New Year, New Start

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New Year New Start…

I won’t start with a ‘Happy New Year’ salutation as a recent online forum suggested January 11th is the last ‘official day’ to use that greeting – glad to hear that it was done online rather than a government sanctioned international select committee!. Another date-related New Year’s fact is the majority of people give up on their resolutions around January 9th (especially those to do with ‘exercise, eating better and living a more active life’). Well, like most people I have resolutions and want to share them as research shows we are significantly more likely to keep our resolutions if we make our commitments to change in an ‘Active, Voluntary and Public’ way. Basically, this means you should shout from the rooftop that you’re going to start exercising, eat better and be a better person, etc.! Say it out loud and set the expectations in minds of others about your intentions!

My resolutions are fairly straight forward and rather than just include things that I am going to start doing they include things that I will stop doing. Resolution number one is that I am going to change some of the relationships I have with some of the people in my life. As it happens many of these individuals do provide me with great enjoyment from their company but it is not without a long term cost. So, with much regret, I will be seeing less of the following people (including a member of ’Royalty’ no less!) during 2014: Ronald McDonald, Burger King, Jack Daniels, Arthur Guinness and just about the entire Mars and Cadbury families!

I have traded in those familiar friends to hang out with some new, younger and unfamiliar ones that include Nike trainer, Life Fitness treadmill and Boflex weights. In terms of us getting along it is early days but so far, so good!

Resolution two is in two parts and covers learning new things and giving something back. Not a new one I know and one that many of us contemplate on December 31st but then ‘life and work’ get in the way and the time we think we have to share dissipates into other commitments. Some refer to this desire to give something back as ‘Legacy’ and relate it to a generational need to put something back after being able to succeed in our own right whether it be in personal or professional life. So I am committed to learn and give back in two different ways.

Part one is about learning new things so scuba-diving and motorcycle lessons here I come! I know these are classic ingredients for a mid-life crisis but lucky for me I have already been through that and this is different! Part two will focus on how to give back in a more meaningful way than I have done so in the past. Like many of you I too have on occasion signed up as a volunteer to paint the proverbial community hall or clear the rubbish in the local park. However, that is probably not my greatest strength! While I can push a broom, wield a paint brush and operate a lawn mower with the best of them, what I’m better at doing is being a resource-investigator and creating learning and development events! So I am doing just that for the UK Charity and Non-Government Organisations sector (NGOs). It will be a programme underpinned by a major global University and after finding out what the needs of the charitable and NGO are I will design a no-charge workshop for them. This is giving back something of greater value than what I am usually tasked with providing and it plays to my strengths.

In closing I have noticed that the U2 song ‘New Year’s Day’ gets a lot of air time around midnight of December 31st. Just be wary that the first line of lyrics states, ‘Nothing changes on New Year’s Day…’ Be sure to make your change lasting and meaningful to you…and let others know so you are more likely to live up to your commitment!

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