Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

I think that I may, once upon a time, have made some New Year's Resolutions. Not sure what ever became of them, but I've never done them again.

Because the point of NYRs -- and all goals and objectives, really -- is that you have to refer back to them and ask yourself, "Well, how did I do?" If you're not going to do that, then the whole exercise is kind of futile.

Or is it?

I've often said that the most important part of a communication strategy is not the tactics or slogan or schedule (though that is what the client really wants to see), but the process. Thinking about the current situation, the reason behind the need to communicate, what your point is. Working with the other members of the communication team - especially the client - to ensure that everyone is rowing in the same direction with the same dock in view. If you get those right, then there will be less fussing over changing "good" to "nice."

So, thinking aloud here, what if I were to approach this NYR as a strategy, not a list of tactics? Hmmm. It might look something like this [I'm not sure how personal this will get, so it may never end up being published]:

Current Situation/Background
  • Current weight is holding steady, but is still more than I would like. More to the point, I don't mind my weight so much as I mind how my weight LOOKS in clothing.
  • I have mild diabetes, currently diet-controlled. Don't want it to require drugs or insulin.
  • I have a family history of heart disease, Alzheimers, and depression.
  • Line of credit (used to build the pool) needs to be paid down.
  • I am contented in my closest relationships, but would like to spend more 1:1 time with each of my kids.
  • I am lazy.
  • We are planning a trip to California in March.
  • I am holding judgment on whether the job I'm in now is where I want to be.
  • I drive the car to work at least three times per week, which is expensive, bad for the environment and lazy of me. (The best bus stop is about a 10-minute walk from my front door.)
  • Steve would be delighted if I increased my activity level (and coincidentally lost some weight). [He's exceptionally discreet in how he expresses this, and always does so with my own best interests at heart. He could be a diplomat.]
  • I really like driving to work, rather than taking the bus, mostly because I don't have to watch the clock.
  • Regular exercise is known to combat diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimers and depression. Plus, the Queen says we should do it.
  • Gently proactive approach.
  • Stop driving the car to work so often. (Limit to once per week.)
    • Reduce $ spent on parking - more to put toward line of credit.
    • Walk at least 10 minutes a day [baby steps, people, baby steps!]
  • Set up an automatic transfer to line of credit.
  • Make a "date" with each kid for a Saturday brunch, one kid per week.
  • Go for at least one walk per week with Steve. Increase to three or more times per week over the year.
Evaluation/Results (because you KNOW that any strategy has to have measurable results)
  • Greater stamina
  • Weight loss (rather than gain)
  • Swift reduction of line of credit --> greater disposable income
  • Strengthened relationships with kids

Well, it's a pretty cursory strategy, but it does hit the main points - and the reasons for them.

While January first may be an arbitrary day to review one's life and goals, just as Valentine's Day is an arbitrary date to affirm one's love, it's as good a time as any to take stock and, maybe, make some changes for the better. Just as February 14th is as good a date as any to let someone know how special he or she is in your life.


  1. I find that setting goals at a calendar boundary (New Year, posting, Lent, etc.) helps to stiffen resolve because you can say, "I've been good since such-and-such a date."
    Looking forward to those walks!

  2. Great approach, and well-put. I think I'll sit down and try this myself...
    Happy New Year!!


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