I’m a big fan of goals for the new year – both personally and professionally. I think, though, that “New Year’s Resolutions” sometimes get a bad rap, but I think a lot of it has to do with the name itself (and how the sentiment has really shifted over the years). The intention, despite being well-meaning, now feels like it’s more about reacting to something that we don’t do well, enough of, etc. than it is about simply putting a positive goal out into the world. That’s why here at [wp], we prefer the word goal. It feels like it more appropriately captures the intended hopeful spirit of the act.

On the business-front, goals for the coming year tend to come in all forms – from revenue-focused to better business processes. We’d like to introduce, if we may, an added thought for your end-of-2015-planning. Separate from your business goals, see if you can come-up with some goals for your brand. Here are two easy questions to help in the process:

1. What could my business be doing to better serve my customers?

It’s a simple question, but we like it for two reasons: first, it’s often overlooked. Amidst the day-to-day craziness of actually running your business, it’s easy to forget to keep your eyes focused on your consumer – and her needs. Remember, your brand isn’t just a snappy tagline; it’s the culmination of a million little actions. Second, the question can very easily lead to new business systems or new offerings. Do an audit of what you hear from your customers; chances are themes will emerge that will lead you to some interesting actions steps.

2. What is the biggest threat to your business?

We absolutely love this question and actually ask it of our business on a monthly basis. Instead of seeing it as a negative or frightening question, we think it’s incredibly telling. For us, the answers have led to both new services as well as an alternate positioning strategy for our company. Uncover your vulnerabilities, name them, and then systematize ways to turn them into business strengths.

When it comes to brand goals, we leave you with this one thought: remember that brands aren’t static entities that are defined and then forgotten. The amazing thing about your brand, and this time of year, is that you always have the ability to dream it all up again.