Noise

In a small company, there are only so many people and hours in the day, so focus is critical. As the CEO, there are times when I put too much on people and make it hard for them to prioritize. The best thing I can do is eliminate outside noise that isn't relevant to our current goals and allow my people to focus big chunks of time on fewer tasks to ensure quality and strong execution.--Jake Dunlap, Skaled Consuting

10. Overworking Critical Members

We have a remarkable team of critical employees who often take on too much work because they are passionate about our company. Although we appreciate their dedication immensely, we know their commitment will slowly backfire and turn into burnout, workplace fatigue, and eventually, frequent unplanned absences. In order to mitigate this, we'll be actively hiring new staff to relieve them.--Blair Thomas, EMerchantBroker

11. Email

Email is an archaic system that needs to be phased out. We will have one master inbox for sporadic inbound emails, but everything else will be moved to Slack.--Carter Thomas, Bluecloud Solutions

12. Excessive Spending

This year we took on experimental projects (to see what would stick). But those projects became monthly expenses, with a minority of them being completely unjustifiable. What didn't serve us in 2015 will not be carried over into 2016. I definitely want to be running a lean, well-oiled (and current) machine, but not at the expense of my books.--Cody McLain, SupportNinja

13. Negativity

Negativity kills creativity. It's also been shown to impact health risk factors and decrease energy. So, while there isn't much in our company, we're eliminating it. To be clear, "negativity" and "constructive criticism" are different. A negative attitude slows us down, a constructive one speeds us up. This is we're embracing a thoughtful mind in 2016. It's weightless and powerful.--Alexandra Skey, Rallyon

14. Outdated Policies and Procedures

For small companies, informal management structures that allow for high flexibility are often an asset, and many entrepreneurs are unwilling to give this up as they expand. However, for a growing company to succeed, more formal policies and procedures must replace old, informal methods. For 2016, we want to replace our startup mentality for a more certain, firmly defined system.--Alfredo Atanacio,Uassist.ME

15. Ambiguity

Words without meaning include "a lot," "so much," and "a ton." They just create extra anxiety and aren't based on fact. We shouldn't say "a lot of product was damaged in shipping," but "approximately 100-200 cases were damaged." Even a big range is better than "a ton." -Nikhil Arora, Back to the Roots

16. A Paper Trail

I want to make our company as paper-free as is humanly possible. It's not easy, but it's a goal.--Kevin Henrikson, Outlook iOS & Android @ Microsoft

These are the top results from a survey of entrepreneurs on the topic of business resolutions for 2016 provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

Published on: Jan 29, 2016