As sure as the Christmas carols come each year, so too will the promise of the New Year, the desire to make change and the New Year’s Resolution. In fact, studies say that while nearly 45 percent of Americans make resolutions, a few months later only 12 percent are sticking to them. How to escape this pitfall of wishful thinking?
It’s easy for CEOs to conceptualize their key business initiatives for the coming year. Most work with their leadership team to track the progress of these goals throughout the year. Progress towards a goal is often displayed on a dashboard and drives individual work plans. But, do we do the same thing in our lives outside of work?
In our culture, we tend to define ourselves by accumulation . . . money, status, and personal possessions. But when asked what REALLY matters, people say family, friends, vibrant health, and a sense of purpose. Are we spending our time and focus on what we say we value?
A good way for a CEO to start off the year is to take stock of life outside of work and beyond the typical goals of weight or exercise. Just as we prioritize at work and set measurable goals, we need to look at the totality of our lives and do the same. Are we spending quality time with our families? Are we eating and exercising in a way that gives us vibrant health? Are we developing ourselves personally to be the best version of ourselves with our spouse and children? Do we feel relaxed and centered?
Too often CEOs prioritize work to the exclusion of living a balanced life. Spending time at dance recitals or learning to master a hobby is what other people get to do. To be a CEO one must make certain sacrifices, right? CEOs tend to think that spending time on hobbies, service or family is time “off their game.” And while a strong work ethic and drive are the bedrocks of the CEO DNA, at what price do we value them above what truly matters in the long run?
Each year take an inventory of all aspects of life – where are you and where do you want to be? It’s not very different than what good leaders do with their companies. A great example might be a desire to be more present with family. This might start with a commitment to spending time with them. It might grow into a rule to unplug and not be connected to technology during this time. You might take this to a deeper level by making a commitment to set aside the work world and be 100 percent mentally present to the words and the needs of the people who are right in front of us. How many of us can say we do this on a regular basis?
When we bring the same level of commitment to our personal life that we do to our professional success, we end up with our own personal dashboard. It’s a visual picture of what we value that holds us accountable to be our best not only in businesses, but also the rest of our lives. It brings us more in alignment with what we say truly matters.
Stacey Vicari is an Austin-based Life Coach with a national client base. Her company is Ideal Life. Stacey is passionate about helping her clients create as much success in their personal lives as they enjoy professionally. She is also a popular motivational speaker.
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