As unbelievable as it is, the 2010s are now behind us. It’s ten years since I graduated high school and you can listen to a “throwback” playlist of the 2010s. One of the things that comes up all the time around this time of year are resolutions that people come up with just to sound trendy or make it sound like they’re trying to better themselves.

I don’t like New Years resolutions because they all too often flop and aren’t realistic. If you want to work out everyday or eat more healthy, that’s fine. But…you probably won’t keep it because the resolution you’ve made is too vague. I prefer goals. Make goals for yourself to be able to obtain your year-end or decade-end goal.

How do I mean?

Let’s say you go into 2020 wanting to lose weight. Start out swapping a Big Mac with a homemade salad and working out once or twice a week. As you gain that habit, you can build onto it by swapping another unhealthy meal with something else healthy.

If you’re like me and you want to make your business grow, there are some great goals to make in the next year. People will often say they want to become more popular or make more money, but they have to set goals to achieve that. How can you become more successful in your business? Organization and communication are two huge things to think about, because that’s what drives a business!

Latasha James, digital marketing strategist and content creator, produced a video that has great tips and tools to better your business in 2020. You can check the video out here, but I’ll give you some of my own tips that may or may not mirror what Latasha says.

I mainly use pen and paper for most of my projects, but as I venture deeper and broader I see areas where I need to sharpen up. I’ve used Evernote in the past but not extensively, and if you’re looking to organize notes that you need to keep longer than paper will exist, this desktop app is awesome. You can organize notes into folders and have pages within those folders to further organize your business. As a writer and publisher, this is huge to me.

If you are looking to write a book this year, I highly suggest making an outline. I used to be very against outlines because I thought it stifled creativity, but I’ve discovered it doesn’t stifle anything! What an outline does is give you a paved road to drive on. There may be potholes and hills to traverse, but it gives a clear direction to put your ideas into. Many writers swear by Scrivener, so that might be a great tool to check out to organize your thoughts. I tried Scrivener and I didn’t like the number of tools it boasted.

Set realistic goals for yourself! If you go into the new year with vague or broad ideas on what you want to do, you won’t succeed. At least not on the level that you want to. Break down your overall goal into smaller goals. Want to better your business? Great! Break it down to realistic things you can do to better it. Stay more organized is a goal you can better obtain than merely growing your business.

Be sure to check out Latasha’s video for more and have a great New Years!

Ethan H. Gaines is the author of Tears of the Saint and the Marston Series under the pen name Ryatt Eddie Cash. He is also the owner of Last Best Press and flip-publisher of Northside Neighbors, a private magazine in Kalispell, Montana.

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