New Year + Old Habits = Same Results
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For people the world over, the start of each new year is a time when all things seem possible. For the past 6 years, I’ve celebrated the start of each new year by giving up a food I love for the entire year. Think of it as a self-imposed Lent. Why you ask? The answer is mostly because I’m stupid and a glutton for punishment, but if you want the full story, I did blog about this a couple of years back. You can read that post here. However, my food craziness is not what this New Year’s post is about.
As 2016 gets underway, optimism once again fills the air as it does each new year. People everywhere are setting any number of new goals that they most certainly will not achieve. These might be health goals, financial goals, family goals, friendship goals, community goals, employment goals, etc. In fact, most people have a long list of things they’re going to differently just as soon as the calendar turns. The problem, as we all know, is that far too many people find themselves reaching the end of another year with many goals half started, and not one goal fully accomplished.
It’s good and well to want to change everything about yourself with a snap of the finger. If only it were that easy. In my experience, it’s far better to focus on changing just or two specific behaviors, and then really make it happen. It’s partly a matter of focus. It also partly about specificity. But mostly it’s about having a plan, and having someone (or many someone’s) available to hold you accountable. Shame, as it turns out, is a great motivator.
Personal goals are much the same as business goals in that respect. At Assurance we encourage our employees to set specific goals, outline monthly benchmarks, and have somebody hold them accountable for meeting their own deadlines.
So my suggestion for 2016, whether it’s a personal resolution or a business goal, share it with the world and ask to be held accountable. It’s far too easy to let yourself off the hook in a moment of weakness, and much more difficult to let others down when they’re counting on you!
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