As I thought about my resolutions for the new year, the garden variety goals came to mind: exercise more, eat better, spend more quality time with the kids, etc. But, there are a few others I’ve been kicking around that don’t involve taking action. In fact, these five goals actually require a little different approach:
* I promise not to be “that guy”–Shannon Paul really put it best. As I continue to explore and engage in new social media tools online, I hope to build relationships within my preferred networks, be human (and hopefully, inspire a few laughs along the way), and promote others whenever possible. Not too tough, really.
* I won’t have an intimate relationship with my Twitter account. Sometimes it seems we’re all a little too close to our online activities. This was most evident to me over the long holiday weekend. Instead of spending quality time with the people that matter most to us, I noticed a number of folks active on Twitter, Facebook and other social networks online. Of course, I was out there, too (after all, how did I know the others were online?), so I’m just as guilty. But that’s where my resolution comes in. Using Twitter, Facebook and other tools to develop relationships is great, but I also plan to get out of the house more and meet up with the great PR/marketing/communications minds in the Twin Cities in 2009, too. Nothing replaces good, old-fashioned face time.
* I won’t do someting just because “that’s the way we’ve always done it.” This one applies not only to my professional life but my personal life. For example, I’m currently researching a way to listen to my music library throughout our home. Originally, I thought about the traditional approach and buying a new portable Bose Sounddock. But as I thought about it, what I really want is access to my expansive music collection in virtually every room of the house, without having to lug around the sounddock. I need a “wired” house–not a sounddock or a run-of-the-mill receiver and speakers. I’m guessing this is going to mean a fairly expensive trip to Best Buy in my near future. For business, this means not falling into the trap of taking the easy way out. I plan to challenge the status quo and never stop thinking of innovative solutions to my organization’s communications challenges.
* I promise not to talk too much. Another goal with multiple applications. I need to be a better listener with my clients, my wife, my kids, my friends and my extended family in 2009. Why? Because good listeners are better friends, better dads, better husbands and better communicators. David Mullen seems to agree. Organizations should also make this a priority–listen more intently to your customers next year. Whether it’s online through tools like Twitter or blogs or face-to-face through focus groups or personal one-on-one conversations, companies can learn a lot from their customers. Just ask Dell, Starbucks and Southwest Airlines.
* I will not go back to school. Ok that’s an odd thing to say, right? Yeah, well I don’t have an extra 15K lying around to pursue my MBA right now. Hey, you try it with two kids and 24K in annual daycare bills. What I will do, however, is passionately continue to learn. I hope to spend at least one hour online each night listening on Twitter, commenting on blogs I follow, developing my own blog content and discovering new tools. I plan to stay engaged in my local PRSA chapter as a board member where I’ve learned so much from so many smart people the last seven-plus years. And I plan to read feverishly. Books on my short list include Groundswell and Naked Conversations.
Those are my goals for 2009. What about you? What do you resolve not to do in the new year?