One year ago I challenged you to look at the New Year’s Resolution a little differently – and I pledged to do the same thing myself. By following my own advice I now have a book ready for release (see below) and a special offer coming your way later this week. But, besides writing the book, I also learned some things I want to share.
The specific message a year ago was to make something more of your answer when you are asked, “What is your New Year’s Resolution?” Most of us just bluff our way through the answer or set out an obvious, forgettable offering. “Oh, I want to really lose those 10 pounds this year.” Or how about, “My resolution is to not make any resolutions this year!” And then there is the always popular, “I would make one but I know I would forget about it in a couple of weeks.”
Instead of dissolving into the background, how about approaching this question as an opportunity? I strongly suggest you come up with an answer of substance and provide a thoughtful response for 2016. Have people start thinking of you in a different way because you have something worthwhile to say when asked that annual question. How about, “I’m going to get serious about volunteer work this year and in January I will be interviewing two non-profits to see which is the best fit for me.” Whoa! Way better than the “I’ll lose weight” answer. Or, for your business, how about, “This year I’ll be personally visiting each our clients to see what we can do to be a better partner for them.” That answer gets people to sit up and take notice.
So what did I learn over the last year by saying, “My New Year’s Resolution is to write a book”? Well, there are some things that can be valuable for all of us:
Accountability is huge: telling everyone who reads the Monthly Memo I would be writing a book made a difference. Did I realistically think everyone was focused on it all year long? No, but even if two people followed up with me I knew I wanted to have the right answer, and not some lame excuse. When you offer a resolution of substance you’ve put your stake in the sand and, even if it is a trick inside your head to keep you on track, it’s worth it.
Make it big: what’s the point of a goal if it is within easy reach? Not only does a big goal offer considerable upside, it also can get you excited. As you think about your New Year’s Resolution try to think big not only to come up with something of substance, but also to get you focused and energized.
A better answer for “What’s new?” Once we get out of the New Year time, having a resolution of substance gives you a great answer to the question, “What are you up to?” When it comes down to it, this is really about setting solid goals and sticking to them, right? And when you do that, you are a much more interesting person to engage with. Guess what? People want to spend time with, do business with and generally support interesting, substantive people.
Thanks for your support and watch for your special offer on my book later this week!
Follow along with Cary on Twitter @CaryPfeffer
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.