That time has come again - to make a bunch of resolutions a few of us will ever keep! Stats suggest that very few people follow through with their annual promises to themselves beyond January 12 (Strava, 2017). Likewise, research conducted by the University of Scranton in the US indicates that around 80 percent of people fail to keep their New Year’s Resolutions. Way to kill our January buzz, guys!
It’s not all doom and gloom though. Psychologists generally agree that New Year’s Resolutions can have a positive impact on a persons’ year ahead - that is, if you set realistic goals and identify clear ways to achieve them.
For that reason, the team here at ROI (ή) has decided to focus its yearly commitments on themes more so than specific actions. Sure, we have our weekly, monthly, six-monthly & yearly goals to meet as a business, but we always do that. Let’s instead think bigger. We also like the idea of creating more thematic goals, as these can be taken on board by not just us as a business but by our associates too, on a personal level. By aligning our personal and business goals and connecting them with key values we commonly hold, we passionately believe that ROI and the team will be in the 20% of resolution-keepers in 2020!
Here are our themes for the year ahead…
Being authentic is something we usually relate to ourselves personally. However, we believe that authenticity is equally crucial to our business and work lives. How so? Let’s use a huge example of the moment – Greta Thunberg. Greta uses an extremely direct mode of communication to further her climate change activism campaign. Indeed, Greta herself has indicated that her impactful writing- and public speaking-style correlates with the unique way she perceives the world due to her autism, her ‘superpower’. We very much get a sense of ‘what you see is what you get’ when it comes to this inspiring Swedish teen – and that forms much of her mass appeal and her success as an activist.
How can we take a more authentic approach to our businesses and work life? A few examples could include:
- Ensuring all comms – whether that’s formally throughout our marketing campaigns or internally with staff members – are clear, honest and ‘human’. Ask yourself: is this grounded in reality? Am I thinking like my audience would? It’s easy to become absorbed in your work life bubble. Pop it!
- Considering the authenticity of your project boards and boards of directors. Is there diversity; do they reflect the real world? Do less senior members of the team feel confident to speak their minds and are they listened to? Clear lines of communication and a strong sense of mutual respect is crucial to the successful operation of any board or team.
- Being upfront about project delivery costs and timeframes and striving to make best use of every moment of your client or employers’ time, always.
We’ve already mentioned the importance of honesty when it comes to acquiring work and getting the job done but what about when that’s all done and dusted? Then comes time … insert horror music… to report your results to your team or the client! Let’s not lie, every single person out there has been tempted to let’s say, frame the project results in an overly optimistic-toned manner. Kind of like applying an extra layer of cosmetics before a big date. You get our drift. This gets us, and those we are reporting to, nowhere. Not to mention it directly violates our above theme – authenticity!
When it comes to reporting the analytics and results, honesty and accountability is crucial. Praise your success sure, but be hard on yourself too. If something didn’t quite work or you can identify methods to make it work better going forward, name it. Your future projects – and the respect you earn as an employee or contractor – will depend on it.
No, we’re not talking about taking more yoga classes or meditating at lunchtime (although both these practices probably are a great idea – just ask Arianna Huffington!). When we talk about mindfulness, we mean being truly mindful of all our actions, as a business, as team members, as consultants. Throughout 2020, we aim to continually ask ourselves:
- How can we be fully prepared for the task at hand? Taking the time necessary to adequately research, strategise and plan for every project we take on is very important to us. As such, we will aim to always be upfront with our clients about what can be achieved within a certain timeframe and price point.
- Are we doing too much? We believe in slowing down where necessary. While there’s nothing wrong with a little bit of healthy pressure and competition, it’s important to work within our limits. A rush job is never a job well done. Working more is not necessary working better. And we could go on… Taking a slower (but nonetheless proactive) approach to all aspects of our lives including work can result in: more informed decision making, improved clarity, better control of emotions (surprisingly important at work!) and overall greater productivity. As entrepreneur Andrew Thomas writes in his article 4 reasons why slowing down will actually make you more successful , “it sounds backwards, but slowing down is actually a faster way to succeed.”
We don’t mean to get too Marie Kondo here, but we really believe that our work should “spark joy” in our lives. In the New Year, we will continue to urge all our associates to constantly operate with energy and enthusiasm in everything they do. There is no such thing as ‘boring’ project. It’s all about how you frame it.
But don’t fret, if things get a little tough, we won’t head towards the rubbish bin like Ms Kondo might have us do! Bring on the challenges. It’s a new year and we’re ready for it all.