The New Year’s Elephant | A Guide For Event Leaders

Whether you are one to set New Year’s resolutions or not we all are asked by our loved ones, colleagues, friends and even our personal trainers or local baristas what we plan to do differently, commit too or change in the year ahead.

As a traditionalist I am normally inspired by scheduled rituals such as mulling over a new and improved YOU that a New Year’s resolution is meant to motivate. As an Event Leader however, I feel inclined to present a few thoughts that may inspire a more realistic approach to the age old New Year’s Resolution.

Have a New Day’s Eve Kind of Attitude!

Not a typo, I am serious. Look at each new DAY as an opportunity to make a small improvement or commitment as opposed to trying to take on an entire year with one fell swoop! After all is a year-round commitment to ANYTHING really very realistic?

The Business Insider reports that 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. Why be a part of that sad statistic when you can set yourself up to be much more successful. Take some time to reflect at a time of day most convenient to you – over your morning coffee, while you brush your teeth at bedtime, during your morning commute to work and look at your day with a new lens.

Drill Down- Keep it Simple!

As Event Leaders we are trained to drill down to the minutia and details that are going to make a difference in the outcome of our events. Treat your resolutions the same way. Take small steps towards improvements and don’t beat yourself up when you don’t succeed each day.

Keep it Simple. For example: Wednesday think about your Thursday work schedule and contemplate the weekly team meeting that normally runs 30 minutes over allotted time. Make a resolution to prepare an agenda so that your meeting will stay on track. You could also assign a timekeeper! Ba-Bam! Just like that two resolutions! You are already a superstar!

Have fun with this. Small changes to your attitude towards work-related tasks such as sales cold-calling, filing or invoicing – whatever it is – a one-day-at-a-time approach will leave you feeling realistic about your accomplishments and not concerned or deflated that you can’t stay on track.

Quality not Quantity

Don’t get hung up on having to change lots of things at one time on the same day. If there are a few things you would like to change about a certain day, weekly activity, project, process, policy etc. it doesn’t have to be all at once. Change doesn’t always happen quickly, and sometimes a period of adjustment is needed if it affects others. Change often requires others to be on board and buy-in to the change so a series of small steps over a period of time will set you up for positive outcomes.

For example, if your new day’s resolution is to change a business process that is outdated, it may be your resolution on Day 1 to just raise the topic and voice your intentions. Day 2 may be about discussing next steps, and Day 3 may be about mapping out the new policy or process.

Indulge or Reward Yourself

The proof is in the pudding when it comes to incentives. We all work harder when we know there is a reward or some recognition up for grabs. We can count on ourselves for this indulgence. We don’t have to rely on others, be it our client, colleague, family member or our boss for this recognition. Treat yourself. When you have stuck with something that has positively impacted your work or personal life, or better yet your health. Don’t just shout it from the mountain tops, but treat yourself in some way that will keep you motivated to continue on your journey of small steps. Again, this is something you can have fun with and doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. This can also also a great way to involve your co-workers, team or family members as you share your successes and have them join you in celebrating!

So as we get ready to watch the ball drop in Time Square and say good bye to 2018, think about how you can keep avoid feeling deflated in 2019 by keeping your resolutions simple and specific to each new day.

Don’t wait for December 31st! At the end of each day set off mental fireworks and have a party for one in your own head as you celebrate small successes and achievements! After all – the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.

Heidi Hughes

Director, Sales & Marketing, Anvil Centre | President Elect, MPI BC Chapter

A 20-year hospitality sales and marketing professional, Heidi honed her skills working for some of the best hotels chains in the world, including Hyatt Regency, Marriott and Hilton. After almost a decade in conference and convention hotels, she spent several years as Manager, Events and Conference at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) before coming to Anvil Centre as Director, Sales and Marketing. Energetic and positive, her career has evolved from hospitality management, sales and marketing to include event management. Her devotion to being a contributing member of a growing and evolving industry that is continuously setting new and higher standards for best practices is echoed in her extra- curricular work and activities. Heidi is a former Instructor at both the British Columbia Institute of Technology and the Art Institute of Vancouver and is highly active with Meeting Professionals International on both a local chapter and International Level. 

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