3 ways to set realistic business resolutions
There is no better time than New Year to make definitive resolutions right? Now…when most of us are at our lowest ebb? What better way to avoid ending up the same way this time next year than to make a bunch of promises to yourself about how you’ll manage yourself better, like…
“This year, I’ll work on the business, not in the business.”
“This year, I’ll work smarter not harder.”
“This year, I’ll find a better work life balance.”
While there is nothing wrong with these – they are all methods well proven – the challenge is that when we are stressed or tired, we gear ourselves towards the avoidance of pain rather than the pursuit of personal and professional fulfilment. As we all know, it is far more motivating in the long-term to move towards something positive, than to move away from something negative.
Here are some tips to set realistic business resolutions for the coming year that are simple yet powerful:
1. Resolve to be kinder
If you’re exhausted, acknowledge it. Give yourself a break and resolve to be kinder to yourself and others. A COO I’ve been working with regularly experiences frustration at work when he feels others aren’t keeping up with his pace. In a recent workshop, I observed him manage this by taking deep breaths, holding back on his opinions, listening more, and finding more opportunities to laugh. Not only did he enjoy the meeting more, the whole group was able to achieve a greater depth of understanding of the challenges they faced and a realistic way of addressing them. He expressed kindness through patience – and it changed the outcome of the workshop.
2. Resolve to do more of what feels good
It sounds obvious – but it feels good to do things you’re good at doing. In scientific terms, when we’re using our strengths and natural talents, we enjoy the task more and tend to perform better. The Gallup organization tells us that “excellence can only be achieved by knowing and utilising our strengths, never solely by fixing our weaknesses.” Know your strengths and resolve to use them more, and lean into your colleagues, associates or mentors who’s strengths complement your weaknesses. (A great free strengths survey you can take anytime online can be found at www.viacharacter.org)
3. Resolve to find your flow
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi talks about the concept of flow – a euphoric state in which you are utterly absorbed in the task you are performing. So absorbed, that you have no sense of time passing. You look at the clock and wonder where the hours just went. To achieve flow we need to set ourselves goals that are equally challenging as they are achievable. We need to flex our strengths (aka do more of what we do enjoy doing) and extend ourselves in new ways to accomplish more than we had imagined possible.
So, this year, set yourself a Jim Collins classic – a BHAG (that’s Big Hairy Audacious Goal to the uninitiated). A goal so utterly captivating – you simply can’t stop thinking about it. A goal that will bring you to your flow state and sustain you in the long-term.