It is that time again! You are ready to put 2022 behind you, and welcome 2023. You are excited about the fresh start that arrives with the new year.
To prepare, you are contemplating a slew of New Year's resolutions. They may include the usuals, such as managing time, getting more organized, creating a sound strategy for your team, exercising at least three times a week, etc.
But wait – how often have you carried through on your resolutions in the past? Chances are you have forgotten about the goals you declared on January 1st by March 1st at the latest. Maybe your ordinary resolutions just aren’t very consequential.
Try something different this year. Make resolutions that matter!
Give up, declaring what you will do and accomplish. Instead, resolve how you will live and lead in the new year.
Make more meaningful resolutions with these three steps:
Step 1: Focus on How You Will Lead
The most frequent end-of-year plan is to create goals that inspire momentum for moving forward and making progress. Typically goal setting focuses on what you plan to do and achieve.
Management experts advise SMART goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound targets. This process of setting SMART goals works well for you.
However, equally, if not more important than what you wish to achieve, are your commitments concerning how you want to be in the new year. These ambitions are about your character. What do you stand for, and how do you want to show up in the world?
When you envision outstanding leaders, what comes to mind? You are unlikely to picture leaders who lack integrity, for example, no matter how much they accomplish.
Chances are your version of great leadership hinges on character. Outstanding leadership rests on the foundation of who you are.
Make this year's resolutions about your character, including what you care about most and how you will act on your values.
Step 2: Commit to Values Resolutions
Values are fundamental convictions about what matters most to you. Your actual values guide your attitudes and actions, whether spoken or not.
Values measure whether your life is turning out as you desire.
Everything you do as a leader reveals what you truly care about, no matter what you claim to value. Actions speak louder than words.
Get a solid start to the year by reaffirming your values or what you care about most. Write them out in your journal or wherever you record your resolutions.
Step 3: Translate Values into Principles
Once you are clear on your most significant values, you should consider how to bring them to life in the new year.
When your choices match the values you claim, life is usually good – you're satisfied and content. But when what you say you care about and what you do are not aligned, you may feel discontent or unhappy. And people are unlikely to trust you.
Therefore, you must establish the principles that will bring your values to life.
Principles are your values in action.
Whereas values are internal measures of what is important to you, principles are rules or beliefs that signify what you stand for. They serve as your moral compass and direct how you act. Your principles will be your touchstone for your choices in the new year.
You demonstrate what you care about or value most when you lead through principles. If all you do is talk about your values, others will view you as something other than genuine. You must act on your values if you want others to view you as trustworthy and authentic.
Here are a few examples of principles connected with values:
You value honesty. Therefore, you commit to telling the truth as you see it, regardless of the personal consequences.
You value respect for the whole person. Therefore, you commit to leading with both heart and head.
You value well-being. Consequently, you will seek balance in your life and support others in doing the same.
Take out your journal again! Because you are unique, you will establish distinctive principles. Could you make this process intentional as the old year wanes?
Review Your Commitments and Check Your Feelings
To keep your commitments, you must genuinely care about these resolutions. As the new year dawns, review your values and principles statements and ask yourself the following:
How much do I cherish these values? Do they reflect what I truly care about most or what I believe I should treasure?
Do my commitments to principles align with my most cherished values?
How will these principles serve to guide my leadership and behavior?
How will I hold myself accountable for following these principles?
The primary requirements for keeping resolutions include caring about the commitments and establishing accountability.