New Year's Resolutions For Meeting Planners

To commit to new years resolutions or not commit to new year's resolutions-- that is the question.  Most adults I know ere on the side of not creating formal resolutions however, they do have ideas about things they’d like to do differently for the year ahead.  For me, I like to be intentional and refine my focus for the year in different areas of my life, including professionally.  

How about you? Have you taken time to step away from the details of your job as a meeting planner and look at the bigger picture?  I call this the, “Zoom Out Exercise.”  It’s worth the time to go through this exercise because while unfortunately only about 8 percent of us who set goals achieve them, the good news is that research shows people who make resolutions are 10 times more likely to change their behavior than those who never commit.  

Research shows people who make resolutions are 10 times more likely to change their behavior than those who never commit.

So what’s the “Zoom Out Exercise?” Block out 30 minutes to ask yourself the following questions and write down answers.  After you’re done, you’ll have much more clarity, intentionality, and if you dare-- resolutions you may just want to commit to so you can get that bonus/promotion/new job...or just good old fashioned pride in a job well done.

Zoom out to the 50,000-foot view of the meetings you planned in 2017.  

  • What generally went well with those meetings?

  • What generally didn’t go well with those meetings?

  • Is there anything you generally want to incorporate into your 2018 meetings?

  • What would success look like for you in 2018?

Now let’s zoom into the day-to-day tactics of your job.  

  • What are the most important high-value activities you must do to be successful in your job as a meeting planner?

  • What are the biggest time wasters (low-value) activities in your job?

Review what you’ve written down.  

Stay positive.

Create a vision of you being successful in your job in 2018.  Imagine being efficient, rocking your meetings, and getting well deserved praise.  You WILL be a rockstar in 2018.  Dream this.  See this.  Might feel corny, or maybe you do this all the time and have a huge ego.  Either way, envisioning yourself as successful and believing it is essential.

Now that your brain’s wheels have been greased, you’ve zoomed out, and have done some self reflection….

  • What is something you need to START doing in 2018 that you didn’t do in your job or meetings in 2017?

  • What is something you need to STOP doing in 2018 that didn’t serve you in 2017?

  • What is something you need to KEEP DOING in 2018 that worked well in 2017?

Distill some rough goals

I recommend a small number of goals so you can attain and not beat yourself up with self-defeating thoughts.  To me, that magical number is three.  Reviewing your answers to the all of the questions above should surface some action items, whether it’s a new broad initiative, outsourcing time-wasting aspects of your job, keeping disciplined to something you’ve been doing that’s working, protecting your high-value activities so they are not robbed from your days….the list could go on an on, but pick the best three and write them down.

Refine goals

Now that you’ve written them down, let’s make sure they are S.M.A.R.T. which is a clever acronym someone came up with to help us, procrastinators, out there.

  • Specific.  It’s easier to hit a goal that is specific than one that is too broad.  What do I want to accomplish? Why is this goal important? Who is involved? Where is it located? Which resources or limits are involved?

  • Measurable.  How will you know you’ve hit your goal? You need a way to measure.

  • Achievable.  For example, how realistic is the goal, based on other constraints, such as financial factors?

  • Relevant.  Is your goal relevant to broader initiatives?  Is the timing right? Etc.

  • Time-bound.  Is this something you block out as a recurring event on your calendar? Is there a deadline?  When?


More importantly though, pick how you will celebrate when you're on the other side of having achieved your goals.  How do you want to celebrate your success at the end of the year? Pick your carrot and dangle it in front of your face.  Make it visual and have it in front of you every day.  For me, that might look like a beach trip without kids.  To each his own.

Go get ‘em, tiger! You’re on your way to a more successful you in 2018!