It was January 2nd and the first workday of the New Year. I looked down at my watch. It read 8:01 AM and I was heading to an 8:00 AM meeting. I’m a minute late but had already gotten a text from the person I was meeting that they were running 5 minutes late. I’d get there before them so using that as a benchmark I could consider myself on time.
Riding up the elevator with three strangers, I noticed that I seemed to be the only one starting the New Year with any sense of enthusiasm. Maybe my coffee was stronger than theirs or maybe I just had more of it already. Or maybe there was something more to it?
I smiled and remarked, “It’s a new year, time to do it all over again.” What I got was an eye roll, a sigh and a somewhat exasperated, ‘Yeah, another year.”
While I realize that four people is a small sample size and perhaps not representative of the entire world, I found it a little bit troubling that 75% of the population wasn’t excited about the turn of the calendar.
What also occurred to me at that moment was three-quarters of the world wasn’t planning on doing anything to change their circumstances in the upcoming year. And absent action on their part, 2018 was largely going to be a repeat of 2017.
For those of you who read my last newsletter, you know that my clients had some great accomplishments last year. Sure, there were challenges but the year was a huge success with a lot of positive momentum to carry into the New Year. There are some parts of 2017 that both my clients and I are anxious to repeat while other parts, well, not so much.
For example, my long time readers know that my monthly newsletter always goes out on the last day or two of the month. It’s a ritual I’ve held for nearly 12 years and I don’t see it changing anytime soon. It’s a part of the past year that I will definitely repeat. On the other hand, the circumstances that my clients and I want to change are going to take both commitment and action.
Given that you are probably reading this at the end of January or early February, it’s safe to say that a vast majority of New Year’s resolutions have already failed. Various studies quote the failure rate of New Year’s resolutions between 80-90% and much of that happens during the first month. As an aside, my local gym was unsurprisingly less crowded this week than it was the first week of the year.
So putting aside the New Year’s fad, what actions are you committed to take so that the upcoming year is different than the one just past?
While I am writing this at the beginning of the year, note that there is nothing special about the change of the calendar. One can change anytime. I once worked in a place where everyone seemed to abhor change. The company was stagnant. When I came aboard I immediately started a process of making changes to drive improvement. I was constantly asked why I wanted change and eventually started responding with “Because it’s Tuesday”. Sooner or later, Tuesday became my day of change.
Pretend every day is Tuesday and change something!
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