When New Year’s Eve rolls around every year, I get energized about the new version of me that will emerge in the next year. Yes, I am one of those annoying people who do this. I am always open for a chance at a new beginning. I am just wired that way. I did the same thing when I was growing up so I know it is inborn.

I make a list of all the  ways I can implement change for the New Year.  I am going to take up yoga again. I am going to travel to a new place.  Many people do this. I did some research and based on the US.gov website, the following are the most common New Year’s resolutions for Americans.

  • Volunteer to Help Others
  • Quit Smoking
  • Get a Better Education
  • Get a Better Job
  • Save Money
  • Get Fit
  • Eat Healthy Food
  • Manage Stress
  • Manage Debt
  • Take a Trip
  • Drink Less
  • Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

I love the idea of setting goals and of a reinvention.  Most of the time, I don’t think about the things I may be giving up but instead I focus on things I will start doing.  However, this year I am thinking about my New Year’s resolutions differently.  I decided that this year I really wanted to focus on one simple question:

What will I give up in 2015?

 I encourage you to do the same thing with yourself. It is an interesting way to look at it.

Using this format, I have listed examples I hear often from other professionals.

This year (some examples):

  • I will give up… being the victim of other people’s schedules and demands. I will take control of my days and create clear boundaries. This will create more time to do what needs to be done. (Does this sound like something you need to do?)
  • I will give up…the idea that I have no control over the firm’s success, only my own. I can impact the firm’s success in many ways.  I need to give up those thoughts and ideas and make a list of where I would like to see the firm go and how I can be a contributing hand to making that happen.
  • I will give up…griping and grumbling about clients. I will choose to appreciate them and when it makes sense, I will transfer less desirable clients to another firm. (Don’t be a firm griper!)
  • I will give up…making excuses.  I will learn that language, write that book, etc.  Just do it.  Excuses are for 2014.
  • I will give up…my habit of having lunch with the same people each week. I will broaden my horizons to include new co-workers, new centers of influence and other people whom I have yet to meet.

What behaviors do you need to toss away in 2015? Think of those things that will have the greatest impact and start creating your only list. Maybe you only need one.

Forbes reported that only 8% of Americans achieve their New Year’s resolutions.   How can you make sure you stick to your resolutions?  Make sure to keep them simple and tangible.  I am happy to say that most of the time, if I am serious about them and truly make a commitment, my resolutions stick. I have found that when I make a promise to myself, I better keep it.   The same will go for you. What will you give up this year? Make this your best year yet.

About the author 

Angie Grissom serves as the President of The Rainmaker Companies, a leading provider of alliance, consulting, and training services exclusively for the Accounting Profession.She is passionate about the current and future leadership in the accounting industry and pushes firm leaders to build firms that empower people and have strong future leaders and unmatched client service. She encourages leaders to think outside the box and have a focus on getting results. 

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