[IMGCAP(1)]I was in my spin class the other day and got into a fairly decent conversation about New Year’s resolutions. I told them that I don’t make resolutions, I make choices. In my mind, these are very different things.

Resolutions are typically broad in nature and come with a heartfelt attempt to “try” and do something. Choices, however, involve a commitment. When you make a choice to do something, it’s about making that choice happen regardless of the obstacles that stand in the way.  

Achieving any kind of growth, personally or professionally, requires a commitment. That commitment can take many forms:

•    Investing into people, products and technology
•    Investing into marketing
•    Making the time to execute your marketing and sales plans
•    Embracing new ideas
•    Hiring someone to help you achieve your growth
•    Self-evolution

Professional service firms that are growing don’t just set a goal, but commit to that goal through their actions and hold themselves and others accountable for making it happen. They think through what it will take to accomplish their goals and then make the time to do it.

Growth doesn’t happen by sitting back and waiting for it to fall on your doorstep. It happens only by doing.

By now I am sure you have some goals for growing your business in 2012. If not, you should.

Here are five ideas to help you commit to growth:

1.    Commit X hours a week towards your goal and block it on your calendar.
2.    Create tracking metrics for your goals so you know you’re on-task (make sure they are realistic and measurable).
3.    Write out how you will achieve your goals.
4.    Share your goals, and more importantly your commitment, with others.
5.    Keep your commitment posted where you can see it everyday.

Sarah Johnson is the chief growth strategist with Inovautus Consulting, a firm that works with CPA, law and professional service firms to help them grow more effectively, and author of “Practical Ideas for Growth,” a blog dedicated to growing professional firms. Her counsel and strategies have helped move firms to the next level in their marketing and sales efforts. Connect with Sarah at 773-208-7170, sjohnson@inovautus.com, or www.linkedin.com/in/sjjohnson