FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH
|“Promises, Promises, Promises”||
|By: Ron Brounes||
The holiday season is well upon us. Chestnuts are roasting over open fires. Lights and decorations illuminate neighborhoods in the evenings. Old man winter blows that brisk cold air into regions of the country not yet affected by El Nino. Kids count the days until school vacation begins, dropping helpful hints about much needed gifts. Shopping malls are packed to capacity as panic stricken parents check their lists twice. Thanksgiving turkey and trimmings have added inches to our mid-sections that we all “resolve” to eliminate right after the first of the year. College bowl games begin in full force, while some fans merely dream of new coaches and better times ahead. Holiday office parties bring together management and employees, toasting each other with glasses of eggnog for past and future successes. It’s truly a wonderful time of year. Bah humbug!!
The end of the year represents a period of reflection for everyone, young and old alike, as we all participate in that time honored tradition of “New Year’s Resolutions.” For a brief fleeting moment, we relive the past year, analyzing and over-analyzing the choices we made and the directions we took. We ponder the future and determine how indeed the various aspects of our lives could improve. We openly announce our goals and aspirations to family and friends, forgetting that we’ve made these same exact resolutions in each of the past few years. Somehow, we think next year will definitely be different. Before you know it, January 2nd rolls around; work and school start anew. Unneeded gifts are returned to the stores for credit. And New Year’s resolutions are put on the back burner for yet another year.
BIGGER IS NOT NECESSARILY BETTER
It doesn’t have to be that way, you know. The problem with New Year’s resolutions is the very magnitude of the tasks they represent. We simply set our goals so high that we give ourselves little choice but to quit a month, a week, or even a day later. I’m not talking about those fairly unrealistic goals of ending hunger, world peace, or a national championship at UT (or tamu for that matter), but instead those resolutions that are actually quite attainable. We “resolve” to lose 50 pounds and five waist sizes, when we should start by eliminating midnight snacks and switching to low fat cheese. We “resolve” to run a marathon, when we should start by taking a regular walk around the block. We “resolve” to stop smoking cold turkey (actually cigarettes), when we should start by cutting back to merely two packs a day. We “resolve” to make a million dollars in the market, when we should start by learning to read and understand the financial pages in the paper. We “resolve” to get married and begin a family, when we should start by having a monthly date or two. No awards are presented for the grandest resolutions, especially those that are broken. Rather individuals who attain even the smallest of goals can bask in the glory of the moment and set sights on higher expectations for the future.
NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT
This year, make one New Year’s resolution to keep at least five New Year’s resolutions. Vary these goals by categories, each pertaining to different aspects of your life: family, business, social, financial, charitable. Take the time to actually write these objectives down on paper and set realistic time tables by which they should be accomplished. Keep track of those dates in your calendars and day timers and monitor your progress. Carefully place yellow stickies and other notes in strategic locations as reminders. As you attain the easier goals, set new loftier ones that require greater motivation. Many of these resolutions may build upon each other; short term challenges become long term successes. Share your most important resolutions with family and business associates, and participate in friendly competitions as you all strive to better yourselves throughout the year. (However, if a goal is to stop gambling, don’t make side bets with your buddies against your success.)
The same premise holds true for business resolutions as well. Whether you work at a one person shop or a major corporation, take the time to identify objectives from an individual standpoint as well as for the company as a whole. Share these goals with office mates within your department and throughout the entire organization. Once again, set them high, but not so high that they are actually unattainable. Allow yourself opportunities to reach important milestones along the way to achieving your ultimate successes. Management can use simple employee New Year’s resolutions in strategy sessions to establish annual mission statements, while ensuring that everyone company-wide remains on the same page. If you have workers reporting to you, review their goals and monitor their success rates. Reward individuals and departments for their accomplishments.
THE GOAL THAT KEEPS GIVING
Often times, the most rewarding resolutions are those that involve the most unselfish acts. The City of Houston, its business owners, and its many volunteers deserve tremendous praise for their charitable efforts displayed during the holiday season and throughout the year. As has become a family Thanksgiving tradition, we attended the “Super Feast” and distributed food to those less fortunate. For a few brief hours, life was put into perspective and social and financial goals took a backseat to more “important” matters. There can be no more satisfying feeling than the one we experience from watching an appreciative family enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving meal. Who knows? Maybe ending world hunger is not so far fetched after all.
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FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH is a publication of Brounes & Associates focusing on business marketing and general communications strategies. Please call Ron Brounes at 713-432-1910 for additional information. Brounes & Associates wishes everyone a happy, healthy holiday season. May all of your New Year’s resolutions come true, especially those that include future business dealings with my company.