New Year’s resolutions are out, naming the year is in

Naming the year inspires and motivates; a new year's resolution often ends in frustration

David FullerAs a child, I remember my parents and their friends gathering on New Year’s Eve and talking about their resolutions for the next year. Some of those resolutions might have been:

  • quit smoking;
  • plant a bigger garden;
  • get the kids to school on time;
  • drink more beer and less hard liquor;
  • have a bigger pile of firewood for the winter months;
  • spend less time reading the newspaper;
  • go for one walk a week in the evening;
  • ask the boss for a raise;
  • balance the chequebook monthly;
  • bake bread once a week;
  • join the church choir;
  • can and dry more fruit;
  • spend at least one week hunting and fishing;
  • go to at least one of my kids’ sporting or school events;
  • put the dog down;
  • chew less gum.

For the year 2022, I hear my kids and their friends talking about:

  • spending less time on social media;
  • paying less attention to news media;
  • buying less plastic;
  • stop supporting fast fashion;
  • go one day without checking email;
  • forget about COVID-19;
  • travel to countries that don’t have lockdowns;
  • be nicer on social media;
  • smoke less weed;
  • pay off one credit card;
  • only get one more tattoo;
  • do fewer Zoom meetings;
  • eat more green stuff;
  • post more dance videos on TikTok;
  • sanitize belongings like my phone more often;
  • listen to more podcasts;
  • set up a virtual gym in my bedroom and work out regularly.

So times have changed.

The idea of setting a new year’s resolution is coming back into fashion. However, the success rate of following through on these resolutions remains the same at about 20 per cent, according to research.

A few years ago, I was invited to speak at a conference in January where the hosts encouraged the attendees to “name their year.”

I had never thought of doing this and was interested in how people would go about picking their name of the year. As I sat at a table and listened to the conversation, I was amazed by the depth of thought people were putting into this process.

Click here to downloadThe purpose was to give the year a name that would inspire and motivate them for 52 weeks. When they were finished, people were encouraged to go to the stage and tell the others what they named their year.

People flocked to the stage and announced the Year of Love, Healing, Prosperity, Laughter, Happiness, Family, Positivity, Mental Health and even the Year of Indulging!

The intention was to live their word every day of the year.

I went home and taped my phrase – Awe and Wonder – to my computer screen so I could see it every day of the year.

On the corner of my computer monitor you will now find yellowing posted notes taped one over the other. Each has a few words and the date on the top. They’re meant to remind me what I want to focus on that year.

It helps.

Last year was the Year of Listening Intently, and although I believe I often failed, there were times when looking at the post reminded me what I should be doing in the middle of a video meeting.

More advice on running your business

We encourage all our clients to name the year for their company during our strategic planning sessions. This always results in a fun discussion that usually ends with some clarity for the teams about what they’re going to give attention to. If you’re part of a team, I encourage you to try it.

Naming the year is important for companies and individuals who want to choose one thing they can concentrate on during the year. The success rate will improve if you pick one aspect of the business or your personal life you want to change.

I’ve named 2022 the Year of Kindness. I’m going to try to be kinder, since it doesn’t always come naturally to me.

Our business team has decided we need 2022 to be the Year of Focus. We will talk about that at each of our weekly meetings and determine if we’ve been successful.

Smoking less weed and posting more TikTok dances might seem like great new year’s resolutions, but you can set yourself up for more success this year by picking one thing you want to improve and have a daily reminder.

Naming the year is one way that works for me and countless others. It might be worth a try.

Dave Fuller, MBA, is an award-winning business coach and a partner in Pivotleader Inc. Dave would love to hear what you named your year. Email him at dave@pivotleader.com. For interview requests, click here.


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