New Year's Resolutions, I've had a few.


The holidays are done, it's twelfth night and all the decorations are down, packed and ready to be put away for another year, all of a sudden the house looks tidy again and thoughts naturally start to wander to the year ahead.


The talk is about the resolutions you are going to set yourself for the coming year, those things you are going to do to make you a better person, from losing weight, exercising, reading, meditation, learning and many more, and yes I've resolved to do those and many more over the years.


I was reading an article on the BBC.com website entitled Are New Year's resolutions powerful or pointless? and was intrigued to note that the act of committing to a resolution goes way back to Chinese antiquity and that Mark Twain wrote on 1 January 1863,


“Yesterday, everybody smoked his last cigar, took his last drink, and swore his last oath, today, we are a pious and exemplary community. Thirty days from now, we shall have cast our reformation to the winds and gone to cutting our ancient shortcomings considerably shorter than ever. We shall also reflect pleasantly upon how we did the same old thing last year about this time.”


About sums it up, I'm not sure in the past I even managed to maintain mine for the thirty days mentioned... "28 days to make a habit and 28 days to break a habit" or something like that. So why do we do it?


The act of committing to do something, of committing to improve is self improvement in itself, we need to renew, we need to plan and we need to have hope in a better tomorrow, otherwise why bother getting up. Even though I go through this process I would argue that rather than set yourself goals once a year, we should be constantly setting and reviewing.


A few years ago I was 'sent' on a Franklin Covey time improvement course, it came at an important point for me as I was being overwhelmed with trying too hard for too long to be the best I could be. To this day two things I took from the course stick with me. Being simplistic they are 1, sorting the gravel from the big rocks, working out what and who are important to you and setting/constantly reviewing goals to focus on those big rocks, and 2, the Eisenhower matrix. The Eisenhower matrix, named after the President of the USA teaches you to place all tasks into one of four quadrants. The quadrants are as follows, 1 - urgent and must do, 2 - the big rocks that make the difference, 3 - you are wasting my time (delegate) and 4 - I am wasting my time (stop). The aim is to spend as much time as possible in quadrant 2.


I made a resolution then to follow this process and years later I still do, it's by having a framework for improvement that improvement can come. I believe that randomly deciding on resolutions without a framework does nothing much beyond setting you up to fail, as I can attest.


What's my take away for you?

Absolutely make resolutions to improve your life, but more importantly make one resolution, a resolution to put in place a framework to hang your other resolutions on. That way you will move forward.


And me?

Of course I have made some resolutions, I'm no different, although I have logged them using the framework above and by sharing with you the reader I am putting them out there so no slacking on my part. In no particular order four of them are, I need to lose the eight kilos I have put on since last summer, I want to learn to ride a motorcycle and obtain my licence, don't want a bike just the achievement and engage a swimming coach to enable me to swim forty lengths front crawl again. To double down on the Microsoft Power Platform, become a go to. To add six new long relationship clients to my portfolio, building an agency with a strong value set of trust, honesty and integrity. An agency not focused on billing, instead focused on the long term after all relationships matter.


No matter what you decide to do and or how you choose to do it, I wish you a happy, prosperous and successful new year.


S.

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