January! You're deeply back in the office, you're many days into new resolutions, goals, intentions, promises to self, commitments—whatever your fancy. By mid January (right about now), many will ditch all of these. Apparently there's even a little holiday called "Ditch New Year's Resolution Day" on January 17th to honor this fact. Did you make it through? Make some changes? If you've thrown in the towel or even if you're just wavering now—there are some things you can consider to help take yourself and all those great intentions and commitments with you gracefully, powerfully, and successfully, into 2016, well past January.
You've got to be smarter than the "resolution" or "intention" or the "goal" or whatever framework you've put your new and upleveled 2016 you into. And you've got to be really present as to the WHY of each of them. Look at it this way; you and your leadership are either evolving or devolving at all times—intentions and commitments are great anchors and guardrails to help you get where you want to go. Your outcomes and impact are your choice. WHY is this important to you? And what kind of agreements do you need to create for yourself to show up as your best this year? (Only you can answer this.)
Here are 7 commitments you can make and keep in 2016 if you so choose. They are all within your control, and they're all powerful with major ripple effects. Take these 7 and make them your own, tweak, modify, ditch, dig, delete as you wish. Note: if you've already done this over the break, or in relationship to my piece on 12/21, power to you—check your commitments and intentions from 2 weeks ago with what's alive for you today—consistent? Cool. Keep going. They've shifted? Cool. Tweak and roll.
- Commit to presence. No matter what's happening, you can keep coming back to presence. To your breath. To the person in front of you. To your body. This requires awareness, intention and practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.
- Commit to choice. You are always at choice. No matter what's happening, you are at choice about how you want to respond, what comes out of your mouth, your perspective and framing for what's happening, and how you're going to show up in that moment.
- Commit to self-care. Whatever this means for you; nutrition, exercise, sleep, hydration, naps, dentist appointments, being nice to yourself... It can be huge or small. Decide what this means for you and do the littlest or biggest thing every day to honor it.
- Commit to serve. Before you walk into a room, into a conversation, into a playdate with your kids, commit to be a contribution to whatever's going on. Commit to act in service of, to take the high road, to consider how you can help things go even better here.
- Commit to honor yourself. Kindness, self-care, honoring your agreements, who you surround yourself with, the kind of boundaries you hold to protect and nourish your energy, what you tolerate, the rituals you create for self-care... All of these tie into honoring yourself. Pick even just one from this list, and commit to raising it up a notch. In every moment, especially when you get that "ick"—question, how can I honor myself a bit more here? (This one gets double space in this piece, it's foundational for all of the rest.)
- Commit to spending intentionally. Gratitude, honor, and intentionality with money, time, and energy is going to be key this year. With every dollar, minute, and energetic effort—be intentional. Is this the best use of my time/energy/money? What's the ROI? Does it FEEL good to me? Will it serve beyond this moment? Be thoughtful and present here. Magic.
- Commit to Showing Up. Showing up for yourself and for others, for the work you care about in the world, and for bringing your whole self to the party. Consider what "showing up" means for you personally, and honor it. Everyone wins when you show up.
Which ones of these feel the easiest? Most challenging? Which are you excelling at already? Which need some TLC? All of these are fully within your control. Choose one, choose all... make it a strong New Year, honor your best self, and Show Up.
See you next week. X
If you're looking for more ways to show up well this year, to be a positively contagious leader, and to create a culture that thrives simply by bringing your best self (and team) to the table, find more ideas for "commitment" in Contagious Culture: Show Up, Set the Tone, and Intentionally Create an Organization That Thrives.
This post originally appeared on Inc.com on January 4, 2016 and modified to fit present day.
- Share this post with your network or add your comment below!
- Subscribe to The Beat - the weekly reflection and accountability tool
- Learn more about creating a Contagious Culture in your work and life