7 New Years Resolutions Every Funeral Professional Should Make For 2014

Can you believe 2014 is almost here?

Are you ready for it?And by ready, I mean, have you found a way to be your best version of you – both personally and professionally – in 2014?

Today, I want you to think about how you can make 2014 the best year yet. And it all starts with creating a resolution for this upcoming new year.

Need some inspiration? Check out these 7 New Years resolutions I believe every funeral professional should be making for 2014!


1) Set a goal… to set a goal

It sounds silly, but I think one of your New Years resolutions for 2014 should be to make a New Years resolution. Writing down your goals for yourself and your business is the first (and most important) step in achieving them. Choose between 1-10 goals for yourself and your funeral home, and keep them in a place where you can review them regularly. And when you do achieve one of your goals, celebrate it. It’s this continuous goal setting cycle that will help you live a meaningful life, and have a meaningful career.


2) Get rid of what’s not working

When Michelangelo unveiled his infamous David sculpture in 1504, many people asked him how he dreamed up such a divine masterpiece. He simply said “I just chipped away all the rock that wasn’t David.” If you were creating a sculpture of who you are, what would you chip away? Think about those things you do everyday that don’t serve your personal life or business aspirations. Are these things keeping you from doing what you truly want to do? If so, it’s time to let them go. Once you chip away everything that doesn’t serve you from your life, you’ll find that you have a lot more time to do the things that actually do serve you. Try it for one week, and you’ll notice the difference.


3) Be courageous

When you think of the word “courageous”, you might picture a knight with his armor or an undefeated hero.  But did you know the root word for courage is “cor”, which actually means heart in Latin? In its early days, the word courage meant “to speak someone’s mind by telling all one’s heart.”  To me, that means that the more authentic you are – both personally and in your business – the more people will receive and accept you.

Have you ever allowed yourself to be vulnerable in front of a family? What if you told them about a time you experienced a loss? What if you told the story of someone else’s life with the same courage you tell your spouse you love them? Try putting your WHOLE heart into everything you do, and I think you’ll be surprised by how much it’s received by others.


4) Try something new

For some reason, many funeral professionals I talk to get pretty hung up on trying something new that has the potential to better for their business. Whether it’s a new business venture, new product, or new website, “new” is always viewed as a risk – and usually many funeral practitioners aren’t willing to take. I think it’s because we’re afraid of the unknown. Most people fear that the new idea or venture won’t work out.  But what these people don’t realize is that while taking a risk is scary, doing nothing at all is even more scary.

Like we learned above, if something isn’t working, it’s time to cut it and try something new.  And yes, this includes something as bold as a new business model (which I believe many funeral homes should re-think) or something as small as wearing a brighter colored tie to appear less stuffy.  Practice fighting the fear of the unknown by trying something new at home. And once you’ve mastered risk-taking, use that mindset to carry you through a new business decision. It will make all the difference.


5) Stay curious

If you’ve gotten out of the habit of continuously learning,  it’s time to start again. Even if you claim to be an “expert” in anything, there’s always more to learn. In fact, most people would argue that the more you know, the less you know. Even Socrates once said “the only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” So don’t stop learning in 2014. Life is an ongoing learning experience. So brace yourself for the lessons it brings you each day.


6) Stop talking (and start listening)

We all love to hear ourselves talk, don’t we? But what do you learn when you’re always the one doing all the talking? Nothing, really. So in 2014, I challenge you to use your ears more than your mouth and learn from what you hear. Listen to families. Listen to your employees. Listen to your community. Listen to them both verbally and nonverbally. Listen until you can’t listen anymore. Listening is invaluable to any business because at the end of the day, we’re here to give people what they want. And how will we ever know what they want if we’re not willing to sit down and let them tell us?


7) Bring value to others

I say “bring value” because value is such a wide open word. In the business sense, bringing value to customers is important because without value, there is no business. Maybe your problem isn’t even bringing value, but proving it to families. Think about ways you can both bring and prove value in 2014, Maybe it starts with offering personalized services, or finally updating your website so it actually educates families about your services. Once you take the steps to start bringing value to others’ lives, they’ll always remember what you’ve done for them.


Looking into 2014, I feel excited. Excited for change. Excited for innovation. And most of all, excited for you. I have a feeling 2014 will be one of your most memorable years. And I hope you choose to embrace it.

Good luck to you and your funeral business in 2014!


What goals do you want to achieve in 2014? Tell me about them in the comments below!


Joe Joachim


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  1. Frank Falk

    Very insightful article. You’re pretty wise for someone who’s still wet behind the ears!

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