My hunch is that many of you are thinking, “Oh no! Not another blog on New Year’s Resolutions!” I felt the same way but then decided to make my resolutions so I could join the conversations whether at the water cooler, on Facebook or Twitter.
It’s hard to keep our New Year’s resolutions, especially if we set unrealistic goals like starting a diet when there’s still a holiday fruitcake in the refrigerator! Although resolving to grow a business or adopt a healthier lifestyle is tough, it’s important to keep trying. It’s also important to set realistic goals so you feel a sense of accomplishment rather than defeat.
We Asked Our Friends
For inspiration, as I thought about my own New Year’s resolutions, I decided to poll several friends and business colleagues about their goals for 2014. As I suspected, there were surprises. Several have hopes for next year that I would never have guessed – like getting better at playing bagpipes. Who knew?
As thought starters, I asked what they hope for their business next year, their personal goals and what they hope for the world next year. Several people asked us not to use their names, I understand; resolutions can be very personal.
Goals for Their Business
The first surprise came in an early response: “I hope I have hardly any business at all. My current situation: I applied to be a volunteer for The Innocence Project.” A laudable goal and we’re keeping our fingers crossed for our friend to be accepted.
Another respondent has bright hopes for herself, “I’m looking forward to launching a new business and starting a new chapter in my career – but I’d like not to be personally identified as saying that!”
Ken Jacobs, principal of Jacobs Communications Consulting, LLC hopes “to double my business next year.”
Melissa Skottegaard, a senior marketing executive at a leading financial services firm shared, “My hope for my company next year is to continue to grow because we make a difference in the lives of our customers for this generation and those to follow.” The company is a leader in retirement plans for employees of non-profits.
Lou Hammond, founder of Lou Hammond & Associates, has a lot to be proud of. She wrote, “With the company coming on 30 years in 2014 — celebrating our success and good fortune.”
Richard Shapiro, President, The Center For Client Retention, proudly stated, “After 25 years in business, 2013 was our best year ever and we are looking for significant growth for 2014. I attribute this success to our dedicated team that understands how to serve our clients and who think smart and work hard.”
Another responder, fairly new to her job in finance, not surprisingly wants to “build and expand the U.S. banking business”.
Their Personal Goals
Travel figures prominently in goals for the New Year as well as working to stay physically fit.
Ken plans to take a family vacation to Ireland where his daughter, Martine, will be creating her senior project. He hopes his son, Alexander, will get a break from his job in Dalian, China, to join them.
Melissa asks, “Fun? My family is going to the U.S. Virgin Islands in February and also thinking about a trip to London later this year to see friends (depending how my 3-year old does on the plane to the USVI). Personal? I have a list but I’m thinking about starting Bikram or hot yoga. I really need more quiet time!”
Allison Cantonis, a retired lawyer in Clearwater, Florida, plans to visit six new countries. “We have a SE Asia Cruise planned for March which will us get to four of those,” she said. “I’d also like to continue developing my bridge acumen and begin taking piano lessons after a 50 year hiatus!!” She joins another responder who also wants to learn to play the piano.
Richard was happy to say, “I’m very lucky to have an extremely well balanced life. I work diligently every day, enjoy what I do, eat healthy and exercise, and also make sure that I take the time to smell the roses along the way. Life is way too short. Try to enjoy every day!”
Jeannette Paladino, Write Speak Sell, told me she makes the same three resolutions every year (which she borrowed from her brother,) “No more coulda, shoulda, wouldas; stay fit; and have fun!”
Lou had a string of personal goals. We didn’t want to leave any out. Here they are: “Remembering that our health is our number one priority — have lost too many friends and others having health issues; enjoying life and making more time for friends; hugging my dog, Presto, every day. Just doing it — an invitation, an opportunity, I plan to go for it; refurbishing my kitchen so I can entertain and cook in New York; going to Paris every chance I get; being the best grandmother for the sweetest girl there is!”
Someone who shall remain nameless wants to “lose 25 pounds next year.” (There is always one in the crowd!)
Their Hopes for the World
Melissa said, “My hope for the world starts at home — I would like the divisiveness in Congress to cease so they find common ground faster, with less nastiness. Good to have dissenting options — it’s what makes our country great – but not to the detriment of the country.”
“I hope for movement in peace between Israel and the Palestinians, a resolution to the conflict in Syria, and a decrease in starvation in the U. S. and the world. (Well, one has to think big!),” said Ken Jacobs.
Richard said, “There is too much prejudice in the world. Let’s hope for everyone’s benefit that people from different cultures and religions come together and start a process to create meaning personal relationships.”
I heartily support Allison’s resolution, “I’d like to see progress toward girls being able to be educated throughout the world.” Another responder wants “world peace.”
Someone else hopes “…that the natural disasters will decline, that there will be less friction among all countries and that underdeveloped countries will become more humanitarian.”
My New Year’s Resolutions
My hopes for The Newman Group are that we continue to work with the wonderful clients we currently have as well as new ones who bring interesting and challenging projects our way.
My hopes for the world begin here in New York City with our new Mayor, Bill De Blasio, making a priority of keeping the city a safer place for everyone. I’d like to see stronger gun control laws so that the evening news doesn’t start with a story about an innocent child or bystander being killed every night. I’d also like to see harsher penalties for animal abuse.
On the personal side, I want to be more diligent about getting to the gym three times a week for workouts.
On the fun side, I’d like to take a trip to the Netherlands with Richard and Wendi and to meet some of our Dutch cousins.
What are Your New Year’s Resolutions?
What would you like for your business, yourself and the world in 2014? It’s OK to think big, even if you don’t fulfill all your goals. I know that I may miss getting to the gym as much as I’d like with the work schedule I’ve set for myself. But I feel that all we can do is our best and that may be better than we’ve ever done before.
If you’d like to share your New Year’s resolutions, please drop us a note in the comment box below. We’re rooting for you!