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January 07, 2019

Want Success in 2019? Replace Your New Year’s Resolutions with This

Margeaux Sullivan

Margeaux Sullivan
Management Consultant & Business Process Improvement/Quest Complete Consulting

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Does the thought of setting New Year’s resolutions fill your mind with opportunity? Or dread? My first meetings of the year with my clients typically commence with a discussion of resolutions and how many have already been broken by January 3rd.

The concept of leveraging the fresh beginning of a new year to set goals is great in theory. However, the best way to make lasting behavioral changes is to start small and focus on one area at a time.

One change that can significantly increase both your productivity and impact within your organization is to set professional and personal priorities each day. This helps frame goals and allocate appropriate time with a fixed deadline to achieve them. On the professional side, take five minutes a day to determine three priority tasks you want to complete that day that directly relate to your weekly, monthly, and quarterly goals. Those larger goals can seem daunting, so moving towards the finish line with small, achievable, daily steps can make quarterly targets less intimidating. Some examples of these smaller priorities could be:

  • Carve out time to mentor one of your employees
  • Create the foundation for a larger scale mentorship program to increase institutional wisdom and leadership skills
  • Meet with the sales team to provide motivation, listen to feedback on product-market fit, or discuss course correction
  • Analyze your company’s recruiting success vs. competitors
  • Review compensation packages to make sure they are appropriate for the current job market
  • Meet with the product development or R&D team to check in - you may learn more about their thought process
  • Facilitate relationships between people in different departments so that each can learn from the other’s perspective
  • Review costs and vendor agreements to determine opportunities to maximize value

Progress may seem slow at first. However, after a few days of setting these goals and tracking them against larger targets, progress will be more clear, and that momentum generated from hitting smaller targets can propel you to accomplish more.  

It is important to set small, achievable goals on the personal side as well, because when leaders take care of themselves, they are more likely to properly motivate and respect their team. This could be a corrective goal, including:

  • Track the number of time spent on electronic devices or email
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Turn off email notifications in meetings

These personal goals can also be positive or aspirational. Here are a few favorites that many leaders find help them get into the right mindset to improve the bottom line:

  • Find continuing education that helps you sharpen or refresh your skills
  • Meditate - this helps reduce stress
  • Practice gratitude
  • Improve active listening skills
  • Track sleep quality and length
  • Do something kind for a family member or friend

To help ensure success on this quest, give yourself time away from email and office messaging to achieve those goals. Why? Because our overly connected, easy access via cell phone world makes us reactionary. That is great if you want to be able to answer an email within 30 seconds of receiving it. However, it is a terrible distraction from big-picture strategy, goal completion, and authentic professional relationships.

Hope you have a productive and impactful year. Questions or comments? You can contact me directly via my AdvisoryCloud profile.

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