I recently looked at my last year's New Year's resolutions as published in Club Industry in December 2002 — I did an OK job. In fact, here is last year's list with commentary on how I did:

  • Lose 20 pounds. (Still have about 10 — maybe 15 — to go.)

  • Set up the baby's nursery by mid-February. (Done in plenty of time, now if we can only get Jake to sleep there.)

  • Turn my Talk Back page in on time. (Sometimes I get that done.)

  • Learn more about lawn care, now that I have one. (Hired a landscaper — too hard!)

  • Run a 10K race. (Not yet.)

  • Take yoga regularly. (Is twice a year regularly?)

  • Get a library card and read a book a month. (Got the card, read only three books.)

  • Meet more club owners and management. (Did that, but need to meet even more this year.)

  • Stick to these past Jan. 10 this year.

  • As for Number 9, I stuck to my resolutions longer than Jan. 10, but didn't get them all done. In fact, some of these resolutions will make this year's list again, along with a few new ones. So did I fail? No. I had a plan and went about hitting goals and accomplished quite a few while making strides on others. Could I do a better job this year? Sure. Will I? I can only hope so.

    The key to goals and resolutions is to work toward achieving them, remembering the ones you have succeeded with while trying to reach new ones. It is often too easy to backslide on goals you've hit while concentrating on the new ones.

    This is something that club owners, managers and sales staff (all staff really) should keep in mind as the New Year's rush of new members stream into your clubs. Often lost in this rush of these new goals are the members that came in last year or even last week. While the lure of adding new members to the roll is exciting and profitable (to both the club and the salesperson) it can be a net-zero impact if older members feel ignored or underserviced, sending them to the competition down the street (where they will be treated the way you are treating your new members now — because they will be!)

    Maybe this is the year to focus your entire staff on not only getting members enrolled but also keeping them happy and part of the club's community (perhaps even to the point of incentives for staff members that service and help retain members).

    This shouldn't be your only goal or resolution for the new year — don't forget the ones you didn't achieve or only made strides with from last year's list when adding new ones this year — but in the long run it could be the most important one to your bottom line.

    Have a happy and safe holiday season and New Year!