From December 30th to about the 10th of January there is an easy topic for idle discussion among friends and business associates: “So, did you make a New Year’s Resolution – and what is it?” You’ll hear everything from, “I don’t make resolutions,” to “Here are my top five!”
If we focus on the business associates conversation, look at this as an opportunity. Let’s face it; people are always making judgments about us, fairly or unfairly. Why not make the most of this situation and really have an answer that sticks with people? Say something worthwhile instead of just sleepwalking through the process. It’s a first chance to get off on the right foot for the New Year by talking about what you want to accomplish in the New Year!
Demonstrate Your Thoughtful Side: Instead of just saying “lose weight” or “make more money” – or the great alternative, “lose weight by making more money!” how about coming up with something demonstrating your achievable plan and your thoughtful effort? Isn’t it much more powerful to say, “This year I am committing to work four hours every month for this non-profit and I am putting in place a new system to become smarter with my money.” Wow. That actually sounds like somebody I want to know better – somebody who really works to get better every year. It’s an easy window to show yourself to be a person of substance, even if your previous resolutions have fallen away by February 15th.
Create a New Level of Accountability: Let’s face it, if you tell ten people you’re going to do something there is a much better chance you will actually do it! Because you are offering a far more compelling New Year’s resolution story than most anyone else, people will ask you about your progress throughout the year. Anyone who asks me these days will hear, among other things, that I plan to write a book during 2015 – and now YOU will be holding me accountable as well! Get the advantage of having a cheering section helping you along the way by providing 2015’s most compelling New Year’s resolution. Your friends and supporters will remember you for it.
Continue to Tell the Story: As you are asked about your New Year plan make sure you have a good story to go with it. Did you suffer a setback? How will you tell that story? Enjoy a victory? Be sure you explain that part in a self-effacing way that provides inspiration instead of envy. The New Year’s resolution story can be one that pays dividends throughout 2015 if you put a little time and thought into it!
So, in the end, is this really just about having a good New Year’s resolution? Not really. This is about being the person you want to be right now and working toward your goals in an active way, while also communicating your message properly. That sounds like a good start as you think about where you want to take 2015. My best to you!
Thanks for being part of this community and Happy New Year to you!
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Cary Pfeffer is the founder of ClearComm Consulting, www.clear-comm.net, a Scottsdale, AZ communications consulting firm that helps people tell their story. He works with clients to make the most of their media and live audience communication. Email him at: [email protected].