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12/31/2008
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Resolving What Not To Do In 2009

The New Year is upon us. This annual switch of the calendar signals the official shift from looking back on 2008 to looking forward to 2009. Looking forward usually takes two forms: predictions and resolutions.

The New Year is upon us. This annual switch of the calendar signals the official shift from looking back on 2008 to looking forward to 2009. Looking forward usually takes two forms: predictions and resolutions.The New Year is upon us. This annual calendar shift signals the official shift from looking back on 2008 to looking forward to 2009. Looking forward usually takes two forms: predictions and resolutions.

Every year, some predictions pan out and some are laughable before we hit Q2 -- foresight, alas, falls far short of 20/20. Predictions live in the realm of what we can't control, whereas resolutions reside entirely within our sphere of influence. But despite the additional measure of control, resolutions made for the New Year are notoriously fragile. Here's a random sample by type:

Of course, there are the resolutions that strive to break out of the template. Community and social media expert Chris Brogan offers an interesting twist on the resolution genre: rather than a list of things to do, he offers this list of things to stop doing:

  1. Stop writing about Twitter
  2. Stop writing "inside baseball" posts
  3. Stop putting yourself down
  4. Stop waiting for something to come that will make everything better (if only)
  5. Stop thinking you can read minds
  6. Stop trying to do it all yourself
  7. Stop trying old things in new places, unless they're really old
  8. Stop making excuses for not doing things to move your career ahead
  9. Stop presuming everything will get better because someone else will fix it
  10. Stop writing "me too" posts, or doing "me too" work. Build on the body of work
  11. Stop beating yourself up when you don't create something on a given day
  12. Stop striving for perfection, and strive for execution instead

As he points out, stopping is hard than starting (insert any tale about quitting smoking here). But applying the brakes is worth considering. As a business owner, what are the things that you do that are not in your best interest? Maybe it's how you manage people, how you plan strategically, how you allocate IT resources, or how you focus on one aspect of the business over another.

Odds are there's something you'd be better off not doing in 2009. Call it addition by subtraction. It's easier said than done, of course; after running with his STOP list, Brogan decamps to a traditional list of affirmative resolutions for the coming year.

Not for a moment am I suggesting that tried and true resolutions are without merit, but in a year that's bound to be rife with mantras of "making due with less," I'd like to know what YOU want to STOP doing in 2009 -- e-mail me and let me know.

Happy New Year!

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