Reputations either open doors or slam them shut. If it is the latter, there is no better time than now to resolve to do things differently in future.

People make judgments about business and individuals in an instant. So it pays to have a positive reputation to keep as many doors open as possible.

However, there is a catch. Even though you have been brought up to believe that you can control your reputation, the reality is you can’t.

But you can, and should, influence your reputation to stack the odds in your favour and help people think well of you as much as possible.

There may have been times in the past when you have said or done something you know probably won’t make you or your business look as good as it could.

Do not worry, as the following 10 reputation resolutions will help you to create a new and reputation-enhancing future:

1. I resolve to think before I speak

I have two ears and one mouth and I aim to use them in that proportion.

2. I resolve to hold my tongue

I should count to three before responding to comments and situations that make me angry or defensive, online or off.

3. I resolve to never bad-mouth anyone

This applies to whether something is said in person or on the Internet.

4. I resolve to treat people positively

This involves being fair and gracious with my staff, clients and customers and valuing their contributions to our business successes.

5. I resolve to support the three Ps

These are the people, processes and partnerships operating within my business. I must ensure that they enhance, rather than damage, the business’ reputation.

6. I resolve to act with integrity

This involves being truthful and transparent in my dealings with people and creating a climate of mutual trust and respect

7. I resolve to keep promises I make to myself and others

This means avoiding over-promising and under-delivering.

8. I resolve to “pay-it-forward” when I can

I should do good with no thought of return, and enjoy the pleasure of giving without strings attached.

9. I resolve to accept responsibility for my actions

Avoid blaming others.

10. I resolve to avoid jumping to conclusions and labelling people

Rather, I resolve to accept people as they are and welcome the diversity that life brings.

If you focus on one or more that resonates with you, put them into practice, and you will find yourself attracting clients, customers and opportunities. You will be perceived as someone whom others are happy to be associated with and they will go on to recommend your services to others.

Even if you haven’t had much success making and keeping resolutions in the past, these reputation resolutions really could mean the difference between having a reputation you are proud of — and that opens doors wide — and one that makes it harder for you to achieve what you want to achieve because clients, customers and people around you have doubts about your integrity and ability to deliver.

No matter what has occurred in the past, it is easy enough to create a new, reputation-enhancing future.

Sometimes, actively “patching things up” with people around you may be required, and sometimes it’s more appropriate simply to “move on” to a more positive future without going over old ground.

Whatever choices you make, if you act with integrity, build trust and accept responsibility for your actions, the chances are you will move through the rest of the year and beyond with a reputation that opens doors and creates huge opportunities.

Stacking the reputational odds in your favour can help you increase your perceived value and worth, stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons and help create a winning reputation.