Make It Happen Tipsheet
Translating Knowledge to Action

Old Year's Resolutions

Have you ever wondered about your New Year's resolutions in December? No, not your upcoming ones, but the ones from last year? If you're like most people, you probably haven't. And the reason why is we don't want to acknowledge failure: we don't want to be reminded about resolutions that we haven't kept. And why beat yourself up? Better to enjoy the holidays, look forward, and consider a new set of new year's resolutions - not the old ones.

This attitude, however, prevents us from doing some important introspection. There is tremendous value in reviewing your Old Year's Resolutions over the last five years:

Is there a trend that you can spot? Do most of your resolutions focus on only one part of your life? (eg Community, Family, Intellectual, Spiritual, Physical, Career, Financial.) Has the nature of the resolutions changed as your life circumstances have changed? Are you routinely successful - or unsuccessful - at different types of resolutions?

What you find might be a message to you about your priorities. Or it might be a message that you should change your priorities.

Separately, fish back to your resolutions from 10-15 years ago. How different were they? Were there clues to your future aspirations?

This week's action plan: Organizations have New Year's resolutions, except the resolutions are called annual objectives, the plan, or goals. They also have Old Year's Resolutions: this week, look back over the last five years of your organization's (or department's) goals, and spot the trends - and the progress. Sometimes looking back can give you the inspiration to move that much further forward.

Time for more action this week? After you have reviewed your personal Old Year's resolutions, commit to a "new" New Year's resolution - one that has never been on your list.


Randall Craig is an expert on Social Media Strategy and Social Media Policy; to find out how his workshops, webinars, and keynotes can help your team or add to your event, contact him through, or by email at

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Copyright © 2011 Knowledge to Action Press and Randall Craig. All rights reserved.
Publication Date: Jan 4, 2011

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