As we enter the New Year, talk about New Year Resolutions is all around us. “What are you giving up this year”, people ask? High amongst the regulars are giving up smoking, losing weight, going to the gym more regularly, and starting a diet or detox regime to get rid of the Christmas excesses. These resolutions are all good and great, and I wish you all the best as you set out to achieve them. Indeed, where these assist in facilitating positive change, they are to be encouraged.
But what about those resolutions that help drive real change and reform character? Those that promote the human spirit; that facilitate the opportunity for each individual to achieve their best in the workplace and society; that create an environment characterised by fairness, inclusivity and transparency leading to a new paradigm for positive human co-existence? What about these resolutions?
Here are 3 simple tips alongside the others aforementioned above that will assist in the creation of lasting change this year, and importantly, beyond:
This may sound simplistic but it is very important to remember that you are a unique individual with something special to offer. Socrates, an ancient Greek philosopher had a very famous maxim: “Know Thyself”. Knowing who you are, amongst a world-population of over 6 billion individuals, (or 65 million in the UK) is imperative as it goes a long way to knowing what you have to offer. Tip: Each day, look at yourself in the mirror behind closed doors and verbally tell yourself who you are, what you want to achieve. Importantly, ensure to go out and get it!
- Be reflective:
Each day this year, we will interact directly and indirectly with a wide range of individuals in the workplace and society. Have we treated the other person fairly? What might I have done wrong and what might I need to change to become a better person? It is always important to set aside time to reflect on each days events. Socrates says: “An unexamined life is not worth living”. Tip: Take practical steps to be conscientious. If you are an employee, a manager, or an executive, consider using the services of a professional coach or at least a trusted friend or family member as a self-evaluating sounding board on actions of concern in your interactions with others.
What are you without drive or an end-goal to be attained? Connected to the preceding two points, drive is the culmination of knowing who you are through regular reflection. The application of your individuality to your goal is what makes it unique and different. Aristotle, another ancient Greek thinker says “Everything is done with a goal, and that goal is the attainment of an ultimate good”. Tip: What one good thing would you like to achieve this year? What steps do you need to take to achieve it? Bullet-point these in a notebook, date it, timeline it, and take action. Remember to re-look at your goal regularly throughout the year to keep it firmly in your mind.
New Year Resolutions must be about making a difference that has a positive impact on others as well as on oneself – for herein lies ‘the good’ that acts as the catalyst for lasting change.
As we begin cutting back on the carbs and the excesses of the Christmas period, let’s remember that what really matters is the impact these resolutions have on our neighbour – let this act as the true driving force behind making a lasting change in 2012…and beyond…
A very Happy New Year to you!
Jude-Martin is Director of Diversity is…a consultancy focused on providing a fresh and innovative approach to diversity through the provision of HR services covering Strategy, Assessment, and Development for ensuring effective people management in the 21st century global business context.