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New Year’s resolutions: Worthy challenges, or just unnecessary stress?

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Question: "Before our holiday lunch this week, each member of the admin team is supposed to read our personal New Year's resolutions from last December aloud at the table and tell about our progress on them—or lack thereof. Then it's time to announce new ones. I'm against this idea because it's bound to make someone feel a little inadequate and stressed at a time of year when we just don't need that. It's meant to be a fun activity, but what do other admins think—am I wrong to feel this is going to needlessly create more stress every year?" - Sasha, Service Desk Coordinator

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Leona Taylor December 30, 2016 at 6:55 pm

If this is a Mandatory; I agree with Tari, make it outrageous. It will either create conversation or the prompt request to serve lunch for a quick escape.

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Marietta December 19, 2016 at 3:36 pm

This could be a fun, light way to start a luncheon, not to be taken so seriously. It could also be a learning tool and reminder about the resolutions made and whether one wants to make others, and how to follow through with them. I usually don’t make resolutions anymore because Life just gets too busy to think about them. Happy Holidays!

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Lisa December 16, 2016 at 11:58 am

Just no. Completely inappropriate. If it was insisted on, I would make up fictitious and outrageous goals like “I flew to the moon on one tank of air” or “I’ve overcome my kryptonite allergy.” Professional goals are between me and my boss, and personal goals are no one else’s business.

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Eline M. December 16, 2016 at 11:27 am

Out of line completely. I’d stand in front of everyone and say the following if you have no choice (this covers both your ‘goals’ for last year and the upcoming year):

“My journal best sums things up:

Personal log: December 16, 2016

Another week has gone by and year-end preparations have begun. In reviewing the past year, I am pleased with my accomplishments. My purchase of a small island in the South Pacific has been finalized and building has finally begun on the residential compound on the west coast – the sunsets will be breathtaking.

The need for secrecy is vital. To avoid suspicion, I have gladly volunteered for projects at work. The (insert accomplishment here) XX1 Project was a huge success. Project XX2 in ongoing and we expect results by mid-March. Regarding my personal plans – no one is the wiser. My escape to my island is on target and I hope to be sipping daiquiris on the turquoise shore by next winter.

Alas, my goal of world domination has not been realized. New plans are in being drawn up as I write this and I hope to be in a better position to implement them in the coming New Year. Time marches on.”

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Lynn A January 3, 2017 at 9:06 am

I totally LOVE this!!! :)

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Karin McAvoy December 16, 2016 at 9:15 am

I feel very uncomfortable with sharing my personal resolutions and what I have done or not completed. I agree with Tesstarosa’s post and letting the attendees decide to participate or not.

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Tesstarosa December 15, 2016 at 7:00 pm

I agree this is a terrible way to start the lunch. If it’s intended as an “ice breaker” they need a new one — now. I would suggest having everyone say something good/exciting that happened for them in 2016 and what they are looking forward to for 2017.

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Nan December 15, 2016 at 6:03 pm

In my opinion this is wildly inappropriate – your personal goals are your own and should be private and your professional goals should be communicated to your supervisor not evaluated by “committee”. It may put you in a hard spot to be the “complainer”, but if you are forced to participate I’d suggest an obviously ridiculous answer like “my goal is to use blue ink”.

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Tari December 15, 2016 at 4:54 pm

Well, I would say if you HAVE to do this make it fun. Invent some outrageous New Year’s Resolutions and “check” them off in the air. I’m with the admin who doesn’t make New Year resolutions.

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Robin L. December 15, 2016 at 4:37 pm

I keep a “to done” list on my task bar (do not mark them complete or they disappear). I do not document every single thing I do but any special projects or tasks above and beyond the call of duty or job description. At the end of the year, I type up a list of these tasks and submit it with my annual performance review. My supervisor likes this because I often work without supervision and it helps her know what I’ve done.

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Bianca Constance December 15, 2016 at 4:13 pm

Wow. I can’t believe anyone would even think that this is appropriate. Why not just give everyone a paper cut and pour lemon juice on it! Seriously, there are many far more appropriate ice-breakers that could be used.

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Pat Lee December 15, 2016 at 4:12 pm

This is a horrible idea and IF it is done on a professional level, it could be used against you when it’s time for evaluation. If this resolution is a personal one, then it’s no ones business and totally unprofessional.

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Misty December 15, 2016 at 4:07 pm

If it’s for personal New Year’s resolutions, how is it anyone’s business? I agree that this will only cause unnecessary stress and anxiety. I, for one, would hate to be put on the spot like this. What I chose to try and accomplish for my personal New Year’s Resolutions is no one’s business but my own.

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karen December 15, 2016 at 4:01 pm

I would read “I don’t make New Years Resolutions”, I have done really well this year keeping this resolution! :)

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Mark December 15, 2016 at 10:26 am

I think this is a horrible idea. Someone’s personal resolutions are personal; an employer has no right to know them and definitely does not have the right to talk about them out loud in front of co-workers. I would ask around and see if others feel the same way you do, and if so, as a group approach the coordinator of the event or the applicable supervisor, and tell them how uncomfortable everyone feels and that it HURTS morale rather than helps it.

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Lisa December 14, 2016 at 12:37 pm

Wow, I don’t think it’s a great idea, especially since you said you’re supposed to report on your progress on your PERSONAL resolutions. That’s nobody’s business! I’d feel uncomfortable being expected to do that.

This reminds me of something we used to do at our monthly department meetings. For some reason, someone thought it would be a good idea to do some kind of “ice-breaker” activity at the beginning of each meeting. The first one or two were fine (and even kind of fun). But it got to be a burden, and took valuable time away from the meeting. One time, a well-intentioned ice-breaker fell very flat. Someone asked everyone to share their upcoming Mother’s Day plans. Well, not everyone was celebrating (they were not mothers themselves, and/or their mothers were no longer alive). Imagine how badly this might go if someone had just lost their mother! So we stopped doing ice-breakers after that.

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Elizabeth December 14, 2016 at 11:54 am

Oh, I’m glad I don’t have to do that!!

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