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Friday, January 4, 2013

New Year's Resolutions, Courtesy of Inward

It's the first week of January, but there's still time to make New Year's resolutions: Most people are only now shaking from their holiday slumber.

And as you do, maybe you can resolve to do some things new and better at work, as well as in your personal lives.

Our dedicated and talented staff sat together this week and knocked around the question of what they would like to do  better in 2013, and what they would like to see Inward Strategic Consulting do.

Here's what they came up with. Most of it isn't exactly original, but it has the impact of authenticity and consensus. And it's a list whose fulfillment would make us all better people -- and companies -- in the year ahead:

Healthy activity: Everyone resolves to work out more and be more physically active this time of year. What's sometimes missing is the other half of the equation. We decided to eat healthier this year as well.

Balance work and non-work: Buckling down at the office to start the year is a common goal as people determine to improve all aspects of their lives in the new year. What is even more important is to properly balance our work lives and our non-work lives. Let's enjoy more activities outside of our jobs.

Bask in others: Both in and out of the office, a simple and positive practice is to appreciate others more. We can't  become so caught up in self-improvement that we don't recognize the better nature in others.

Spend time with family: The old saw about who's going to be around your death bed isn't any less true just because it's a fresh new year. Family -- however you define them, or a community of friends -- should reign as a priority in our lives. Whether that means teaching your daughter to swim, taking a grandson to church, cooking dinner for the whole gang, or just purposely being at home more, this resolution can make the biggest difference of all.

Give back: Charities are under more stress than ever because the long duress of the U.S. economy has stretched their resources in a number of ways. Threats to the charitable deduction on federal income taxes also loom large. All the more reason, then, for us to include charitable giving and service in our priorities for the new year.

Shed "weight" as a company: Employers can lose "pounds," too, in this season. Use new-year thinking to come up with ways to cut waste, trim costs, find efficiencies and reduce redundancies. Once you've brainstormed all the ways you can reduce expenses, give 10 percent of the savings back to the staff as a reward for thinking outside the box.

Start with a clean sheet: The beginning of a new year is a great time to run a corporate exercise we call "Stop, Start and Continue." All too often, companies get bogged down in doing things the way they always have been done, even after the reasons for doing so have faded into the corporate archives -- and the old ways provide no real value. This exercise requires you to justify every procedure as a team, or you eliminate it. Those that survive are sure to be worthy.

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