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New Years resolutions?…I prefer personal values & motivations.

A brief history...


A New Years resolution has only worked once in the past for me, not a great return really.

I mean, it was a good one. Putting the money I spent on a 20 a day habit into a years worth of gym membership so I couldn’t spend it on cigarettes did work and this month I am celebrating 25 years as an ex-smoker.


Why do we make resolutions?


Perhaps it’s in pursuit of our own happiness? (Though too much pursuing can end up making us miserable, if we are constantly looking for something that's not there.)


It activates hope and optimism for the new year. (Maybe, or possibly dread!)


Out with the old, in with the new. (Well, how about keeping the old that works and embracing the new.)


To be seen to be doing something. (Oh the excitement of that statement!)


If this is what floats your boat then go for it.



My boat sails in a different direction...



I will regularly check my values and personal motivations are being met. The beginning of the year is as good a time as any for doing this and I’ll typically review again every six months to see how I am doing.


Values first, why?


These are core to me and who I am. They are the values that are important to me both professionally and personally and inform others of what matters to me most.


These are my core values I had settled on many years ago.


  • Happiness

  • Empathy

  • Creativity

  • Fairness

  • Freedom

  • Trust

  • Calmness


What are yours?

If you're not sure, take a look at my blog from January 2023.


What next then?...


Keeping it simple…


I’ll rate each value out of 10 and then do two things…


  • Acknowledge how I have met my values in the last 6 months.

  • Look where I want to do something more with my values in the coming year.


(Notice, I’m not beating myself up about what I haven’t achieved, rather how I can get more out of my values going forward.)


Motivations next, why?


I’ll check in with my current Motivational Map.

(I complete a new one every two years as motivations unlike values, can change over time).


I’ll ask myself…

Are the things that drive and motivate me being met in my professional and personal life?


My top three motivators are all to do with ‘growth’.


  • Spirit (Being Independent)

  • Creator (Being Innovative)

  • Searcher (Being Purposeful)


My lowest motivator is…


  • Star (Being recognised for what I do)


That’s not to say I don’t need recognition on the odd occasion, however it’s not something that drives me day to day, though if it was missing completely it will no doubt become an issue.


I liken my lowest motivator to putting petrol in my car. I don’t have to fill it every day, but if I didn’t notice the tank was depleting once in a while, I would end up going nowhere!


In summary


By regularly reviewing my values and motivations, I’m in a much stronger position to create goals that actually mean something to me and importantly, I will do something meaningful with.


They are more likely to work over resolutions for me,  because…


  • they are my personal values and motivations, thereby important to me.

  • I own them, so I can manage what I do, when I do it and how I go about it.

  • I review them regularly rather than let them stagnate on a personal development plan for a year or two.

  • I have someone to hold me accountable.


You can read more about the origins of Motivational Maps here.


See you again soon, when I’ll be back making more coaching confessions!

All the best for the year ahead,

Ian.



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