The Promise of a New Year
Let’s not waste the opportunity to:
- Think bigger
- Help gratefully
- Encourage sincerely
- Compliment genuinely
- Act mindfully
- Serve happily
- Lead decisively
- Plan courageously
- React kindly
- Articulate clearly
People love the new year for the sense of renewal and a fresh start.
Think about how to make the most of your time, talents, and resources. What will make the most sense for you, increases your happiness factor, and focus on where you want to be in a year?
It is important that we know what we want more of, as well as what we want less of.
Maybe you want a promotion? More money, power, prestige, and influence.
Maybe you want a demotion? More free time, decreased stress, and less responsibility.
Maybe you want deeper friendships, better relationships, and more community involvement?
Maybe you want fewer complications?
Think about what gives you satisfaction, joy, and provides value to your sense of purpose.
Then make a P.R.O.M.I.S.E. to yourself to enthusiastically pursue those aspects that are the most meaningful, most productive, and most important to you.
P. Plan courageously.
Want to take a vacation? Buy the tickets now and block the dates on your calendar before the year gets booked up. Want to acquire another company? Make the offer. You can secure the funding later. Ready to move across country? Start packing now. Put the house on the market. Start job hunting.
Assume that you will succeed when you take the necessary steps. Be confident that you can handle the setbacks.
Many people say they have a dream, but they don’t achieve those dreams because they allow the dream to dissolve without forming it into a plan.
Take the idea and craft it into a plan.
R. React properly.
It is easy to overreact to bad news or the impact that an external shock might have on your business. React properly. Assess the situation for what it is. Implement the right response quickly.
O. Offer gratefully.
If you make an offer, do it with intention and gratitude. If you are in a business relationship and you feel you are getting taken advantage of, chalk it up to a lesson learned and move on.
A colleague was bemoaning that she had to redo her entire contract because one customer managed to work around some of the legal language to get more services than my friend understood she should provide. My response was: “So what? Provide the services and move on.”
Don’t let one negative encounter sour your relationship with your well-intentioned clients. Don’t assume they were trying to take advantage of you.
Every time I shop at a big box store, the ones where you have to show your sales receipt on the way out of the building, I wonder, “What prompted them to hire people to stand at the doors and check receipts? Was there a parade of shoppers racing for the doors with carts full of rotisserie chickens, dog food, and muffins?”
I wonder about the opportunity costs of hiring all of those people over decades to check receipts, and the additional time it takes for people to leave the store because of this process. Were there that many people stealing the 64 packs of toilet paper?
Make the offer. Be grateful for the people you get to work with. Assume that people are mostly good.
M. Motivate individually.
People are individuals, not a demographic. While our brains like to categorize people into boxes to make it easier for our brains to make sense of the data, it is a lazy way to respond. People are different and they need different responses from us. The danger is that we might think everyone in a certain category automatically shares specific traits so they receive the same response. Appreciate and motivate individuals based on what matters to them as individuals, not according to their demographic profile.
I. Imagine outrageously.
What would we do if we knew we couldn’t fail? What could we do if we thought big, like, really big? Where would our careers go? What would our business be like? Who do we admire? How did they think bigger? Contemplate others who are big thinkers. How can we think without constraints? Imagine thinking crazy big thoughts.
S. Strategize mindfully. It is easy to fall into the trap of “What did we do last year? Let’s do more of that next year (especially if it worked).“ That breeds status quo. Great strategists look first at the changing needs of the markets and future trends, and then they ask, “How can I serve that market with what I know? How am I different from everyone else in the market? What makes me and my product offerings better? What problem am I solving? What needs am I addressing? What am I improving?”
Then, they craft the solution to the market needs.
E. Encourage sincerity. People need genuine encouragement. People need to know they are valued appreciated, and respected. People have to be encouraged in a way that matters to them. Leaders need to help the people around them stay focused, positive, motivated to do what they do.
This year, let’s make a P.R.O.M.I.S.E. to stay motivated and inspired, while helping those around us do the same.