An Achievable New Year’s Resolution -for Business and Life
May 28, 2017
Like many others, I am excellent at making resolutions and promises to myself at the start of every year. I think about what I want to achieve, meticulously plan out steps that a Saint would have trouble following, and then throw out the idea when I do not live up to the impossible expectations I have set for myself.
This year however, I pledge to do something much more realistic, and that is to repeat a simple mantra that has worked for me in the past. I am pleased to share it with you if it helps.
Simply ask yourself: “Is this worth it?”
Perhaps this sounds too simple? I can assure you that those four little words have spurred me into action on multiple occasions. In fact I have noticed that most people’s unhappiness in life and business seems to come from doing the same things over and over without ever examining the basic need to do so. Here are some examples:
Sitting in a mandatory meeting with 30 other managers, we quietly listened as an ‘expert’ we had never met tell us we were terrible people. To pass the time, I added up everyone’s (assumed) salary in my head for the hour and came up with approximately $2,800 as the cost of the berating. I asked myself, “Is this worth it?” I am sure you know the answer, but it made the time fly and kept me from taking his insults too seriously.
Working in a dead-end job, I took a hard look at my future and imagined the possibilities of a fresh approach. Just then (like a divine intervention) a co-worker mentioned that there would be a hideous project coming my way. “Is this worth it?” – It most certainly was not, and so I got out of there at the first opportunity.
Do you see where I am headed with this? In general, if anything is boring, expensive, difficult, redundant, or confusing I re-evaluate whether it is a necessity.
This also works outside the office. I wanted to eat a macaron recently even though I had stuck to a strict, no sugar diet for several weeks. Perhaps I should be clearer – this was a Luxembergerli macaron from a special shop in Switzerland. It is a treat that reminds me of many milestones in my life. It is rare to find, someone brought a box to me as a gift, and eating one (OK, five actually) brings as much joy as hearing from an old friend. “Is this worth it?” Of course it was!
Now I am off to yoga class. It will be full of people who have also made promises to themselves for a fresh start after the holidays. Have a happy new year everyone – let’s make this the best yet!