New-year resolution? Or end-year revelation?

Hi all it’s Amanda from the think-team!

Most of us probably do not need a reminder that 2021 is less than a week away. Some of us (myself included) are mildly panicking due to the amount of work that we’d like to finish before the break. Some of us will continue or have already started a routine of having an overly motivated period of writing new goals and visions (a.k.a. new year resolution) that eventually become empty promises. If you'd like to know how I usually start my year, follow along!

New years is such an interesting concept to me. Whoever came up with the 31st of December as the last day of 365 and a quarter days, has definitely made that day meaningful to as it becomes a reflection point for most people. It’s funny that the academic calendar ends in mid-year, because people end up reflecting twice a year almost. 31st December became a reason to look back and forward. However, sometimes I think we are not looking forward with the right eyes. It goes like this:



I got inspired by this illustration from an artist I’ve been following on instagram. I think this picture represents what a lot of people think about the future. That a miracle will happen once the clock in your timezone hits 00:00. It’s a lot of optimism (which is not a bad thing). I briefly talked about the stockdale paradox in my previous post, our CEO Tak also talked about it in his! I certainly have had moments where I think this way, hoping things will turn in a new year. It is almost automatic for everyone, but why? Or more importantly, what’s an alternative thought?


Then I swiped right in this instagram post and saw this picture:



I thought this was immediately relevant to what we are about to do in our end-year retreat. About a month ago, I wrote a blog about our virtual retreat, to talk about how we, as a team come together (virtually) to go inwards. “To redefine, realign, and reposition our vision, mission and values to achieve the sustainable future we desire.” Last month, we were writing our visions for each of our team. Now we are planning to close that gap by making the steps that’ll lead to that vision. We are introducing a new system called OKR (Objective Key Results). We will also reflect which activities will have the most impact or will use up the most resources. The point of this exercise is to also prioritize what should we do to achieve that goal and to recognize all the steps, big and small to reach there.

This illustration shows that we often underestimate incremental changes. We cannot achieve a vision overnight, but with persistence we will eventually reach it, and with the right strategy we may even reach it sooner than we think. So instead of only looking forward, which may just become wishful thinking, we’ll also look back to see how far we’ve come and how we can continue to grow.

So I hope your new years resolution is not only a result of random temporary wishes, but also a revelation to see how far you’ve gone throughout 2020, a year that is not easy for everyone, but a year that for me at least, I learned the most. It would be a waste not to look back before. So scroll back to your archives, have a slight throwback to reminisce on the good things that happened (and the bad), and may 2021 be the year that starts with all the wisdom from 2020. Happy new year!

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