The New Year is upon us: time for lofty goals and a yearning to better ourselves. Or is it? This year has been a doozy, but it’s also led us to a better understanding of what's important. So in 2021, we’re ditching unrealistic goals that fizzle by February. Instead, we’re declaring it the year of the anti-resolution – and setting intentions that’ll align us with a meaningful year ahead.
Here are some suggestions for anti-resolutions:
- Stop saying “yes” to everything. In a pandemic, time constraints are more real than ever – especially for those juggling the three-ring circus of work, parenting, and distance learning. To protect finite time and energy, we need firm boundaries. This starts with the word “no.” Try pausing before you respond to requests so you can run them through some mental filters: Does this really advance our business or my career skills in a meaningful way? If I commit to this, can I take something less important off my plate? Will I be working over the weekend to get it done? Saying “no” mindfully allows you to say “yes” to your truest, most impactful priorities.
- Accept help. If someone in your circle has the bandwidth to support you, commit to taking them up on their offer. For example, my incredible sister-in-law asked if our Elf on a Shelf could “quarantine” at her house during the holiday season. She sent daily texts of their shenanigans so my husband and I could take one thing off our to-do list over the holidays. (Shh...don’t tell my kids.)
- Redefine success. When it comes to our jobs, we all want to do well. But we’re coming off the heels of a year unlike any other and heading into another that will still hold challenges. In 2021, success might not be in the form of a new title or expanded role; it might simply be nurturing a strong work-life foundation. Likewise, personal goals – such as the trusty weight-loss resolution – can be replaced with a gentler commitment to health, which includes mental wellness. (Hands off my quarantine snacks!) Success may simply be learning something new as you help your kid with a school project. It may be keeping your head above water when worry has you emotionally spent. You’re used to leaning in, but it’s okay to rescope what that looks like: these unprecedented times have made extraordinary demands on our time and energy.
- Make a “generosity goal.” I know, I get it. I asked you to take a defiant stand against resolutions and now I’m giving you a “to do.” But if we’ve learned anything from 2020, it’s to count our blessings and realize what we already have. Instead of making a goal for your own personal achievement, consider making a commitment to reach out to someone who’s struggling. As I collapse in a heap of exhaustion every night, it’s easy to forget how fortunate I am to be part of a bustling household with a husband, two kids, and built-in interaction. Whether it’s a friend, family member, or an elderly neighbor who lives alone, try to make a connection with someone who may be lonely. Small efforts can mean so much. This idea extends to business owners, too. Ask your employees for suggestions on charitable organizations that are close to their hearts and make a commitment to supporting them. Give paid time off to your team that they can dedicate to volunteer efforts. As business leaders, we’re fortunate to have many ways to make our communities stronger.
What are your intentions heading into 2021, friends? We hope you’ll join us in protecting precious time and energy, challenging what defines success, and continuing to share your gifts with the world.
Photo Credit: Felicia Buitenwerf