It’s New Years. Want to avoid setting the same ole’ “just add water, have shame in 3 weeks” resolutions? This is the episode for you! It’s that time of year where many of us make some resolutions. But we have a love-hate relationship with New Year’s Resolutions and think it might be a time to rethink how we make them.
Why is that important for business?
What you measure will determine so much about your business. New Year’s is a great time to notice what and how you measure.
Resolutions are often large by their very nature, yet breaking them down into chunks is often much more effective. It’s like what Coach Krzyzewski at Duke University said about winning a game with a 20 point deficit: instead of focusing on the seemingly insurmountable spread, think about winning just the next 5 minutes. Once you string together some 5-minute wins, the bigger deficit will take care of itself.
With resolutions, often the goals themselves are laced with shame, to begin with. Like with diet, sometimes it is more effective to focus on adding in the good, not so much about what you need to take out. When you focus only on what is not working, it fuzzes out the system. Focus on what you need to be adding more of in your life instead.
The new year offers the opportunity of a fresh start. Instead of feeling like a failure in 3 weeks, setting looser goals based on a theme or a guidepost – a litmus test for your decisions that year – can be more effective. And always remember to ask: How do I want to feel? What do I want to feel more of? Not in the moment, necessarily, or you may end up having eight more shortbread cookies. But in your life – what do you want more of? If you are so focused on the goal and not on the feeling that you want, you might miss a better opportunity to achieve that feeling you are seeking.
This isn’t about doing away with resolutions, but right-sizing them, bring some kindness and grace to them, focusing on the right parts (not numerical achievement, but how you want to feel) and finding a rhythm of measurement that feeds you, as well as the right kind of support. Support more like that described in Winning with Accountability: The Secret Language of High-Performing Organizations – accountability not as punishment, but as an opportunity to set self up to not go off the rails in the first place; tether back to what you want, because you will get off track.
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