Are you Resolutely Ready for 2022?
Photo credit: Tim Mossholder
Happy New Year to you all!
I wish you and your loved ones a joyful, healthy and prosperous 2022 🙏🏻
Some of you may have already gone back into the work/school routine, some of you may have extended their break a little longer. Whatever you are up to this week though, I’d be very surprised if you hadn’t read, heard or watched anything about the big R - yes that one, the New Year Resolutions!
I was listening to the radio the other day - almost chained to the ironing board as I hate the stuff - and in between songs, listeners were invited to share their thoughts and feelings about New Year Resolutions. I was amazed at the number of people telling how much pressure they were feeling under. Just at the thought of that idea, their anxiety levels were shooting up..
This was a mainstream radio channel, with a mainstream audience, listening to a mainstream programme.
I asked members in a poll if they were using that theme to grow their business and increase the visibility of their brand. We shared some interesting points of view…
I also did a live in the group and this piece is more or less the written version of it, when it comes to my approach to the big R.
If there’s one thing universal, that’s the use of the Gregorian calendar for civil purposes. Depending on where we live, we will be either in the Northern or the Southern hemisphere, under one particular time zone. We may also observe different rituals and participate in different festivals throughout the year, according to our culture and beliefs.
But one thing is common to all: January 1st marks the start of a new calendar year, and this acts as a reset point for us all.
The start of a new year heralds new beginnings, which can be an exciting, yet daunting thing at the same time.
Thinking back about that radio show, it seems to me that the stress and anxiety caused by New Year Resolutions isn’t so much about having them, but more about the scale and speed at which we believe they need to be turned into reality.
That’s no surprise, when you look at the pace so many of us live our lives - either by setting the pace for ourselves, or by being engulfed in the frenzy of our society.
Just look at your local supermarket: the minute they take down Christmas decorations, you can spot a display of Easter eggs popping at the end of an aisle…
Then there is the issue of timing in relation to our physical, emotional and mental energy levels at this time of year.
For those living in the Northern Hemisphere, if you look outside, it’s the midst of winter and not much seems to be happening. Some animals are hibernating, trees are bare, we seem to be far away from the exuberant energy of spring, when everything around us blossoms and colours literally pop everywhere.
And although I’ve never asked my friends who live in the Southern Hemisphere, I’ve always wondered what January 1st feels like when the kids are in the middle of their summer holidays…
Personally I’d rather run to the beach and light up the barbecue than setting goals and intentions for the new year!
But let’s go back to what I can write about as I’ve experienced it for a few years now (!), and what is a huge source of inspiration for my business and the approach I take with my clients’ brands.
Although Mother Nature looks dormant North of the Equator, things happen away from our view. The bulbs that were planted in the autumn start germinating in the soil, and will slowly make their way up to the surface in a few weeks’ time.
Watching Mother Nature, we can learn to create our own business cycles, balancing our own energy levels with the needs of our customers.
If for example our business is heavily reliant on sales at Christmas, we’re about to put our feet up for a while after an intense trading period. Whilst we re-energise, we will review, refine or redefine, before we craft our offerings for next Christmas, when we’ll be all hands on deck again.
A period of low sales isn’t necessarily a period when nothing happens in our business. It is the perfect time to regroup before that big product launch or the next campaign. It’s a time to put our ‘back office’ in order, to ensure that we have the right tools to engage with our customers when we launch, to fix the broken links and clean the lists, to assess the success of past activities, to learn the lessons of previous endeavours, to review our offerings and key messages.
This time is therefore a perfect time also to make sure that our brand is still grounded in the roots that see it grow into something authentic, unique and sustainable, that still chime with our customers, even if our offerings have evolved.
Over the Christmas break I have reviewed my brand framework template and tweaked it, in order to serve my customers even better in 2022.
If your business is in a quieter activity cycle, it would be an ideal time for you to review the foundations of your brand, and assess whether it is still fit for purpose in its current format.
If you’d like a FREE copy of my brand framework, just ask, and it will be on its way to you!
And remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint.
Having a vision will sustain your efforts, setting out clear goals and intentions will increase your drive. Giving yourself time to achieve them will increase your chances to succeed..
PS: and no, I am NOT ready for Easter bunnies 🐰 and hot cross buns 🙈