New Year ‘non’-Resolutions

By my rough calculations, approximately 84% of all blogs that have a leadership bent have in the last month posted about the benefit of making New Years resolutions.

The problem I’ve often found with making a long list of things to achieve is by Easter I’ve ticked off a grand total of zero items, my motivation wanes, and the only time I look at the list thereafter is when I stumble across it years later.

As you can see by the % completes…..I didn’t do very well….

So instead of making a list of things I likely won’t achieve, I’ve decided in 2019 to do things differently.

Instead of resolutions, I’m going to make a list of things I’m looking forward to instead.

Simple right?

This might seem a little like New Years resolutions, but the language is subtlety different – in that if I don’t do them, it’s not a failure.  Tremendous.

Now I hear you asking, “So Michael, what are the things you’re looking forward to in 2019?”

I’m so glad you asked.

cfb1d43795f6c0e200e0a63c72645a89--number-hand-lettering-tattoo-number-fonts    Introducing my team to David Marquet, and his “I intend” presentation – I’ll be writing more in the coming weeks about this, as I’m currently re-reading the book I learned it in (Thanks to Mr Stephen Butler for recommending it).  In the meantime, set aside the 10 minutes required to watch the video below, and prepare to have YOUR MIND BLOWN.

2    Reading and writing more.  I started on an amazing new project late last year, and instead of catching the bus, I’m now driving to work.  This has resulted in a significant dent in my available reading time, which is disappointing as I had enjoyed getting back into it over 2018.

The number of books I’m buying online hasn’t slowed down though….it now means the legs of my bedside table are straining a little more under the weight of the unread ones….

3    Getting my boat licence – I often see people out sailing and imagine it must be so freeing to sail wherever the wind takes you, setting anchor in a secluded cove and falling asleep to the metallic twang of the sheets (ropes) clanking against the mast and water lapping against the hull.

Then I see how much work it is and think I’d probably be equally as happy in a boat with twin 200hp motors.

I think this is an important point to dwell on for a moment.  For as long as I can remember I’ve wished I knew how to restore old cars.  I’ve thought about doing courses and training, and buying a wreck and spending years working on it.

To then marvel in the product of thousands of hours of work and likely 10’s and 10’s of thousands of dollars.

What I’ve realised after buying my ’65 Mustang though, is what I actually love is the sound the engine makes when you’re driving it.

Asking yourself “The 5 Why’s?” is a valuable tool not for only trying to solve problems, but in defining goals and motivations as well.  It can save you valuable time, effort and resource if you can confidently target the core of whatever it is you’re analysing.

4   Trying out a Tiny House – I wrote recently about a goal I have to buy some land and drop a Tiny House on it – which by the way I still think about every single day.  For Christmas my sister bought my wife and I a weekend away in a Tiny House and I’m giddy at the thought of a few nights trying it out.  Scheduled for May 2019.  Can’t wait.


5   Dropping the number of emails I send per week by 50%.  This one is probably approaching a resolution rather than something I’m looking forward to.  Of all this list, I suspect this will result in the most actual work.

It does seem counter-intuitive to suggest sending less emails means more work.  Well instead of emailing, I’ll be getting up and talking to people, calling them, catching them in the hallway.  It means tasks might take a fraction longer, but the results so far suggest things are getting done with less ambiguity, a higher quality, and easily it’s a lot more fun.


6   Finally getting round to doing some advanced courses with the RFS.  I’ve been in the brigade now for 6 years, and only recently completed the second stage of fire fighter training – allowing me to formally attend structure and vehicle fires.

Up until now I’ve been happy to have taken a junior role within the brigade.  I’ve enjoyed being given the directions rather than giving the directions – which is certainly a change from work (and I accept is contrary to the lessons in David Marquet video).  I think now though, it’s time to step it up a notch or two, and have scheduled in a series of Advanced Firefighter (AF) modules.

Is it daunting?  My word it is.  Will it mean sacrificing time with the family on nights and weekends?  Yup.

But is there any growth in the comfort zone?  Nope.


7   Turning 40 – not for any other reason than statistically, it’s possibly my half way point.  I’m looking forward to spending some time working out if I am satisfied with my plan for the second half.


So these are my New Year non-Resolutions, simply the things I’m looking forward to.  The way I see it, there’s no chance this can’t be a great year.

Have you made any New Year non-Resolutions, or do you prescribe to having a strict list?  We’d love to hear from you either way.  Get active, leave a comment, and start a great conversation….because isn’t that what it’s all about?

3 thoughts on “New Year ‘non’-Resolutions”

  1. Pingback: Do the work.
  2. Pingback: 10 months in

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