Don't Make New Years Resolutions

Jan 03, 2009

Some one recently asked this New Year, what resolutions did you make? I responded that I don’t make New Years Resolutions. There was a stunned silence and after a short period, when the questioner had composed themselves, they naturally questioned why I would do this.

Just to give you the same background I gave them, here is how I came to this conclusion. About 10-15 years ago, I resolved to never make a New Years Resolution ever again. This came about because I noticed that everyone made a resolution to loose weight, love their family more, drink less, be kinder, etc. I being just as guilty as everyone else of resolving to do something and yet failing 5 days later and forgetting it completely a month on, saw a pattern that I would make decisions to change or improve my life only on New Years Day or I was forced to by circumstances. I had pattern of excusing to remain indecisive and content with where I was not going or not doing, when I had I power to change those circumstances.

I can hear some people going that seems a bit much, but this clear realisation left with the insight that I was excusing problems or leaving them until they were really a big problem to resolve. Now you may be asking what does this have to do with my business, my branding or marketing. I will explain, by sharing a little insight I received a while ago, we are our businesses; our attitudes, habits and decision making processes are what drive our businesses, our lives, and interactions with our environment. This is by no means an opening to attack someone for incompetence, or patting someone on the back for being extremely clever, but a truth about the world around us.

Getting back to why I don’t make resolutions, the bit I left out was at the same time I made the resolution to make resolutions to change things when it was clear to me that change was necessary to improve my situation. So how does that look now? Simply, I live my life and I go about my business, assessing whether I am accomplishing my goals and whether I need to add, remove or modify goals, this occurs as part of the natural, disciplined and regular periods of assessment and feedback between my self and those around me. Now someone is probably going to say, I can’t do that. You can and here is how I went about doing it.

  1. Set goals and assessment periods at regular intervals.
  2. Get to know your weaknesses.
  3. Get to know your strengths.
  4. Be willing to critique your self and your decisions. Not to rubbish or worry about the decision, but to assess whether it was a good decision and whether things could have been done better, at important intervals.
  5. Be willing to let trustworthy people point out faults. This is not a carte blanche excuse for someone to ruin your character or your management team take you apart and leave you, but a constructive process. (this and previous item are probably the hardest steps, make sure you find honest, trustworthy people to help here.)
  6. Present the best of yourself and your company, to everyone else.

Why do successful and bright people attract successful and bright people, because they want to build credible, trustworthy and sharp businesses. This is why I keep the door open to make resolutions at anytime because credible businesses are built by people who are able to be decisive and open to the decision making process at appropriate times.
How does this apply to branding? Branding is about bringing out the best of your company to put on display for potential customers/clients. This display of excellence can only be achieved, through regular honest assessments and a decision making process that works towards this goal. The aim is to as much as you are able to present the best of what you are currently doing, not what you could do, but what you are doing.

Posted by Thomas Cowell

Tags: branding