How to Avoid Mediocrity This Year

project management podcastAs I outlined in a recent video episode on The People and Projects Podcast, I love the start of a new year. I love the opportunity to look back at the previous year and evaluate what went well and where I can do better. Setting goals at the beginning of a year is something I truly look forward to.

That said, I recall a Jim Collins quote: “The signature of mediocrity is not an unwillingness to change. The signature of mediocrity is chronic inconsistency.

Flavor of the month. Resolutions that last for a day instead of the year. Walk that doesn’t match the talk.  That’s chronic inconsistency, and it not only holds us back…. It also drives the people around us crazy.

Here are two questions for consideration as you and I both consider the year ahead:

  • Where are the biggest gaps between what I say and what I do? Do we say that our family is a top priority yet a review of our calendar (and our family) would beg to differ? Do we say that we are committed to developing high performance teams yet not do anything differently to make that happen? Analyzing the gaps between what we say and do can provide instructive insight into the goals we should be setting (or perhaps better said: resetting) for the year ahead.
  • What are the “Why’s” behind the changes I want to make? In my Dirty Little Secret of Business e-learning I lay out the importance of having a relationship-building strategy. You don’t just say, “I’m going to start using Twitter because it’s cool!”  You need a strong “Why” and a strategy to make sure your tweeting doesn’t just waste time. Whether it’s pursuing a PMP certification this year, changing a personal habit, or whatever you want to set as a goal for this year, make sure you have a strong “Why”. It will help sustain the change, which is a form of consistency.

While seeking to grow and improve in the year ahead, let’s avoid mediocrity by aiming for consistency: aligning our goals and actions with the bigger purposes for which we’ve been called. And then sticking to them. Here’s to a great year ahead for you!

P.S. One of my favorite books on setting goals and staying focused is The Power of Focus. I wholeheartedly recommend it for your reading list this year!

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