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Resolutions, Productivity, & Time

Understanding resolutions, timelines, and the impacts leaders can make.

We are the leader of our lives. And leaders make decisions.

This time of year, a lot of decisions are called resolutions.

Many of us choose to retool some of our decisions around the beginning of the year. The new year will be a time of productivity and fitness. So we hope.

The first day of January is as arbitrary as any day to start a resolution. June 7th might be a better option if you have the people and tools at that time. But the holidays, time with loved ones, and cold winter months make it the perfect time for reflection. In case we haven't had enough time for reflection this year.

Leaders are tasked with making a better future. And we are the leaders of our lives.

What is challenging, but important, is to frame resolutions in the long-term. At a personal level, long-term approaches enable us to make fundamental lifestyle changes for habits and resolutions to last. At a large scale, this long-term viewpoint is "Cathedral Thinking": planning beyond just one human lifetime. It's about building magnificent cathedrals over hundreds of years; answering the question: "How can we be good ancestors?"

This is not to say that all of our actions or resolutions must be targeted towards a higher purpose like thinking of our ancestors. Pixar's new movie Soul drives home this point. We of course have passions that drive much of our life. These passions center us, as jazz music does for Joe in the movie. But to Soul's point, the small joys, familiar routines, and complex emotions of life are as important.

This is an invitation to consider the short-term drivers that constantly pull at our attention and the long-term drivers that will make substantial change. What will your resolutions look like one, five, or ten years into the future?