The hum of generators replaced the sounds of Christmas morning giggles in many homes. Christmas lights didn’t shine and instead of prime rib or turkey dinners, families ate at McDonalds or rescheduled for brighter (literally) days ahead.
In fact, as I write this a week later, some of my friends are still powerless.
“Things don’t always turn out the way we want or expect.” “Change isn’t always bad.” “Make the best of it.” “Some things are out of our control.”
I’ve uttered these phrases at least a dozen times to my kids throughout the past week, perhaps mostly to calm my fraying nerves. But as I thought about what to write for this blog post, I realized that as 2014 approaches, I need to believe these words, instead of just saying them.
And there’s No. 1 on my list of New Year’s resolutions.
I said I wasn’t going to make any resolutions because I rarely keep them. And I expect most of you say the same thing.
But a new year seems like the perfect time to lose weight, reduce debt, get more exercise, simplify our lives, watch less TV, spend more time with family…and the list goes on and on, not just personally but professionally.
Let’s take the No. 1 resolution: lose weight and get healthy. Personally, we may want to lose 10 pounds, but what about the extra fat around your association’s waistline? What’s bogging down your daily operations or bottom line? Take a look at your miscellaneous budget line to see which extras can be trimmed. Then, consider what “getting healthy” means for your association. Wellness is important, and it could mean a happy board of directors or staff and volunteers who feel more fulfilled. What can you do to achieve wellness?
Next, “spend more time with family.” We all say it, but what does it mean professionally? Ask your staff members how many of them feel they have a good work/life balance. If you’re a CEO or director, ask yourself the same question. Juggling work, raising a family and other obligations stress us out. So for starters, make sure your association’s members don’t feel they have to choose. At your next event, plan family-friendly events at family-friendly places. And consider offering some personal development and wellness opportunities for your staff members. Encourage them to bring their families along while attending conferences.
“Change bad habits.” Most of the time, that refers to smoking and drinking, but bad habits exist in the workplace, too. Whether it’s communications, management or finances, review your practices. What can you do better? Have you received complaints from your members about any of these things? If so, now is the time to address them.
These are perhaps the three most popular New Year’s resolutions, but whatever resolutions you make personally can be applied professionally.
So now that you’ve made them, how do you keep them?
“Setting small, attainable goals throughout the year, instead of a singular, overwhelming goal on Jan. 1 can help you reach whatever it is you strive for,” said psychologist Lynn Bufka in an American Psychological Association blog. “Remember, it is not the extent of the change that matters, but rather the act of recognizing that lifestyle change is important and working toward it, one step at a time.”
First and foremost: Be realistic. Don’t expect to meet all your goals within three months.
APA offers these tips for keeping New Year’s resolutions:
• Start small
• Change one behavior at a time
• Talk about it
• Don’t beat yourself up if you have a misstep
• Ask for support
So, tell us, how will you keep your resolutions? What are they? Please email Kristen Parker at Kristen@eventgarde.com.
As we close 2013, Happy New Year from Event Garde to you! May you all enjoy a prosperous and memorable 2014.