Gave Up on Your New Year’s Resolution? This Is for You.
Like many teams and individuals around the world, you may have started this year off setting big goals. We certainly did! 2021 was an incredible year for us at Lumen Impact Group with our team growing from two employees to five (more on that later). As last year was wrapping up, we knew we were ready for some big, exciting January goals.
But we have all been there: how many years have you set that New Year’s Resolution, and by February you are back to your old habits? The odds that your exercise or cleaning regime has taken a hit by March is pretty high.
If we’ve learned anything over the past two years, it’s that we need smaller goals as well – digestible targets to support our big, exciting dreams. Some days you’re going to hit all your marks and crush your goals. Other days it’s going to be a win if you don’t set your home office on fire or throw your laptop out the window.
So, how do we dream big while also having reasonable expectations? What do those New Year’s resolutions look like?
We sought out to create such resolutions last November, when our full team gathered in person for the first time. Our team had multiplied in 2021, going from a team of two— Lisa Diaz and Stephanie VanDyk— to a team of five. With our three new incredibly gifted members— Dr. Laura Groth, Kelly Cadman, and Cori Egan— we were ready to hit the ground running.
In the past, we found ourselves building the plane as we were flying it. Our weekend was focused on setting goals around what the plane should look like, how it should fly, and where it should go. How would our proverbial plane deal with delays or events beyond our control? What daily and weekly maintenance can we schedule in order to keep the plane in working order?
The Lumen team asked these questions to develop a strategy that celebrates the little goals, which lead to observable, measurable impact. And for that, we’re learning the value in thinking smaller, like Sarah Von Bargen does with her “Every *Darn* Day Lists.” We need big, exciting January 1 goals, but we also need middle-of-February-why-is-it-still-winter, what-do-you-mean-school-is-virtual-again goals.
Because let’s be honest, we don’t always have the time and space to tackle those bigger strategic priorities every day. These are the goals that may not be super exciting, but we know we must reach them if we want to maintain a foundation for impact and success. Sometimes just maintaining that foundation is enough of a win for the day.
So, here’s the question: what is the minimum success you need to count that day as a win? The Lumen team can end a not-perfect day saying “at least I was able to …”
- intentionally connect with a teammate. — Stephanie
- take a break that was more productive and useful than scrolling news feeds, like taking a walk, meditating, or reading an article. — Laura
- read all my emails, or at least skim the subject lines and acknowledge that they exist — Lisa
- push every priority forward at least a little bit, so everything is in better shape than it was the day before. Nothing is becoming so stagnant that I’ll be afraid to come back to it. — Cori
- update and review my project task list, so I know what’s coming tomorrow. — Kelly
Could this strategy help you and your team set up your new year for success now that some time has passed since you set those big fun January resolutions? Create your own version of an “every darn day” list, and put it on your desk. Maybe grab a mini white board that can sit next to your computer (we love this one). Even a sticky note will do!
It’s March 2022. We’re in it, and the daily work can be hard when the shine of the new year has dimmed a bit. We hope that with a few daily wins, you’ll be able to feel a little of the January 1st sparkle in between the moments when you get to think and win bigger.