A New Year’s Resolution Can Be Business and Personal

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Anytime is a good time for resolutions. And resolutions don’t have to be limited to personal improvement. Becoming a better communicator, for example, will have benefits in your personal and business life.

One usually makes a resolution based on a trigger involving the anticipation of pleasure or the avoidance of pain. Sigmund Freud wrote that pleasure and pain are terrific motivators. Here are Five Cool Ideas for your New Year’s Resolution.

1. Be purposeful in everything you do.
You can become much more efficient by striving for purpose in your daily activities. Do you just eat lunch or do you enrich relationships while you eat? What purpose do those two sitcoms serve you every night? What is the purpose of eating that bag of chips? More importantly, what types of consequences await you now that you’ve indulged?

Be purposeful in everything you do. Walk with purpose and people will be more likely to respect your time.

2.  Resolve not to be mediocre.
Use the freshness of the New Year as an excuse for avoiding mediocrity. This can be a challenging task because of the tremendous pressure to have your business “fit in” and not be too different than other companies in your industry.

Give your business an upgrade. Resolve to distance at least one aspect of your company from the lowest common denominator.

3.  Schedule improvement.
Even incremental change can be planned and executed. You can actually schedule success if you put your mind to it.

4.  Mend fences and help others resolve issues.
The New Year is the perfect time to mend a broken relationship. Call, or better yet, visit a customer or business partner with whom you want to make peace.

Use this exact wording: “I feel bad about what’s happened between us and want to take responsibility for everything. I’m sorry about the past and I’m going to be a better person for you in the future.”

Whether the other party accepts your apology, rebuffs you, or otherwise tries to continue the conversation, do not pursue the topic. Allow the person to respond. Then, gracefully end the meeting or phone call, giving the person time to think about what you said.

Monitor feedback and if things don’t improve after you’ve apologized, consider postponing or replacing the relationship.

5.  Service clubs are life-long resolutions.
Viktor Frankl, author of Man’s Search for Meaning, wrote that life’s meaning comes from serving a cause greater than oneself. Rotary, Optimist International, and the Big Brothers/Big Sisters organizations have helped me achieve meaning in my life.

This type of “give-back” helps contributors feel better about themselves. If you want to feel better about yourself and your business, make meaningful, charitable contributions in the New Year.

What’s the best New Year’s Resolution you’ve ever made?

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