How are you going with your New Year’s Resolutions?

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The practice of making New Year’s resolutions has been with us for over 4,000 years. The practice is said to have commenced with the ancient Babylonians who, with each New Year, would return items that they had borrowed and pay debts so as not to anger the gods.

Today about half of us approach setting New Year’s Resolutions seriously, unfortunately the success rate for people completing New Year’s Resolutions by year’s end is somewhere between eight and fifteen percent.

I am not someone who sets New Year resolutions, however I will share something else that I do at this time each year as I consider the year ahead.

In the meantime, if you subscribe to setting New Year resolutions, Kevin Kruse writing in Forbes Magazine[1] offers seven tips:

  • Make your goals specific.
  • Measure progress.
  • Be patient.
  • Share your goals with friends and family.
  • Schedule it.
  • Something is better than nothing.
  • Getup, when you slip.

As an alternative to setting New Year’s Resolutions I think about and plan the year ahead (not in too much detail). I give myself until the end of January to complete this. One aspect that informs my plans for the year ahead is to choose one word that will be the focal point for me for the year. In 2016 my word was Momentum for a variety of reasons that will take too long to go into here. In the simplest of terms as I went about what I was doing in different aspects of my life throughout the year I would check-in regularly with myself to ensure what I was doing was contributing to keeping me moving; if I concluded it wasn’t, I stopped doing what I was doing. As a result I was initiating a lot more activity in a range of aspects in my life – I ended the year fitter, we had a great holiday and some great short breaks, and our business benefited in many ways.  To keep your chosen word ‘top of mind’ you need to see it daily. There are number of things you can do such as create a screen saver for your PC or phone, put it in a prominent place such as on the refrigerator, a mirror, or the dashboard of your car.The word you choose is yours and yours alone, the only person it has to have meaning to is you. There only a couple of guidelines; it needs to be an action word, invest time to really think about what is a meaningful word for you, and once decided, commit to it. I am down to two words for 2017, I have 19 days to reach a final decision and complete my plans. Best of all, it is only one word that I have to remind myself of, not a whole series of resolutions – give it a try.

Happy New Year!

Viventé Australia enables leaders and managers develop the bond between people and performance, creating a powerful advantage: the synergy between people, leadership, management, and culture, produces performance that allows your business to achieve its best.

[1] Forbes Magazine December 26th; 7 Secrets Of People Who Keep Their New Year’s Resolutions; Kevin Kruse