As we all know, it is that time of year again when whether we like it or not, thoughts start running through our heads like "this really is going to be the year that I lose those 25 pounds, stop smoking, start seriously exercising, will swear off karaoke or will stop trying to over-think my football picks."
It's an easy list to remember because for most of us it's same list as last year.
So when I got my issue of The Executive Insider today I started to laugh when I read the subject line: Making a "to don't" list. I was chuckling for two reasons; first because knowing the wonderful sense of humor that our Editor-in-Chief Robyn Greenspan has I figured this was only something that would come from her quirky creative mind and second, I couldn't imagine where she was going with it which, of course, like any accomplished writer, was exactly what she wanted my reaction to be. As usual, she scored on both counts.
As I read through her "list" however my smile became more like the kind of look one gets when you read or hear something that resonates within and you say to yourself "wow, I wish I had thought of that because everything that's there applies to me and if I were smart enough and as thoughtful as Robyn, I could have and should have thought about these things myself." It's a heck of a list.
So it is in the spirit of sharing something I found both useful and thought provoking that I pass along Robyn's "to don't" list in case, like me, you had not yet moved beyond the weight loss and exercise stuff.
While everyone is compiling their resolutions and focusing on all the things to do in 2009, I am putting together my "to don’t" list — behaviors and actions I will hopefully stay away from in the new year. So, in 2009 I will NOT:
Set unrealistic or unfair expectations of myself.
Say, "yes" to everything without first assessing the emotional, professional, personal, karmic ROI.
Neglect to quickly give credit to the team.
Solely focus on short-term benefits unless it is a pathway to accomplishing long-term goals.
Count on anything before it is a reality.
Forget to network because it often benefits someone other than myself.
Stop critically thinking, but refrain from always shooting holes in others’ ideas.
Always eat the goodies in the ExecuNet kitchen without bringing some to share too.
Lose sight of the fact that I can replace my job but not my family.