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A new type of resolution

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

So, following on from the last blog about a new style of New Year Resolutions, I’m going to start with a few, right here. As the year progresses, I expect, and am comfortable with, changes to this plan, because it’s the approach that is more important than the detail.

Here’s how I envisage it panning out so far. Below are three examples, non-business related, that I’m planning for 2011, and, underneath each one, I take a quick look at the inference of this approach for our behaviour in our teams and organisations at work.

Learning about new, local, places

With three children, two dogs, various poultry, an old house that needs work and two businesses to run, it’s easy not to get out much, or, if we do, to go to places we’ve been before because it’s easy. Challenge 1 for 2011 is to visit new places at least every other time we go for a day out, and to do it a minimum of once per month.

Learning point: it’s easy to stick with what you know, to do the same “because it worked last time”, and to think of excuses not to change. I’m using my innate desire for doing new things to break this habit.

Discovering the best cycle rides on my doorstep

As mentioned above, I love doing new things. Finding out where I could get to (and back!) in a day on my bike (with and without family in tow), and testing all the different directions is full of exciting possibilities. The underlying upside to this is, of course, that I’ll be getting additional exercise done, more fresh air, and more time outdoors.

Learning point: to turn a negative (lose weight, for example) into a positive (do more exercise, for example) is not enough on its own. Find something you really want to to and enjoy doing where the original “desired goal” is reached as an (almost) unintended consequence.

Beating Jamie Oliver’s times in his 30 minute meals

I got Jamie’s latest book for Christmas; perfect, as I enjoy cooking. What i’m aiming for here though is, by practice, to get slicker and slicker at cooking a range of these recipes so that we can have them every night I’m at home. The main side benefits are that we will eat better, home cooking will take less time, and we’ll have plans for what we’re eating every week, so shopping will be easier too.

Learning point: find out what challenges you actually enjoy facing, and why. If it’s a planning/logistical/execution slickness thing (as it is with me and cooking), then use that as the motivator - regardless of what the context is.

The interesting thing about writing this is that I’m actually excited about my resolutions now, rather than feeling negatively under pressure from them. Wonder if I can get out on my bike before it gets really dark...!

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