As a child at this time of year I remember my parents and their friends gathering at New Years and talking about their New Year's resolutions. In those years some of the resolutions might have been:
- To quit smoking
- To plant a bigger garden
- To get the kids to school on time
- To drink more Beer and less Hard Liquor
- To have a bigger pile of firewood for the winter months
- To spend less time reading the newspaper
- Go for 1 walk a week in the evening after work
- To ask the boss for a raise
- To balance the cheque book monthly
- To bake bread once a week
- To join the church choir
- To can and dry more fruit this year
- To spend at least 1 week hunting and fishing
- To go to at least one of my kids’ sporting or school events
- To put the dog down
- To chew less bubble gum.
For the year 2022 I hear my kids and their friends talking about:
- Spending less time on social media
- Paying less attention to news media
- Buy less plastic
- Stop supporting fast fashion
- Go 1 day without checking my email
- Forget about Covid
- Travel to countries that don’t have lockdowns
- Be nicer on social media
- Smoke less weed
- Pay off one credit card
- Only get one more tattoo
- Do less Zoom meetings
- Eat more green stuff
- Post more dance videos on Tik Tok
- Sanitize my personal belongings like my phone more often
- Listen to more podcasts
- Set up a virtual gym in my bedroom and work out regularly
And so, times have changed…
The idea of setting a new year's resolution is something that is coming back into fashion, however the success rate of following through on these resolutions remains the same at about 20% according to research.
A few years ago, I did something different. I was invited to speak at a conference in January where the hosts encouraged the attendees to “Name their Year”. I had never thought of doing this before and was interested in how people would go about picking the name of the year. As I sat around a table and listened to the conversation, I was amazed by the depth and thought that people were putting into this process. The purpose was to give the year a name that would inspire and motivate them for 52 weeks. When they were finished, people were encouraged to go to the stage and tell the others what name they had given for their year.
People flocked to the stage and announced the year of Love, or Healing, Prosperity, Laughter, Happiness, Family, Positivity, Mental Health, and even the year of Indulging! Their intention was to live their word each and every day of the year. I went home and taped my words Awe and Wonder to my computer screen so that I could see it each and every day of the year.
To this day, on the corner of my computer monitor you will find some yellowing posted notes taped one over the other. Each one has 4 or 5 words and the year on the top. They are meant to remind me what I want to focus on for the year and it works. Last year was the Year of Listening Intently, although I believe I failed miserably, there were times when looking at the post it reminded me what I should be doing in the middle of a zoom meeting.
We encourage all our clients to name the year for their company during our strategic planning sessions. This always ends up being a fun discussion that usually ends with some clarity for the teams in what they are going to give attention to. If you are part of a team, I encourage you to try it.
I believe that naming the year is important for companies, and individuals who want to choose one thing which they can concentrate on during the year. The success rate will improve if you pick one aspect of the business or your personal life that you want to change.
This year I have personally named 2022 the “Year of Kindness”. I am going to try to be kinder as it is one thing that doesn’t always come naturally to me. As a business our team has decided that we need 2022 to be the year of Focus! We will talk about that at each of our weekly meetings and determine if we have been successful.
Smoking less weed and posting more Tik Tok Dances might seem like great new year’s resolutions but you can set yourself up for success this year by picking one thing you want to improve and have a daily reminder. Naming the year is one way that works for me and countless others. It might be worth a try.
Dave Fuller, MBA, is an Award-Winning Business Coach and partner in the firm Pivotleader Inc. He is also the author of the book Profit Yourself Healthy. Dave would love to hear what you named your year! Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org