Go to the gym 6 days a week. Organize the garage. There’s that “next great American novel” you need to finish.

Most of us will have some resolutions for the new year, and if we’re diligent, most of us will stick to them — for at least 3 or 4 weeks. But what about your HOA? If individuals consider the new year a time for reflection and self improvement, shouldn’t your HOA take this opportunity to set some goals?

Out with the Old

In 2015, you probably saw your share of conflicts and “why didn’t we plan for this?” moments. With 2016 upon us, it’s time to put all that to rest. First and foremost, resolve to begin the year with a clean slate, free of animosity. Then, decide what lessons can be learned going forward.

Gather as a board and assess what went well last year, and what could be improved. Talk over the issues that came up, and how they were (or weren’t) resolved.

Listen to your manager and maintenance staff and take their opinions and feelings seriously. After all, these are your “boots on the ground” and they might have a better feel for the pulse of the community.

In with the New

Once you’ve assessed 2015, make some goals for the New Year. Not sure where to start? Consider the following to get you started:

  • Go with what you know — Your HOA has governing documents. Review them carefully and ask the other board members to do the same. How well have the by-laws been enforced this year? Should any changes be made?
  • Follow the money — Consider areas that may need special attention around the community. Your budget may have planned for some of these expenses but try to consider items that can make a big difference without blowing the budget. Plan for these things NOW and set aside the necessary funding.
  • Sharpen your skills — Attend some CAI educational events, or training put on by attorneys, insurance companies, or other industry professionals. Many of these events are held locally but the national events are often worth the money. You might be surprised at what you will learn.
  • Be more transparent — Leaving homeowners in the dark on community issues can only causes discontent. Make sure the lines of communication open. Find ways to involve homeowners in community improvement plans.

No matter your goals for 2016, you can make this year more productive and harmonious than the last. Strive for a balance between being adaptable and adhering to the CC&Rs that have served you well. As for how to find that balance — maybe that’s another post.

Happy New Year!

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