Getting the most out of my New Year resolutions

Two people blow celebratory horns brining in the 2014 new year

Joyous New Year. Not everyone celebrates the new year on January 1st, but for those of us that do, we’re nearing the end of the new year “hurrah.”

As we approach the end of the celebratory glow, I have some notes to pass on to my future-self. I’m setting my calendar alarm to read this post in exactly eleven and a half months.

See, this year I have read quite a lot of articles about New Year resolutions and predictions. I personally love the resolutions and predictions over New Years. I’ve pretty much stopped making the predictions. I seem to have quite a knack for wrong. One year I even predicted that the existence of the elusive graviton would be confirmed. So I leave the predictions to other smart folks.

Interestingly, predictions are an excellent way to measure one’s handle on reality. And reality testing is an important dimension of emotional intelligence.

And slowly, slowly, I’m getting that emotional intelligence matters. Perhaps you see where I’m headed with the resolutions business.

Did you make resolutions this year? Weight? Exercise? Saving money? Environmental?

As I was pouring over the New Year’s articles, I developed a hypothesis: the more thoughtful the resolution is, the more likely it is related to EI. Interestingly, quite a few articles were about one particular dimension of emotional intelligence: stress management. As a side note, some articles were about how New Year’s resolutions can contribute to stress. So, in a mad twist, you can actually manage your stress by not resolving to. Well I’m wandering away from my point.

My point is that all of this reading has led me to a, somewhat embarrassing, revelation. You see, I’m quite certain that none of my New Year’s resolutions have ever been about emotional intelligence.

It’s startling, but I’m probably not alone in this.

This is a gaping hole in the width and breadth of my new year’s good intentions. It’s understandable, of course. We have, as a culture, a similar gaping hole in our collective caring about EI.

That said, I’m one part of a small team trying to change the world. There are many other teams doing the same. We’re researchers, consultants, service providers and thoughts leaders around the world. I dare say that our mission is, roughly, to raise our collective emotional intelligence. Contra Adam Grant, it’s how we’re working to reduce worldsuck (which is like increasing world awesome).

As a member of this team, I am committed to understanding the dimensions of EI and folding them, more and more, into my everyday. And this includes New Year’s resolutions.

So when I wish you a joyous new year, please know that it’s a wish but it’s also a plan. This year, I have two resolutions. One, I resolve to nurture more optimism. I don’t know how yet, but I guess that’s part of the process. Two, I resolve to have more concrete resolutions, next year, focused squarely on emotional intelligence.

Two art pieces in black and white are displayed onto sand and light sage coloured backgrounds and they look complementary.

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