Resolutions are a journey, not a destination

February 23, 2010

How are those New Year’s resolutions coming? I decided to cut myself a break on the diet-and-exercise front after many failed attempts and focus instead on communications – greater financial reward, less stink. Here are a few from my 2010 list:

Proof your stuff
Give it a quick read before you send it. Yes, e-mails too. And I’m not talking about the Tweet-sized, so-nice-to-see-you, thanks-very-much e-mails. I’m talking about the longer e-mails where tone and accuracy sometimes gets lost in our rush to hit send and move on. And I’m talking about internal as well as external e-mails, like the ones you send to your boss who cringes at every dangling modifier. Everybody says they self-proof, but do they really? OK, I’ll come clean. I’ve been selective with it in the past. Not in 2010. Don’t be lazy here, even if you think you’re a good writer.

Be a list-maker
OK, I hate these people, too. But they’re on to something. Did you know that crossing items off a list releases endorphins? OK, there’s no scientific study to back that claim, but lots of people say it’s true, so that’s good enough for me. Yep, it’s the same high you get from running 10 miles (or down the block in my case). Same high you get from sex. So yes, you can be sure that the task of writing this blog is on a list in my new planner, and I’m crossing it off now. I need a cigarette.

You can even put the task of making lists on a list, and cross that off. It counts. And don’t get me wrong – it’s not like I’ve never made a to-do list. But if you want to join me and get serious about this in 2010, here are two practical tips: 1. Do tomorrow’s list tonight – make it the last thing you do at work or at home before bed; 2. Resist the urge to keep an electronic to-do list: Using the strikethrough function doesn’t release the same amount of endorphins. But if you must keep an electronic to-do list for green reasons or whatever, here are some resources.

That’s all for now. Check back here for Part 2, coming soon.


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