I think folks would find it a bit less daunting to keep their New Year’s resolutions if they subscribed to my approach – which is to conjure them up and share with the world almost a month into the new year. Whistle blowers can dial it down a notch or two because, truthfully, I don’t do the resolution thing anyway – but this year something intrigued me, so I decided to play along, even if it’s a few weeks late.
It was hard to peruse the web around the first of the year without stumbling on to another blogger’s meticulously crafted list of three words that summarized their intent for the coming year. Speaker, consultant and blogging extraordinaire, Chris Brogan, issued a repeat of his exercise from last year, and I was certainly not surprised by the outpouring that followed. Not one to sit idly on the sidelines, I started giving thought to what three words would encompass my 2012 and, though they’re a tad on the tardy side, I wanted to clue you guys into what I’ve been thinking for the year to come.
I’m a bit spazzy when it comes to interest and hobbies. It’s not a bad thing per say, but I find that burnout tends to be right around the corner of each new project I start, and unfortunately, many of them sit on the table incomplete. What does that say for my character, my brand and my business?
I’ve had my heart and my hand in far too many pots the past few months. I remember a couple of years ago when I took up video production (using the term rather loosely), and even though my eyesight declined sharply, my enthusiasm for the art never faded – even when it truly should have. I continued shooting videos, editing them with the aid of my screen reading software and posting them on YouTube. They probably weren’t awful, but the process of actually making the videos was grueling. It took much longer for me to work with the video – and that was time wasted that could have been spent with my wife or doing activities that were much less demanding.
The lesson here is this – I want to hone into which interests and hobbies realistically fit my skill set and circumstances. I adore blogging and copywriting, and given the opportunity, I’d do either exclusively full-time. But, I’m not a web designer or developer. I don’t know much about HTML. I have no clue how to really manipulate WordPress. Why then do I insist on investing my time, my resources and my heart into those areas?
Oooooooh – and look at that segue. There’s a whole slew of “new” in my life right now. A beautiful little boy, a budding business, new musical opportunities and that “dream job” that still hangs right outside of my grasp, reclaiming some of the inefficiently used time and energy as addressed above opens up the doors for me to really invest in what matters.
I’ve started nine books in the last four months, and you want to know how many of them I’ve finished? One. That’s pretty lame, I admit. These books scale the gamut of social media marketing and business, to a Tom Clancy novel that grabbed my attention. I haven’t even mentioned how many informational podcasts I’ve subscribed to in the last year. I want to invest myself in what really matters, but more importantly, “invest” refers to investing in the future of my family, my personal brand and my professional endeavors.
Invest in being a better husband. Invest in being an awesome daddy. Invest in knowing what the heck I’m doing for clients. Invest in my abilities as a writer and public speaker. Invest in my friends. I’m sure you’re getting the picture.
I’ve had a terrible habit of not returning phone calls since, well forever, I suppose, and it’s only gotten worse over time. But it’s not just phone calls that go undelivered and unreturned. The reason my inbox rarely hits zero is because I table a reply for later – and later never comes. Meanwhile, Romack gets labeled as the guy who never returns the message.
I’ll even take it a step further to the line many of us have used in the past – we should go grab coffee sometime. Is that the polite way of ducking out of the present conversation? Do I really want to join them with java sometime soon – or am I being polite? I commit to coffee, lunches and hangouts as a way to tell folks I’m interested in them, but now just isn’t the time. How’s that for brutally honest? When I don’t call them to schedule said social session, I’m not only the guy that doesn’t return calls, but a liar, as well.
I can’t be the guy that over sells and under delivers. That’s reserved for midnight infomercials and pushy, used car salesmen. When I say I’ll do it – I must deliver on it. There’s a scene in “Hook” with Robin Williams where he tells his son, Jack, that he’ll absolutely be at his ball game, in spite of his frantic, corporate lifestyle. Williams, of course, misses the game and has to eat his words – “My word is my bond.” I can’t be that kind of husband and father. I can’t be that kind of friend. I can’t be that kind of businessman. I can’t sully my word with failed delivery.
My word is my bond. I’m pushing to deliver when I promise. Return a call when I say I will. Respond to an invitation honestly and truthfully. Deliver results the way I agreed with a client. Uphold the commitments, both big and small, I make with my family. After all – talk is cheap, but actions are worth everything.
And – those are my three words, folks. Each word summarizes a few major goals I’ve laid out for the year – both personally and professionally – and it’s my hope that by keeping a scaled down roadmap of these goals, I’ll be more likely to stay on track. How about you – did you make any resolutions this year? Did you give the three words exercise a go? I’d love to hear what you’re trying different this year – and if you’re still on the wagon. Give me a second or two of your time and leave a thought in the comments section.
Here’s to an exhilarating, refining and fruitful year to you and yours!