New Year’s resolutions are shaping up right about now. The holidays have ended. We remain in a viral blizzard with Omicron and the Delta version of COVID. Nonetheless, every blizzard ends, as will this one. The rate and duration of the inflation uptick are questionable. However, the markets remain strong partially because our gross domestic product percentage remains high, wages are up, consumer demand is solid, unemployment is low, and the supply chain issues are resolving. Given these conditions, it’s time to get after where we are heading in 2022, and January is the month to break bad habits and resolve to develop good ones. Many of us vow to lose weight, exercise more, eat better foods, and get more sleep. And for some of us, this has been our New Year’s resolution for decades!
So, let’s mix it up this year and resolve to do something different — first, benchmark where you are right now on the DGLPA scale. Grab a pencil and paper and score yourself in five categories: dreams, goals, learning, planning and acting. For each category, give yourself a score from 1, meaning I don’t do this at all, to 10, meaning I excel at it; then, after you score each category, multiple your five scores against one another and record the result.
For example, if you rate yourself as a 10 for each category, it would be 10 to the fifth power or 100,000. This number is the maximum score you can achieve. Conversely, if you rate a 1 for each category, it would be 1 to the fifth power or just 1! Of course, this rating would be the lowest score you can achieve. It’s doubtful you’ll rate yourself as all 10’s or all 1’s, so you should have an ending score somewhere between 1 and 100,000. Now, apply this scoring system to each of the five categories, and let’s get your total result!
Dreams. If you constantly dream, both personally and professionally, have a vision board, document your dreams, and share these dreams with family, friends and coworkers, score yourself a 10. If you never dream and take each day as it comes, give yourself a 1.
Goals. If you form and further develop goals, both personally and professionally, write them down, create supporting objectives, tasks and milestones, and make them SMARTER, specific, measurable, attainable, results-oriented, time-framed, encouraging and rewarding, then give yourself a 10! If you never develop goals or write anything down, avoid objectives or milestones, score yourself a 1.
Learn. If you make a point of continuous learning by attending schools, webinars, workshops, reading books, newspapers, professional journals, blogs and remaining curious about your environment and what happens therein, give yourself a 10. If you believe there is no need to learn or have curiosity or interest about your environment, score yourself a 1.
Plan. If you make long- and short-term plans, write the plans out, factor risk and eliminate bias, and develop alternative strategies in case your original plan doesn’t pan out, score yourself a 10. However, if you do no planning, live day by day and life as handed to you, give yourself a 1.
Act. Finally, do you loathe procrastination, act on what you resolve to do, and see it through to completion, even if the conditions become challenging, you’re knocked down and abandoned by your teammates? Then, give yourself a 10. Conversely, if you are a perennial procrastinator, never start, or give up on what you resolved to do, even when your teammates encourage you, score yourself a 1.
There you have it — the baseline for your 2022 self-improvement plan! What should you resolve this year? How about improving in any categories you scored low in and sustaining the categories you scored high in. If you aren’t dreaming enough, make a vision board and populate it with pictures of perceived achievements. If you aren’t establishing SMARTER goals in your personal life or business, now’s the time to start. If you lack curiosity about your environment, carve out the time to attend workshops, read books, study professional journals. If you live day by day without planning for tomorrow, next year, or where you’ll be a decade from now, start developing a roadmap to your future. And if you are a procrastinator, can never conjure up the will to get started, or give up when the going gets tough, resolve to stick with it through completion.
Dream large, set big, hairy, audacious goals, thirst for knowledge, chart your course, act, act, act, act, act! Out with the old resolutions and in with the new. Take one step at a time, get your mindset right, and believe 2022 will be your year of success. Each quarter reassess where you are on the DGPLA scale, then resolve to do the hard work and self-improve. This is how you lead, think, plan and act. Now, let’s get after it!
Retired Col. Paul A. Raggio is co-owner, with his sister Lisa, of One True North INC Leadership and Business Coaching Solutions. Paul and Lisa mentor and coach business owners on leadership and management principles in achieving and sustaining their business growth and profitability goals. He can be reached at [email protected]