I don’t make a lot of New Year’s resolutions. I feel like once a year is too infrequent to reset my goals, and I also believe that change comes because we build the muscle of making small shifts that snowball into bigger results.
That said, with a whole year stretching before us, and with a little time away to get away from work and to reflect, we do have a nice opportunity to think about what we’d like 2016 to hold for us.
My suggestion for any resolutions you’ve made, or the ones you’re still cooking up? Go deeper.
Meaning, resolutions are often articulated as activities (“Go to the gym more”) instead of at the level of priorities. This is why we don’t keep them: because the way we’re currently behaving is perfectly aligned with our current (unstated, underexamined) priorities.
While it is possible to behave our way into new priorities, we’ll succeed more often when we take the time to dig deep into what our current priorities – and their associated beliefs and attitudes – really are.
Is it really impossible for me to find two free hours a day for sustained work on difficult problems, or am I just unwilling to take the short term pain of saying “no” to two more meetings each day?
Do I truly care about creating value in our current system, or would I rather communicate through my actions everything that’s wrong with the status quo? (output be damned)
Do I really need 15 minutes every hour to “unwind” with online nonsense, or is that just a way for me to hide?
What do I care more about, sleep or exercise?
What matters most to me, avoiding disapproval from everyone or making something that changes everything for just 10 people?
What are the moments, the people, the activities in my day that make me feel energized, connected, and happy? Who is stopping me from spending more of my time in these situations?
Here’s to a year of examined priorities, of courage, of great leaps. Here’s to a year of embracing who we are and a year of having the conviction and commitment to start becoming who we can become.
Here’s to a great 2016.