Are you making New Years resolutions?

I’m not. I’ve always found New Years resolutions a trap. I’d make a resolution to start exercising daily, do it for two days, and a year later look back only to remind myself I didn’t accomplish much.

2014 clockThe same with dieting. Cutting out the cookies and ice cream always sounds like a great plan on New Years Day morning. But by the time the I prop my feet up to watch a football game later in the day, there I am, cookie in hand and a dish of ice cream to keep it company. (There’s nothing worse than a lonely cookie.)

So I’m not doing resolutions any more. In fact, I’ve made a resolution to take a very different approach this year.

Instead of making promises to myself that I know I won’t keep, I’m looking back on 2013 and acknowledging all that I accomplished.

I’ve started my list already – looking at every department of my life. I’m not only looking at business accomplishments, but family, friends old and new, writing another book, new colleagues, challenges I overcame, risks I took, wins that surprised me, blogging more consistently than ever, and learning a bunch of new things.

Something tells me when I finish the list I’ll feel pretty good about all I achieved. I’ll definitely feel a whole lot better than I’d ever feel on day five of the New Year and already having had broken each and every resolution.

Acknowledging accomplishments is a tool The Growth Team uses with each of our clients. But we don’t wait until the end of the year. We recommend they acknowledge accomplishments on a daily basis. Yes, daily!

This acknowledgment step is part of a daily communication ritual in which we encourage a leadership team or a department within the company to stand in a circle. Each team members share three things.

First, they talk about their accomplishments of the day before – sometimes two days, sometimes a week. Second, in broad-brush terms they talk about what they’re working on today and, third, they let others know where they’re stuck or need help.

The entire meeting with everyone standing in a circle takes only 10 to 12 minutes. But in those few minutes, everyone is on the same page.

When we first started teaching this technique, I thought the most important steps were outlining what each team member was doing today and talking about where they were stuck.

The more I saw this communication strategy in action, however, the more I realized the one component that meant the most to the team and its members was how much progress they were making – even on a daily basis.

Through acknowledging yesterday’s accomplishments, productivity went up, the team or organization worked together more effectively, and team members became more engaged and were enthusiastic than ever before.

In a world where we all seem to focus on tomorrow, I believe that patting ourselves on the back for all we accomplish is the catalyst that propels better results tomorrow.

Try it. Rather than taking time to write out your New Years resolutions for 2014, why not join me in recording all you’ve achieved in 2013. Then start acknowledging your accomplishments on a daily basis!

Happy New Year! 

P.S. There’s a lot more to the communication process than I’ve been able to explain in this post. It’s really cool and I’m pleased to outline how it can energize any business, any leadership team, and any department. Give me a call.

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One Response to Are you making New Years resolutions?

  1. Hugh Manning says:

    In the IT business, the process you outline is quite similar to a concept/process called Agile Development. One of the pillars of an Agile process is daily stand-up meetings (supposed to be done with everyone standing up, hence the name, to encourage brevity) where what you did yesterday, what you are planning on doing today and any blocks you have are relayed to your team. This is a process that is in vogue with software development and you can find a great deal of material and discussion on it by searching for Agile Development.

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