I am not one to make New Year’s resolutions. I’m not saying it is wrong to do so, but for me, it never really works. When I have made resolutions, I have ultimately failed for one reason or another. I believe that New Year’s resolutions are usually a win-lose predicament and time-bound: lose 25 pounds in six weeks, stop “fill in the blank,” and so on. We have all made these personal commitments only to see them often fall by the wayside. There usually is little room for error with resolutions – what occurs may include failure, emotional distraught, and often, a rebound far worse than the original situation.

Instead, I would like to change the mindset of entering the new year by looking at two or three life improvements that can be worked on over the entire year. Small progressions, minor improvements, room for failure, and not a defined measurement of success vs. failure is the goal supporting New Year’s Life Improvements.

Last year was the first time I purposefully challenged myself to some life improvements instead of resolutions. I have to say, it felt much better, and I finally made some progress. Additionally, I chose personal and professional improvements—again, a bit different than my usual resolutions. My life improvements helped me develop personally and professionally, and I have decided to continue these improvements into 2023. I made a good deal of progression in 2022, failed a few times, and am still driving toward some other goals. As I stated, there are no time constraints.

Life improvements are different for everyone. They are situationally based and driven by individual wants and aspirations. For this blog, I would like to be vulnerable and express two of my desired life improvements which I implemented in 2022. In doing so, you might develop your own life improvements for 2023.

Developmental Coach

Yes, I do this for a living. Each day I coach organizational leaders. Through repetition, experience, and education, I think I am a pretty good coach! I have coached organizational presidents of large organizations. But, in 2022, one of my life improvements was engaging a coach for myself. I asked this person to seek out my blind spots and unconscious tendencies and be brutally honest about how I can improve my personal and professional life.

The journey has been eye-opening and sometimes conflicting. Sometimes the truth from a third-party coach hurts, but the coach’s goal is development and improvement. We all have room for improvement – if we look at any world-class performer, a coach is an essential part of their life.

I am looking forward to being coached more in 2023 and someday reaching world-class status! If you do not have a professional coach in your life, find one – but be ready for the journey. Nobody wins a marathon without hard work, dedication, and change!

Finding Purpose

Maybe it is because I am somewhat beyond the 50-yard line on the field (meaning:  I am a little older). Regardless, in 2022 I made a concerted effort to find purpose in what I do. I wanted to be selfless and have an impact on something, but I wasn’t sure what that something was. I did a great deal of searching for answers when the answer was right in front of me. I work with hundreds of people throughout the year. As I mentioned, one part of my career is coaching organizational leaders. Just as my coach is impacting my life, I can impact others. If you are a leader in any organization, you also have a purpose!

You impact employees, coworkers, colleagues, vendors, and others’ lives—what you do matters! You may not always see the results or experience the celebration of your efforts, but know that if you are humble, genuine, and caring for others in your organization as a leader, you have made an impact, and you have a purpose. I am going to carry this life improvement on to 2023 and continue to be motivated by helping others achieve their goals and aspirations. If you are seeking purpose, it might also be right in front of you!

I hope that in 2023 you look at life improvements that pertain specifically to you and act on moving forward with successfully confronting them. What can you do better, personally and professionally? How can you impact the lives of others in your organization? What changes can you make to become a better person, leader, or whomever you want to be?

Remember, life improvements take time, and failure is permitted. Take small steps toward progress and allow yourself to develop slowly. Moving forward is the only objective.

Just as importantly: if you are responsible for others in your organization, help them develop their own life improvement strategies. Coach them, guide them, be patient with them, allow them to fail, and be there when they cross the finish line to celebrate! That’s called leadership!