5 New Years Non-Resolutions

5 New Years Non-Resolutions

There are many dangers in the idea of New Years Resolutions.  People seem to break them as soon as the make them.  Soon, despondent, they turn away from their self improvement ideas entirely and nothing changes year by year.   Here are some ideas for how you can apply your resolutions more effectively.

Too Absolute

When you set the kind of absolutist goals that most Resolutions are made of (I mean, just listen to that word) you’re setting yourself up to fail.  The second you misstep, the second that you falter a few inches, most people pack up their bags and abandon their idea.  Instead of packing and running, simply leave yourself some room for humanity.  So what, the man trying to loose some weight had a bad weekend, that doesn’t mean he should give up on his goals.

Some ideas for your work life:

These changes are simple, it’s all in the phrasing.

I will beat last year’s numbers

Instead try

I will work to improve on last year.

This leaves room for error.  If you had one bad weekend this month, well you can keep that in perspective.

Too Metric

Drop 100 lbs, gain 5% of this, drop 10 of that.  Why are numbers so in control?  Take the power back by focusing on the human aspect of your personal development.  The person trying to loose 100 lbs should really be aiming to live more healthily.  There is no true measurement for that.  Instead of numbers, look to the ideals behind them.

Some ideas for your work life:

I will make a 15% increase in sales and attend 5 more networking conferences.

Why not

I will focus on improving my fiscal efficiency and leveragable  contacts.

The important distinction here is that you could spend 20% more working to increase sales.  You could also attend all 5 of those conferences and sit in the corner for each of them.  Instead, you’ve set your eyes on the purpose behind the numbers.

Misguided Ambition

Have you listened to some of your friend’s goals?  There is a fine line between ambition and delusion.  Many people cross way over.  Huge boasts in weight, total diet change, radical life shifts.  Sure, they have lofty goals and ideals behind them but they lack substance.  These are the pleas of the desperately hopeful who don’t recognize the work required to achieve their goals.   Tone it down, find a sweet medium between achievable and life changing.

Some ideas for your work life:

I’m going to expand my client base two-fold.

Slow down, how about…

I’m going to seek as many new opportunities as possible with an eye toward client base expansion.

First and foremost – while it’s good to have benchmarks, they also create a point for failure.  I’ll talk more about that in a second.  But more importantly, this creates a more holistic vision of your goals.  Rather than a specific goal to create new clients, you’ll leave yourself open to all forms of new opportunities.

Break it Down

The next danger is that you’ll have no way to gauge progress when you create a massive, full year plan.  Instead you should break it down into consumable portions.  This is where you can start adding in metrics and measures.  You can only do that keeping the other points in mind though, they’re just progress markers.

Examples for your work life:

I want to learn Mandarin to better communicate with our office in China.

Mandarin’s a complex language, how about…

By the end of February, I want to understand basic grammar, by the end of July be able to introduce myself and have a basic conversation  and by September I’ll visit the office with the hopes of being comfortable in my speech.

This way you’ll have ways of knowing whether you’re progressing toward your true goal.

Why Not Change Now

This is one that’s difficult to understand:  if you knew you wanted to make these resolutions before New Years, why didn’t you simply do it then?  You’d have a head start.  Don’t ever limit yourself.  When you want to make a change, there is no better reason or time than now to do it.

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2 thoughts on “5 New Years Non-Resolutions

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