You know, it seems you can't live with New Year resolutions and you can't live without them.
On one hand, you know the importance of goals and habits to accomplishing anything worthwhile. On the other hand, you know that you'll end up abandoning your New Year resolutions by around January 3. So why bother?
If you're an achiever (Type A) personality (like me), you're in double trouble. For a few years in my 20s, I recall making pages--pages!--of resolutions each December.
You can already guess how many of those I kept.
Now older and wiser, I no longer make a list of resolutions each New Year. Instead, I choose a theme for the year and let it guide all the decisions and plans I make in all parts of my life.
So, for example, the theme in 2017 was EXPERIMENT. At the end of 2016, I could see that my business, family, and health needed to go in new directions, but I didn't know where at the time. So I resolved to try a lot of things in each of those areas and be OK with failure and mistakes as long as they were helping me grow each day. I added a daily habit of journaling about what was working and what wasn't working. Looking back now, 2017 was a year of discovery and growth. A lot of questions that hung over me in December 2016 now have answers.
My theme for 2018 is HEALTH. This applies as much to my business, family, and the small nonprofit I lead as it does to my personal physical condition. I chose this theme because I've come to see how things like business or organizational performance, quality of life, and relationships depend on my actual physical condition.
HEALTH will be as much a focus for the small nonprofit I lead as it is for my own body. Choosing a theme like HEALTH means looking at all activities, decisions, and plans through that lens. The big question is: What would it look like for our organization to be a healthy by the end of 2018? That question works well every day, week, or month, and in every meeting and project, too: What can we do now to make this organization healthier?
So as 2018 approaches, give some fresh thought to what theme would make the biggest difference to your small nonprofit in the New Year. Ask yourself: If we could change only one thing about this organization in 2018, what one thing would make the biggest difference in all other areas of operations, programming, and prospects for the future? Choose a word that encapsulates that one thing and then start each day in 2018 by writing that word at the top of your to-do list.
And please do share the theme you choose with your fellow small nonprofit leaders in the smallnonprofitcoach.com Facebook group. We want to cheer you on and help!
Happy New Year!