Industry Professionals Share Their 2021 New Year’s Resolutions - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

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Industry Professionals Share Their 2021 New Year’s Resolutions

Setting New Year’s resolutions is a common practice as one year ends and another begins. While typically people use the new year to set personal goals you can also use the time to set some business resolutions.

Below a handful of NALP members share their professional and personal resolutions for 2021 as well as their tips on how to stick to them.

Business Resolutions

Shayne Newman, LIC, president of YardScapes Landscape Professionals, based in New Milford, Connecticut, says his company starts their intensive planning and budget process in December each year. During this period they look at what they did and didn’t do well as a company.

“After we take a hard look at what we can do better as a company, we then make a list of the areas that we would like to improve upon,” Newman says. “An interesting part of the process is that there are usually things that we are doing well that we realize we could do even better. So, we are attempting to improve on both positive and negative things that we are doing as a company. Finally, we’ll discuss that list and decide as a team what we feel we can successfully incorporate into our planning and budgeting process.”

One of Newman’s resolutions is to improve their training program in 2021.

“We feel that the Landscape Industry Certified Technician Exam is an excellent tool in helping to train and qualify our team,” Newman says. “So one of our most important resolutions is to have several of our team members take and pass the Landscape Industry Certified Technician exam in 2021.”   

Similarly, H. Jaclyn Ishimaru-Gachina, president and CEO of Gachina Landscape Management, headquartered in Menlo Park, California, says after they conduct a SWOT meeting at their annual strategic planning meeting they work on what will be the focus for next year and beyond.

“On the table are new revenue streams of service, efficiency procedures to lower overhead, and maximize/strengthen client and supplier relationships,” Gachina says.

Shawn Bromell, president of Pro Cutters Lawnscapes, Inc. based in Conyers, Georgia, says that she and her husband Steve will meet in January to reflect over the past year, what went right, what went wrong and what they’d like to do better.

Shawn says their resolutions include increasing their revenue by at least 10 percent, making their scholarship program they launched in 2020 even better and have their new training facility they’ve broken ground on completed in 2021.

At Summit Hardscaping, based in Fort Collins, Colorado, president Dave Doyle, LIC, says his goal for 2021 is to ensure all the systems they have implemented are working or being utilized as he has found sometimes simple is better.

Meanwhile, Summit’s vice president Cara Doyle says she wants to get better at her daily work/time management as she can often end up in a rabbit hole when working on something and doesn’t get everything done on her to-do list.

Neil Bales, president and COO of LandPatterns, based in Dallas, Texas, says he isn’t big into New Year’s resolutions but he does believe in setting personal and professional goals. Some of his company’s goals for 2021 include reaching a minimum of 10 percent net profit, reaching company revenue targets, growing and strengthening their team and corporate culture and securing a new facility that allows LandPatterns to continue a trajectory of growth for the next 10 to 15 years.

Personal Resolutions

As for personal resolutions, Steve Bromell, Gachina and Bales all mentioned a desire to maintain healthy lifestyles.

“I bought a Peloton bike which helps me with get stronger to ride and it’s good for my cardiovascular health,” Gachina says. “It’s a routine that I follow every day.”   

Bales also says he wants to strengthen his walk with the Lord and grow his ability to be patient. Shawn Bromell says she hopes to work in the office more next year.

Meanwhile, Newman says he plans to enjoy being outside as much as possible and continue to encourage others to get outside and do what he can to help make their experiences memorable. Dave Doyle says his resolution is to find that work/life balance.

“I need to be better about clocking out of work to spend more time riding my mountain bike or working on non-work projects in my downtime,” Doyle says.

His wife Cara says she would like to cross-train more, as she dances with a ballet company in addition to working at Summit.

“I have found that as I get older, cross-training on my non-dance days really helps,” she says.

Advice for Achieving Resolutions

While it’s fairly easy to set personal and professional goals each year, keeping them is another matter. Newman encourages taking things one day at a time and embracing the challenge.

“I feel that if you care enough about something then you can make it happen,” Newman says.

Gachina says you should make your resolutions part of your routine and they should be realistic. Bales agrees your resolutions should be realistic but should also stretch you mentally and physically.

“I also think it’s important to give yourself grace when you slip or fall,” Bales says. “Don’t look at it as a failure, but rather look at it as an opportunity to learn and get better. What caused you to slip or fail? What can you do differently moving forward so that achievement becomes reality?”

Bales and Steve Bromell both say they’re fairly successful with keeping their resolutions, and even when they do not reach certain ones they simply move them on to next year’s list of resolutions until they are met.

“Just because you don’t meet one of your resolutions don’t throw in the towel on everything,” Steve Bromell says. “A setback is just a setup for a comeback! Become the comeback kid and keep it on your list until it is done! I have an item that has been on my list for over 15 years and it was scheduled to be checked off before COVID-19 decided to join us in 2020. Guess what, it will stay on my list for 2021 and it will be accomplished. Never give up on your goals!”   

Shawn and Steve both advise writing your resolutions down and looking at them often.

“If you don’t see your goals written down, you have almost zero chance of reaching them,” Shawn says. “The new year is a time to dream – that’s why I love it so much…for one, I need something to help me get over the disappointment of Christmas ending! And nothing does it for me like dreaming of new things I want to do for my business, myself and my family. And so what if you don’t achieve them all… if you follow through with just one resolution, you have the power to make a tremendous change in your life!”

Similarly, Dave Doyle says they achieve their business resolutions by sharing them with their crew.

“We are a small tight-knit company and have found that when we let everyone in on our resolutions and goals for the company for the year, we can all help to hold each other accountable,” Doyle says.

Jill Odom

Jill Odom is the content manager for NALP.