Focusing on the Right Resolutions

by Sharon Simpson, Ongoing Operations

As we all return to work for the first full week of the New Year, many of us will be greeted with a pile of to do items. Meeting schedules are filling back up and the quieter days of the last few weeks are definitely behind us. In addition, there are those pesky New Year’s Resolutions – promises we’ve made to ourselves or to others to be better in 2013 and accomplish even more.

This is exactly the point where we most need (and are least likely) to pause and focus our energy on the things that really matter. I was fortunate the other morning to have a bit of quiet time to enjoy a cup of coffee and watch one of the morning news program where they were discussing a new book, Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength. The author talked about research that showed as the day wears on and we make decision after decision, our ability to make good choices is actually depleted. For more powerful individuals, such as the President of the United States, it is critical to not think about the small choices (like what suit to wear) and save up that mental capacity, your willpower in fact, to make the more important decisions.

This is not the first time I’ve heard or seen this concept in action, but learning that research actually exists to back this up intrigued me. It’s very easy to be pulled in a million directions and very quickly feel that nothing is being accomplished. I’m not saying we all need to wear a dark suit or the same outfit everyday or order the same thing for lunch, but perhaps making fewer decisions and tackling the more critical ones first is something we can all resolve to try in 2013.

In my own career as a marketing consultant, I’ve spent time over the past few months automating several time consuming tasks that my clients require. The marketing systems and tools that exist today make this a lot easier.  I’ve also started a new planning system that breaks out vital tasks for each client on a weekly basis. I’m sure there will still be days that contain more tasks than I feel comfortable with, but such is life. At least if I resolve to focus on the critical ones first, I should be able to end the day with some of my willpower intact. So here is to a happy and healthy new year and to focusing on fewer resolutions!

Sharon Simpson

Sharon Simpson

Sharon is a national consultant who specializes in developing strategic marketing plans for CUSOs and credit unions. She has over fifteen years of marketing experience in the financial services industry. ... Web: Details