New Year’s Resolutions: A Recipe for Success

Agile NY resolutions
Happy New Year! We trust you've had a rejuvenating break, surrounded by loved ones and filled with joy. 

As we embark on a new chapter, it’s the perfect time to reflect on the past year and set our sights on fresh goals. Ah, the age-old tradition of New Year’s resolutions — those admirable intentions that often fade away by spring.

According to a Forbes Health/One Poll survey, an astounding 80% of individuals feel confident about reaching their resolutions. Yet, the harsh reality is that the average resolution lasts a mere 3.74 months. But fear not, because there’s a more effective approach to turning those aspirations into achievements: embracing agility.

Why do resolutions tend to repeat year after year?

It’s a conundrum we’ve all faced. Year after year, we set similar goals, hoping for different outcomes.

The key lies in two critical factors:

  • Lack of Reflection: Rarely do we pause to dissect the victories and defeats of the past year. Understanding why we succeeded or stumbled is essential for meaningful progress.
  • Year-Long Goals: Setting resolutions for an entire year can be overwhelming. The enormity of the task often leads to a lack of urgency, and without a sense of urgency, resolutions can easily be cast aside.

Agile Thinking to the Rescue

Consider this analogy: when you bake a cake for the first time and it flops, do you mindlessly follow the same recipe again, hoping for a different outcome?

Unlikely. Instead, you’d analyze, adjust, and try again.

The same principles apply to your New Year’s resolutions:

Retrospective – Pause and Analyze

Take a moment to reflect on the past year. Begin by acknowledging your accomplishments, understanding what worked well, and how you can transfer those successes to other areas of your life. Then, delve into what didn’t go as planned and why. This analysis becomes the bedrock for setting new, achievable goals

Planning – Create Your Backlog

Think of your resolutions as a project with a dynamic backlog. Document your insights and ideas based on the retrospective analysis. The more time and thought you invest in this phase, the more robust and realistic your goals will become.

Rethink Timeframes

A year is a long stretch. It’s challenging to sustain motivation when confronted with a goal that seems like a lifelong commitment. Break it down into shorter timeframes—perhaps weekly, monthly, or quarterly sprints. Choose a duration that aligns with the nature of your resolution.

Sprint, Analyze, Plan, Repeat

Once you’ve defined your sprint duration, plan your goals accordingly. When the period concludes, stop, analyze your progress, and plan the next sprint armed with newfound knowledge. This iterative process creates a sense of urgency and accountability, making your resolutions more manageable and achievable.

Let’s get real: HERE IS HOW WE DO IT

As we approach the New Year and the holidays, we are also gearing up for a transformative journey in our organization. Our focus is on cultivating a culture where feedback is not just a periodic event but a constant, integral part of our daily operations.

As we step into the fresh possibilities of the year ahead, let’s apply an agile mindset to this. So, we are going through the steps, one by one. Here’s a practical breakdown of how we’re turning aspirations into tangible actions:

Retrospective – Understanding Our Past

Reflecting on our past approach to feedback, we recognized that although we mandated feedback sessions twice a year and attended various training programs, the impact was limited. Now, it’s time to dissect our victories and defeats, understanding why we succeeded or stumbled and areas that need improvement.

New Year’s Resolution – A Shift in Perspective

Our resolution for 2024 is clear – we aim to foster a culture where feedback is not bound by rigid semi-annual sessions but flows freely and becomes a routine practice. Rather than relying on semi-annual sessions, we aim for everyone to exchange feedback on a weekly basis, promoting a more continuous and dynamic approach.

Planning – Create Our strategic Backlog

To materialize this cultural shift, our backlog includes essential tasks such as:

  1. Implementing a comprehensive training program on quality feedback for all employees.
  2. Ensuring a shared understanding of the importance of giving constructive feedback.
  3. Establishing regular team sessions dedicated to both constructive criticism and positive praise.
  4. Defining specific guidelines for the frequency and format of feedback.
Rethink Timeframes – Breaking down the goal

Recognizing that a year can be a long stretch, we’ve broken down our goal into monthly sprints. Each month, we will assess how well we’ve embraced the practice of regular feedback, analyze the quantity and quality of feedback exchanged, and evaluate the overall sentiment within the organization.

Sprint, Analyze, Plan, Repeat

Entering each monthly sprint, we will actively engage in giving and receiving feedback, participate in training sessions, and conduct team sessions. At the end of each month, we’ll analyze the feedback data, understand what worked well and what needs improvement, guiding the plan for the next sprint.

Monthly Review Meetings – Sustaining Momentum

To maintain accountability and keep the momentum, we’ll hold monthly review meetings. During these meetings, we’ll discuss the feedback metrics, share success stories, and address any challenges faced by teams or individuals in embracing the feedback culture.

Making Feedback Ingrained in Our DNA

By adopting an agile approach, we aim to make feedback an ingrained part of our organizational DNA. This iterative process will allow us to continuously adapt and improve our strategies, creating a workplace where everyone feels empowered to contribute, learn, and grow.

Elevating Resolutions to Achievements Through Agile Wisdom

Reflecting on the timeless question of why resolutions echo through the years without meaningful change, we unveil two crucial factors: a lack of reflection and the overwhelming nature of year-long goals. The remedy to this perennial conundrum?

Agile thinking — a mindset related to baking a cake, where failures lead to adjustments and progress.

It’s not so hard, trust us!

The process begins with a retrospective, urging us to pause, analyze victories, and learn from stumbles. Resolutions, treated as projects, are carefully documented in a dynamic backlog, ensuring a thoughtful and realistic approach. Recognizing the challenge of a year-long commitment, we reframe our goals into manageable sprints.

The cycle unfolds—sprint, analyze, plan, repeat—a rhythmic dance of progress where each sprint breeds urgency and accountability. As we embark on our journey into the new year, we advocate an agile mindset for resolutions: learn from experiences, adapt your approach, and celebrate the continuous improvement echoing with each sprint.

In this coming year, let our resolutions be more than fleeting promises. May they be agile blueprints, guiding us through sprints of progress, analysis, and adaptation. Here’s to a year of achievable goals and meaningful growth – a testament to the power of agility in shaping our collective success.

Cheers to the journey ahead!