Fulfilling new year resolution

Is new year resolutions made to be broken or do we successfully fulfill them?

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By Bhushan Kulkarni


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A New year is a time to come together, celebrate with family, friends and then the next day fight to overcome the 'hangover' of the 'celebration'.

Some of us also have the habit of making new year resolutions. It's a different matter that with people like me they last less than a month. But there are few who show fair amount of consistency in making and fulfilling new year resolutions.

I have seen a couple of my friends do it for quite some time now. As we enter 2016, I took a resolution to check the secret of their consistency and pick up few points, if I can. I am happy to share that I succeeded in this resolution of at least meeting them and listening to their story.

Amesh is a working professional and Sayesh runs a small manufacturing unit. Amesh's last year resolution was to explore some forts within the state. Sayesh's last year resolution was to improve the top line and bottom line of hid company by 25 percent.

Did they achieve it? One year on and Amesh has explored 12 forts and for Sayesh the top line improved by 25 percent and bottom line by 27 percent.

Here are the 3 things they shared with me that ticks for them.

1. The burning desire:

It was during some casual conversation with a group of friends that Amesh picked up the idea of exploring forts. He lived with this thought for quite some time and this thought grew, making him a bit restless. One day he took time out and met someone who has been trekking and going on forts. That meeting further fuelled the thought and the desire to at least try it once, intensified. After connecting with a group of like-minded people Amesh made his maiden visit to a fort and followed it with the rest 11 to complete his task of 12 in a year.

This process happens with every activity says Amesh. It starts with a thought, translates into a desire - a burning desire and that sets you in action. Being in touch with like minded people also keeps the interest levels high.

2. Play the ball, not the bull:

Sayesh and his small team do the planning exercise every year. So how does that planning translate into reality? His success secret sauce. Plan big, focus small. He says every year I plan where the company needs to go and what kind of top line and bottom line we would like to have. Importantly, what activities in terms of product development, people development and process enhancement we need to do to achieve it. But if I start thinking of audacious goals we set for ourselves, I will be broke. So I take it in chunks, focus on it really well and execute it without losing sight of the larger objectives. In short, in my daily routine I play the ball and not get overwhelmed with the bull.

3. Tackling black swans:

Former trader, finance professor and renowned writer Nassim Nicholas Taleb popularised this term 'Black Swan'. A black swan in our context is an event or occurrence that deviates beyond what is normally expected of a situation and that would be extremely difficult to predict.

During one fort trek, Amesh and his group came to a point where there was a thin track where barely one person could pass at a time with no adequate support and on the other side there was a valley which was 2500 feet deep. With Sayesh, it was a sudden unanticipated regulatory change that could have derailed lot of things for him.
So how do you respond to such situations, I asked. Both explained me in greater details on how they have tackled the above two situations respectively. The gist I could draw from that explanation is this.

Step back-Reflect-Evaluate options and Act.

Here is a recap of their consistency in fulfilling the resolutions.

- The burning desire
- Planning big but focus small (one thing at a time)
- Method (Habit) of tackling the unanticipated situations.

May the new year bring you and your near and dear ones a fulfilling new year....

Bhushan Kulkarni

Bhushan specialises in skill and behavioural training and writes blogs on Training, Management, Personal effectiveness and Leadership.

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