Friday, January 12, 2007

How Excited Are You About the Year Ahead?

It's January and for many of us that means yearly work planning. We get together and we think about what we need to accomplish in the year ahead. How do you feel at the end of this planning process? Ready to go, or tired already? How can we get excited about the year ahead?

We may not always have a choice about the work we do, but we can choose the way we do it is a well-known statement that managers often use in efforts to help motivate team members. But maybe there is more. Maybe we have more latitude for choice about what work we do than we think.

Even within set organizational programmes, teams can always ask the question - What do we want to do this year? What do we want to learn and what do we want to achieve for ourselves and our team? There will always be the 'reality check' team member that will remind us of the programmed goals. The creative process then focuses on how to weave these together. How much more motivation, energy and enthusiasm does it create when people get to bring into the workday some of their passions, personal avenues of enquiry, and the opportunity to develop some longer term capacities they are building?

New Year Resolutions: Pleasure or Pain? We Can Choose!

One week into 2007, I'm back to work and Gillian and I are looking at all we have planned for the year ahead. Wow! We have a long list of things we want to do and achieve. How are going to ensure that - come the end of the year - we stand the best chance of finding ourselves looking back and happily reflecting on our successes?

Going through the deluge in my inbox, I come across an end of year email from Mind Tools entitled 'Keeping Your New Year Resolutions' . It raises some interesting questions for us to ask ourselves, including: Why are New Years' resolutions often about what we should give up and not do?

This made me think back to two earlier, related posts: What Do Change and Strip Poker Have in Common? and Our Story, Our Choice. As explored in these previous posts, we don't have to focus on what we should give up and not do. We have a choice.

Rather than thinking of change and what we resolve to do differently as a loss and pain, let's frame our new intentions more positively, more 'appreciatively'. In our personal resolutions, and looking at the list of things we want to do and achieve professionally in 2007, let's first resolve to ensure that we frame our new intentions as a pleasure and get motivated to succeed!