A simple formula for New Years’ resolutions
As you read this, 2017 is either on its last legs, or has passed into the history books.
The start of a new year traditionally means setting, or at least considering, New Year’s resolutions. This is an activity that exists in many countries of the world and almost always centres around an individual committing to an act of self-improvement or doing something nice for others. The practice dates back the early religious activities of the Babylonians and the Romans who started off each year making promises to their gods of the day, to live a better life in one way or another.
“Helping people and organizations become the best that they can be” is the driving force behind Delfi’s consulting practice – and this is a good time of the year to consider adopting this point of view for yourself, or your business. How can you become the better version of yourself and reach more of your potential over the coming year? The question for your business is similar - “what can you do as a business leader now to make your operation become the best that it can be for 2018?”
The secret to making New Year’s goals or resolutions is to keep them simple, few in number, and measurable. Each one requires a desired end-state (specifically, what it is that you want to achieve) and a plan of action to get there. “Hope is not a plan” – so each resolution needs both a clear target and an action plan to get there.
KSS is a planning process centred on three simple questions that we use with individuals and organizations that want to improve. These same questions, slightly modified, will enable you to focus on achievable resolutions for 2018. These questions are excellent for self-reflection, but also very appropriate to provide to others in a quest for their perspectives on the best answers for you to consider.
1. “What should I KEEP doing - that will enable me to become a better version of myself?”
Always start with the positive and learn to appreciate the good things that you do that are helping to make you a better person. You made it this far, so take some credit for the achievement. Reflect on what has helped you get where you are – and make a commitment to continue doing at least one of these things even more often over the coming year. Although this might seem like an obvious and easy resolution, it is critical that you pause and reflect on what is working for you – and commit to staying on course and reaping even more of its benefits. Never take your successes for granted.
2. “What should I STOP doing - that will enable me to become a better version of myself?”
We all manage to pick up some bad habits, behaviors or attitudes along the journey, and these will weigh us down and hamper our progress towards a better version of ourselves. Take a close look inside your personal packsack that you carry around every day and find one behavior, habit or attitude that you can take out and leave behind – something that you can easily live without - something that will make your long walk over these next 12 months just a little easier. This potential list might be a little longer than the first question – but only because we are usually better practiced at being self-critical than being self-appreciating. Your challenge here is to pick one and get it out of your personal packsack for good because you no longer need it. View it is a burden to keep carrying it with you and something that is holding you back.
3. “What should I START doing - that will enable me to become a better version of myself?”
This third question is best asked at the end rather than at the beginning of your goal setting . We need confidence tackling something new – positive self-confidence energy that comes from the answer to the first question. We need time and physical energy to tackle something new – time and energy that come from taking the stone out of our packsack in answer to the second question. Now it is time to add something new to the packsack – some positive action or attitude that will help you move forward towards this better version of yourself.
KSS - three simple questions that you can ask of yourself – and of others – as you plan your own personal 2018 journey towards a better version of yourself. Engaging your employees on these same three simple questions will also help you establish 2018 New Year’s Resolutions for your business.
Our parting comment as we enter a New Year– “Hope is not a plan” - so set your goals and make them happen. Helen and I join the rest of our consultants of The Delfi Group in wishing you a healthy, happy and successful 2018 as you continue on your journey towards the best possible version of yourself and your business.
Larry Schruder is president and co-owner of The Delfi Group, an Ontario-approved Vendor of Record. He can be reached at Larry.Schruder@thedelfigroup.com.