20th Jan 2012

Watch out, 2012!

Many of us started the year by making resolutions, and some of us, its safe to say, will find our resolve faltering around the February mark (some won’t even make it that far). There’s nothing terrible in this – its just Nature taking its course.

 

After the fever of Christmas has passed away, with its defining symptoms of stress and self-indulgence, a new year’s resolution is like a medicinal dose of self-restraint, with a spoonful of optimism to help it go down. Its a little purification ritual that genuinely helps us to feel better and stronger.

Once we’re back in the old familiar rhythm though, that new gym membership can be allowed to lapse into disuse, and that ambitious project can be furtively abandoned on the shelf. We discard first the practice and then the pretense of making our resolutions permanent; a few of us with pangs of remorse, many more with a sneaky sense of relief. Others still are made of sterner stuff, and have no patience at all for faint-hearted dithering.

Whether you tend to do well or badly with new year’s resolutions, its hard to find fault with the basic idea of starting the year in a conscious effort to better yourself and up your game professionally. For many companies January is the start of a new financial year, so the personal and the organisational are in alignment, and a watershed like that demands to be taken advantage of.

People who are successful in leadership roles tend to have a strong vision for themselves as well as having a strong vision for their organisation – it goes without saying that when the two are close-knit and mutually reinforcing, you get the best results of all.

To help clarify your own vision, use a First 100 Days Plan. It’s not just a make-or-break resolution but a well thought out route-map. It’s a digest of all the most important factors facing you in the new year, and a step-by-step plan that builds to a clear and realistic goal. Break your situation down into its component parts, paying particular attention to problematic areas, and set yourself manageable challenges.

It should be something you can achieve in 100 days and it should be a step on the way to a longer-term goal – remember that the strongest possible start to the year will be one that effectively looks forward to the end of the year.

Whether you’ve made a new year’s resolution or not, and whether you’ve kept it so far or not, there’ll never be a better time than right now to get going on your First 100 Days Plan.

Hilda Goold

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