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How to Start your New Year: Resilient Execution

Summary. In a recent poll we carried in linkedin, we found that 100% of people achieve only part of their new year’s resolutions and objectives. 82% of them meet more than half of the objectives. The other 18% meet less than half of their objectives. No one in the cohort reported not achieving anything, and none achieved 100% of their goals. This shows that we have the tendency to be overly optimistic with our plans, we lose motivation down the line, or we do not adapt to change as we could be. So how can we manage our expectations of the new year in a realistically optimist way?

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A new year means a new fresh start for most of us. Time to get your life together, achieve your dreams, forget about any negative experience that might have happened in the passing year, and simply be happier. It is this positive outlook that keeps us going and looking forward in life. However, for most of us, it won’t take few weeks into the new year, for matters to get out of shape. There are many reasons why new year’s resolutions get derailed: getting busier, underestimated work load, change of circumstances, unforeseen responsibilities, stress with its impact on mental health, the list can go on. When this happens, we are left with feelings of un-satisfaction, disappointment – in self, in others, and in the universe, resentment and self-doubt, despair, all that can lead to a wave of negative feelings leading to an even more draining. But, it can all change. A new year is certainly a cause for celebration of all that is upcoming. But why not this year make it really count, make the gift of 365 blank days full of positivity and success. Invest your time right and reap the dividends. After all, your time is the most precious commodity in your life. In this article we go through how to execute your plan, implement your new years objectives, and follow up through frequent reflections so they don’t fall through the cracks:


The year has started, and your plan is now in action. It is all about expectation, maintaining the positive attitude, and keeping the momentum.

  1. To keep the momentum: Try adding a good habit to keep yourself connected with your purpose and objectives. For example, you can start with a mantra or prayer to show gratitude for your new day. You can also visually assist yourself with a constant reminder through an app or a calendar. You can also print a copy of your objectives and hang it on the wall, fridge, or use it as a book marker. Whatever works best for you and your attention.


  1. Expect fall backs: We all have bad days that don’t go the way we want. This is part of life, don’t let them identify you or your day. Consistency and resiliency are what will lead you to winning. If you get derailed from your objectives, it’s ok, do not give up. Get back on your feet and persist in pursuing your goals. Do not despair. No matter how much time you lose being away from your plan, if you consistently go back and do a little bit at a time, then you have much bigger chance on accomplishing what you started than if you just give up and stop, which is declaring that you have 0% of achieving your goals. Remember, it is about your purpose, which is the bigger picture here, so don’t get caught in the details.

“The future rewards those who press on. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain. I’m going to press on”  Barak Obama


  1. Change of plans: Remember that ‘the only constant in life is change’. Expect change of circumstances, environment, the economy, people, and so on. A lot can happen in a year, pivotal moments and life changing alterations can hit you when you least expect them. This might disturb your peace by derailing your objectives or requiring you to completely change them to adapt to the new situation. This is perfectly acceptable. You can not change-proof your plan, so try to be flexible in embracing and accommodating change. Revise your plan, adapt, add, delete, and let go when needed. Remember, a resilient execution of your plan depends on your agility and adaptability to change. You can practice applying the stop loss notion to mitigate the risk of losing when change impacts you negatively, and you are not sure if you should let go or not.

“Resiliency in disruptive times reply on your agility and adaptability to change”


  1. Frequent reflections: One thing that will help you adapt – when and where needed – is reflection. Whether you face change or not, you need to plan frequent reflections in the year to review your progress with your objectives and if they are still relevant. These are review meetings with yourself and your deep and honest thoughts. I do mine bi-weekly, but you can do it less or more frequently. Sometimes, I move some objectives around if that makes more sense to my needs. It can be useful to set your mood for fruitful reflections by appointing a brainstorming place. Similar to the one you selected to do the yearly objectives. Somewhere quite enough to peacefully concentrate on your thoughts. I usually pick a seat on the corner of a cafeteria with nice coffee, flowers, and maybe some books on the shelf, as these three items make me both relaxed and inspired.


  1. Beat the procrastination bug: Procrastination is the notion of delaying or postponing something. It can be a result of overwhelming emotions of responsibility, depression or anxiety, fear of failure or criticism, lack of energy, loss of motivation, or relying on pressure among many other reasons. Myself, I am highly productive under pressure, so I love working last minute deadlines. This however doesn’t pay off when it comes to personal objectives. Mainly because it is not an efficient way to manage time, and it can lead to wasting this incredibly priceless asset. Therefore, if you are a procrastinator, find out why and how can you remediate as soon as possible (do not procrastinate finding out how to beat the procastination).


  1. Forget about perfectionism: In addition to being one of the drivers of procrastination. Perfectionism can also lead to unbearable chronic stress, anxiety, unfinished tasks, and even failure to deliver on time. It is a challenging trait to overcome. Myself, I suffered from it for years thinking it was the driver to my success. Though it can lead to excellent results, perfectionism can also lead to an emotional toll. If you are a perfectionist, keep the good and lose the bad. How? By agreeing with yourself when to let go. For example, put a time constraint on your objective, that after this date, I will no longer work on this. If it is not too personal, you can also handover that task to another person when you start feeling the perfectionist itch. Another strategy is to put a minimum requirement, often known in the business world as ‘Minimum Viable Product or MVP’. Businesses created this concept to identify what is ‘good enough’ to be ‘acceptable’ as a product they can sell to clients. The MVP description often goes into business analysis requirements or even legal documents. It is basically a way to agree beforehand and set expectation to stop the perfection from delaying production. It is similar to the stop loss line that is used to mitigate risk of losing. What a perfect way to shut the perfectionist!


  1. Defeat the fear: Fear is a two-faced emotion. It can lead to useful or even necessary risk assessment and mitigation, but it can also be crippling to success. Fear can either translate as caution and analysis, or as never taking the first step to realise your ambition. Either way, it is critical to be aware of it and manage it, so it does not lead you to failure.


  1. Celebrate yourself often: No matter how small you think your achievements are throughout the year, celebrate every milestone and every accomplishment. Celebration keeps us positive and motivate us to do more. whether through self-reward, treat, publicising the achievement for people to see on social media, or just a pat on the back, any incentive you give yourself will push you to get more. There is an addiction to success that we human love to enjoy and thrive on. Did you know that in investment banking, the average starting trader makes profit from only 3 out of 10 trades? Yet trading is one of the most celebrated careers as it represents the engine behind the money in this lucrative industry. As the bank celebrates each trade with an incentive bonus or commission paid to the trader, these traders grow their average winning from 30% to 70% of their trading activity. So, take the hint, win one for yourself, celebrate your success no matter how small, and maintain your zeal and confidence in your capabilities.


  1. Dealing with the ‘f’ word: If you face a challenge that would lead you to fail any of your objectives, that’s ok. Accept, learn, adapt, and move forward. Failure is a learning experience, and often results in improvement to one’s soft skills, and a life lesson that strengthen our emotional intelligence. To move on, think of it as practice for your final goals.

“Remember, the only one who can evaluate you and validate you, is you”


Finally, how do you know if you have achieved everything you want, how can you measure your success? Well, if your objectives were SMART, then this should cover the measurability. The most important thing to remember is that the only one who can evaluate you and validate you, is you. We hope that our recommendations above will help you reflect on your purpose and inspiration, set up your expectations, and gave you the tools to optimise the likelihood of your success. Most importantly, be happy every day! We wish you the best of luck, health, wealth, and knowledge for the new year.


If you liked this article, why not read the full guide here.

Disclaimer: The content of all our articles is protected by the Terms & Conditions policy. For license of content, please reach out to us directly, our information are on the contact us page.

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