January 2, 2007
It's another definition for "resolution": the note or chord to which the harmony moves when progressing from dissonance to consonance. This is not exactly what we think about when we, either formally or in the back of our minds, set some New Year's Resolutions. What we mean to do is make a firm decision to do something: set a goal, and achieve it. For most, the resolve wears off quicker than the smoke dissipates from a five-dollar fireworks cone.
I decided to circumvent the trauma this year with the following goals:
- I resolve to buy pants that are too large for me so I feel like I am losing weight.
- I resolve to strive to always watch Sunday night football.
- I resolve to learn how to use the feature on our TV that will allow me to watch two basketball playoff games at the same time.
- I resolve to not learn a foreign language in 2007.
- I resolve to file an extension for my tax return this year.
- I resolve to flick only during commercials and when I am bored.
- I resolve to load my dishes into the dishwasher after dinner. (Discussion question: is this on the list because I already do it, or is it here because I finally learned something after 28 years of marriage?)
One year from December 31, I intend to look back and review my performance based on these resolutions. I’ve got a pretty good feeling about my upcoming successes. I think it's going to be a good year.
It’s about this time that many businesses go through similar exercises: setting goals and budgets for the upcoming year. There is no shortage of helpful information about how to set goals. A little “googling” will show you how to set S-M-A-R-T goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, tangible) or BHAGS (pronounced “bee-hags”): Big Hairy Audacious Goals —a term coined by authors Jerry Porras and James Collins in their book Built to Last. This is important work.
In my opinion, organizations share the responsibility to make sure every employee is being developed professionally every year. Every personal performance goal statement should include a professional development objective. It is to an organization’s advantage to ensure its most precious resource is learning and growing every year. To formalize that process with written professional development goals for all employees would surely be a New Year’s Resolution worth keeping.