Yourself with 2009 New Year’s ReVolutions
By Michael Guld
While the origin of New Year’s resolutions goes back as far
as 153 BC, in modern day times, they usually evoke feelings of
guilt. Most verbs associated with resolutions are restrictive in
nature, including to quit, stop, loose, reduce or
eliminate. The implication is that you need to improve, fix or
repair something that’s broke or not complete. By its very nature,
people see New Year’s resolutions as a difficult exercise at best,
requiring discipline, determination and willpower … which are not
exactly energizing words. As a result, most people “make” the
resolutions January 1, and usually begin to “break” them by February
1 as their commitment fades and enthusiasm for attainment wanes.
Case in point: The extreme increase in traffic at a health club the
beginning of the year, which quickly subsides as the weeks and
Well here’s an idea: This year, consider creating New Year’s
reVolutions; transformational actions that will lead to breakthrough
results. New Year’s reVolutions can energize and invigorate by the
thought of “what’s possible.” By definition, which one of the below
would inspire you to get out of bed January 1?
A resolution – a solution, accommodation or settling of a
A reVolution – a drastic and far reaching change in ways of
thinking and behaving
New Year’s reVolutions are personal and broader in
scope than the traditional resolutions. The framing of your reVolutions
requires stepping back and deciding what do you want to be as
opposed to what do you need to do. If someone were to
introduce you to a large crowd recognizing you for your
accomplishments, what would you want your bio to say? Are you on
track to be that person? If not, what actionable steps can you take
today that will help you get there tomorrow?
To help increase the chances of keeping inspired (vs.
disciplined) with your New Year’s revolutions, follow these 10 tips:
1) Goals are dreams
with a deadline
– Dreams are all about “wants and desires” with no commitment, where
goals are “concrete and defined” with commitment. Where do you
ultimately want to be and what do you want to do? Imagine limitless
opportunities and be willing to take a chance to lay yourself on the
line to achieve them. Write down three actionable goals that you
can visualize and that you WILL achieve by the end of 2009. Keep
them in front of you at all times so your daily actions will lead
you to the attainment of these goals.
attitude plus positive actions equal positive results – While having a positive mental attitude is a
good start, it is the positive actions that follow that will
lead to success (vs. wanting, hoping and waiting for them to
happen). Make a plan on how you will achieve each goal with
mini-plans, mini-goals and corresponding dates for each.
3) Follow your
– Commit to doing more of what you enjoy doing that invigorates,
provides pleasure and satisfaction and less of what you do not enjoy
that leads to procrastination and stress (delegate, hire out,
etc.). Your chores are other people’s challenges.
4) Soar with Your
– Spend more time on those projects, tasks or activities that
accentuate your talents and natural gifts and less time on the
improvement of your weaknesses or shortcomings (delegate to
others). By focusing on your strengths – what you are naturally
good at – you will have a higher self-esteem, be more professionally
fulfilled and you will ultimately be far more successful.
5) Be the organized
– Being overwhelmed with clutter can make you feel busier than you
actually are. Start the year fresh by doing a total catharsis or
cleansing. Go through every piece of paper in every file with a
goal to trash it, box it (future needs) or re-file
it (near term needs). Your files will be reduced by 66 to 75
percent. You will start out the year with a refreshed attitude.
Begin or end each day with 20 minutes worth of organizing, even if
it means hiding piles until you can get to them.
Re-analyze your “to-do list.” Does your “to-do list” look
more like an annual plan? Are you working 10, 12 and 14-hour days
and you still don’t feel like you get it all done? Go back through
your “to-do list” and prioritize it to “do it,” “delegate it” or
“scratch it.” Prioritize your list so you can do more of what
brings you personal, professional and monetary rewards and less of
what steals your time. Make sure you add in your “want to-do list”
items, as opposed to only those tasks that others ask you to do.
Compartmentalize your priorities – Once you have decided on
your priorities of the day, week, month, and year, focus on the
tasks at hand … setting up firewalls to keep any distractions from
diluting your focus. While we have two arms, two eyes and two
ears, we only have one brain, so it is extremely difficult to
concentrate on two or more projects and do them well at the very
8) Change the way
you see everything
– By reprogramming your brain to see opportunities vs. obstacles,
challenges vs. chores and celebrate what you’ve accomplished vs.
feeling bad about what you have not, you will increase your energy,
improve your attitude and raise your level of professional
yourself with positive people
– Good attitudes are contagious, elevating organizations to heights
previously thought unreachable, but bad attitudes are more
contagious, draining energy, accelerating discontent, and destroying
morale. Choose to spend your precious time with people that will
support you, encourage you and celebrate in your success.
Reinvent Yourself – Even performers like Madonna realize that
change is cathartic, energizing and can be very good for a career.
It is easy to become stale and accept the way things are if we don’t
shake it up every once and a while, even in our dress and our
While we now have new technologies like cell phones, e-mail,
PDAs, wireless cards – all designed to save us time, make us more
efficient and more effective – the reality is they can be pulls and
distractions as well – taking us off tasks to what is truly
important. Do not become a slave to technology, but instead use
technology as a tool to help you achieve your goals.
Finally, we all
have a goal to “get it all done,” when in reality we have to accept
that we will never “get it all done.” There is no way to accomplish
all that we want to do plus all that is asked from us by our work,
family, friends and organizations. The reality is wherever we spend
our precious resources – time, money and energy – is where we will
get the greatest results. Decide first on what results you want to
accomplish in 2009, and spend your time, energy and focus to achieve
your New Year’s reVolutions.
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