How to Have a “New” Year in 2018

New Years Day arrives and leaves like every other day. It’s different for one reason. We make it different.

New Years is different because you do different things. The folks where we live – Central Pennsylvania – eat sauerkraut on New Years. I don’t get it. Being a Maine boy, I prefer lobster.

rush to quiet reflecction


Do differently in 2018 if you want a NEW year.

Set different goals.

Don’t set artificial goals for yourself.*

Leaders get giddy when they set artificial goals. “We’re going to increase sales by 7% in 2018.” Don’t get me wrong. Organizations need artificial goals. 

The thing I hate about goal-setting is the process begins and ends with artificial goals.

A new question for different goals:

How might you bring value to others in 2018?

This is deceptive because leaders tend to focus on product, service, and results, rather than value when setting goals.

Value goals assume you know the value you bring.

Behavior-based questions that reflect leaderly value:

  1. What can you do to make the future bright? Hope.
  2. How will you bolster self-confidence in others? Boldness.
  3. How will you let others know they matter? Meaning.
  4. How will you make others feel they belong? Connection.
  5. How will you help others work with others? Teamwork.

Goals need behaviors, not comfortable intentions.  

A new practice for a NEW year:

Rush to quiet reflection at the beginning of your day, not action.

Apart from quiet – focused – reflection you end up running like mad and forgetting who you aspire to become.

You might reflect on one of the questions in the above list or one of the following questions.

  1. What can you do today that will make you proud?
  2. How might you best leverage your strengths today?
  3. What insignificant activity should you eliminate today?
  4. What might you do today that builds the future you aspire to create?

How might leaders make 2018 a “NEW” year?

What questions for quiet – focused – reflection might you suggest?

*Jim Parker, the former CEO of Southwest Airlines told me not to set artificial goals in a conversation back in 2012.