Benchmark Your New Year’s Resolutions

Benchmark Your New Year's Resolutions
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The fast-paced stress of working in the resort industry doesn’t always give us time to reflect on our direction in life and in our career. Those of us who have ever been on the front line – whether dealing with customers on the phone, at the front desk, or on the sales floor – frequently become a little disenchanted at the end of a busy week. Maybe we begin to question ourselves in several ways. Perhaps we’ve even forgotten about our enthusiasm on January 2, as we resolved to take charge of 2019.

Take heart! It takes time, patience, hard work, and a lot of dedication to stick to any new plan. They say it takes 21 days to establish a new habit. In my personal life, I have found that bad habits become established even more quickly…like, hitting the snooze button instead of exercising or going for the desert tray.

Perhaps this is a good time to check back on those resolutions we made so blithely at year-end, 2018. Here are a few ideas on how to stay on track:

Become a Better Leader

Anyone can be a leader, regardless of their position or title. Likewise, anyone can fail as a leader when it comes to listening and respecting the thoughts and opinions of others. Leaders request the opinions of others frequently.

We can all encourage contributions from peers in other organizations or departments, fellow team members, and, yes, even from the boss. These days, we can go online to review ideas from bloggers, websites, and social media. I provide other ideas for gathering opinions from a team in my Publisher’s Corner column entitled, “The Year in Review,” in the December 2018 issue of Resort Trades.

BENCHMARK: By this time of the year your daily, weekly, and monthly habits are evident. Therefore, you might ask yourself, “What have I done to become a better leader? What new ideas have I received from others? What encouragement, ideas, or pointers have I shared with them?”

Continue to Stretch Yourself

Practice the things that might make you uncomfortable such as networking at large gatherings, public speaking, or writing. So often we let fear of failure stop us from even trying. Making mistakes is inevitable; overcoming our fear of failure is not. We must make a concerted effort.

Make a plan to ease yourself into new outside-the-box experiences and situations. You might start by dragging a friend or family member along to attend a meeting full of strangers to broaden your comfort zone when it comes to networking, for example. A friend of mine recently told me they wanted to learn to write. I told him to start by reading and to practice on small projects, at first.

BENCHMARK: Take a ‘selfie check.’ What have you done to take a step outside your comfort zone? What plans have you made to take additional steps and have you scheduled them on your calendar?

Give Yourself Credit

So often our minds will torture us by reminding us of our shortcomings. Some have asserted that awakening with anxiety, for example, is a natural inclination on the part of our reptilian brain to make us wary of being eaten by a saber-toothed tiger.

I’m a firm believer in positive self-affirmation; although I don’t always practice what I preach: You need to tell yourself every day that you are doing a great job (and believe it!)

In Julie Cameron’s The Artists’s Way, she advises readers to write three handwritten pages every morning in a stream of consciousness. Cameron says, “You’re becoming acquainted with all the dark corners of your psyche…. What I find is that when you put the negativity on the page, it isn’t eddying through your consciousness during the day.”

BENCHMARK: What active steps are you taking to reinforce your sense of well-being? Whether you meditate or pray; review a list of self-affirmations; write three hand-written pages; or whatever you do; are you practicing self-affirmation daily?

Grow Your Brain Cells

Read, take a class, watch TED talks, or visit a museum. Whatever it takes to keep your mind active and growing new grey matter, do it! This might include a review of the tenets of Stephen Covey’s  7 Habits of Highly Effective People. If it’s been awhile since you’ve read them, they are synopsized in a blog by ToolsHero and found at

1. Be proactive

Pro activity has a lot to do with a person’s “circle of influence”. What you can control, what you can influence and what is out of your reach. Pro activity is strongly related to acknowledging your own responsibility and influence. The first big step that has to be taken is the step from dependence to independence. Here you will begin to determine your own life by using your own agenda. You are aware of the fact that you are the architect of your own life (habit 1 of the seven habits of highly effective people) and with this knowledge you set to work.

2. Begin with the end in Mind

This is the habit of vision, objectives, and mission. Beginning with the end in mind means that when you make decisions today you consistently take into consideration what you stand for ‘in general’. Habit 2 has to do with the principles and guidelines you choose to live by. You determine what you find important in life, what you stand for, what you want to accomplish.

3. Put first things first

This habit has to do with integrity, discipline, sticking to your agreements. What is life about, and how do you wish to shape your own life? Knowing this, you will get to work pro-actively while setting the right priorities. The second big step is that of independence to (self-selected) interdependence.

4. Think win-win

This is the habit of the Paradox. Temptation is strong to think in terms of winning OR losing- or wanting to be right. The trick is to recognize that a paradox provides an opportunity to unite the poles. You will be independent but at the same time you realize that you can accomplish more by cooperating with other people. You know what you are worth, but you also realize that you need the other person and that it is important to give and receive love. You can accomplish this by thinking in terms of win-win. In case of conflicts you will always search for solutions that are fair to all parties and in which there are no losers.

5. Seek first to understand then to be understood

Concentrate first on understanding the other person and then put energy into being understood. This is the habit of listening, one of the basic qualities of a leader or a coach.

6. Synergize

The sixth habit of the seven habits of highly effective people, that is required to achieve interdependence is synergizing. This means that your approach is fundamentally based on respect, cooperation and trust. This is the habit of strengthening. the pitfall is compromise. The objective is to find the third path: how can two paradoxes be combined into something better?

7. Sharpen the saw

The last, seventh habit of the seven habits of highly effective people is maintenance. This is the habit that tells you that are with improving yourself and perseverance. By taking plenty of exercise, rest, meditation, etcetera, you will keep your body, mind, relationships and spirituality in balance.

* Mulder, P. (2009). 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Covey). Retrieved January 6, 2019, ToolsHero www.

Sharon Scott Wilson is Publisher of Resort Trades and Golf Course Trades magazines.  Her firm, SharonINK – providing clients with B2B and B2C content – recently became a subsidiary of The Trades Publishing Company.