What’s the fastest way to sully the new year and dampen your spirits? Make a list of all the things you don’t like about yourself and then write some resolutions designed to “fix” your faults. Give me a break. We all know dwelling on weaknesses is not upbuilding and does not lead to growth – so why do we persist with this negative tradition? Habit. It has become so habitual that during the month of January we hardly greet a person without making some mention of the deadly “R” word.
I’m not against goals or self improvement. In fact, I’m a big proponent. What I object to is the negative slant associated with resolutions. Here’s my proposal. Let’s approach this from a strengths-based perspective and see if we get better results.
Taking a strengths-based approach
Take that same piece of paper – you know, the one where you were going to record your faults. Shake your head a few times to rid yourself of thoughts of shortcomings. Then write down 3 strengths you possess. If you haven’t tried this approach before it may take you a few minutes. If it’s really hard to do, ask someone you trust to help you. Here are some examples of natural talents or strengths:
- Problem solving
- Team leadership
- Inspiring others
Once you have 3 strengths written down, set a goal for each one. This will stretch your performance by leveraging your talent. In other words, you’re throwing your energy at the areas that will net you the biggest results.
Happy New Year to all!