2010: A Ruly New Year

It is the first day of a brand new year! Although really today is much the same as yesterday and the day before, because it is New Year’s Day, it is infused with hope, promise, and a fresh start. Today is the day when many people resolve to make big changes in their lives.

In a world where there is a lot to worry, obsess and become depressed about, it is kind of amazing that the calendar turning one page is enough to get us to leave the past in the past, think big, dream new dreams and believe that our lives can be fundamentally different going forward. It is probably one of the best traditions we have!

Of course, some people get a little jaded about New Year’s because they have failed to achieve the resolutions they have made in the past. In January at Ruly, we are going to be discussing goal setting in general as well as the process needed to make progress toward a goal.

As for me, this year I am thinking a little differently about setting my goals. I have been really interested to view The Wall Street Journal’sLessons in Leadership” video series, where CEO’s of various companies are answering questions on everything from time management to motivation. While some of the answers are what you might expect, some are a little shocking. One of the more eye-opening quotes that stuck with me was:

“Don’t do stuff that you know you don’t like.”

–Kevin Roberts, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi, in The Wall Street Journal Lessons in Leadership” video series

It’s a very simple concept but a powerful one too. How much time do we spend setting goals to do things that we don’t like doing but for whatever reason, we feel that we “have to” do them. What I liked about this concept is that Mr. Roberts seems to be saying, when you have a million things to do, prioritize your own happiness first, then look at the needs of others in your business or personal life. The result is a list of priorities that you will enjoy doing and that will satisfy others as well. Since we naturally put more energy into things we enjoy than things we detest, this seems like a winning solution to get optimum results.

For 2010, my personal resolutions are all about doing more fun things in my life . . . places to travel, experiences to have, etc. When I sit down to write my business goals for Ruly, they will similarly be focused on maximizing the enjoyable moments. When it comes to doing things I don’t enjoy doing, my goals will be to find ways to minimize those unenjoyable moments either through outsourcing to others, rethinking an unenjoyable process to inject more fun into it or streamlining the unenjoyable to take less time.

On Monday, we all get back to business as usual after a long holiday break. Routines and schedules resume. As you go about your normal activities, start to consciously ask yourself, “Do I like doing this?” If the answer is no, you may have an incredible opportunity to learn something new about yourself and make a change for your own happiness.

What are your resolutions for 2010? Please share in the comments.