Article: Happy New Year Ritual - What's Your Big 2012?

Life @ Work

Happy New Year Ritual - What's Your Big 2012?

Gazing backwards and planning forward from the annual break
Happy New Year Ritual - What's Your Big 2012?

This year I took a different approach - I asked my spouse to make a list for me, based on her views and what she had heard from me


Popular wisdom confirms that if you continuously do something for 21 days, it becomes habit


Happy New Year”...I have always wondered why the whole world, their uncles and their dogs get their tails in a tizzy over the passing of December 31 to January 1. Especially my neighbors, who decide to celebrate this passage of a day rather noisily, right under our lofty abode, leaving us with no choice but to angle for invitations to other less noisy abodes.

But over the last few years, this rite of tail twist (sorry, celebration) has given forth a new ritual for me. A ritual of sitting back (much before Bacchus has had his grip over me and my fellow revelers), reflecting on the year gone by and preparing for the year ahead. This has become a sign post , at which I take my annual break to gaze backwards and plan forwards!

Gazing Backwards!

New friends won, old friends back in the zone and some relegated to the dog house. Somehow, this becomes tougher and tougher as the years go by - old friends don’t trickle in but disappear to other pastures as work, family and other interests drawing us apart. But, this year was different for me - the book, columns and blogs forged many new connections and some great relationships too.

Is this is the key to renewing and refreshing our friend-list?

Big Boo Boos

This is a tough one! You want to forget the big mistakes as quickly as possible, but this painful process is useful, it shows our weakness, our pressure points. For instance, I realized that I was actually over-playing my strengths to a point that it was soon becoming my weakness!
This year I took a different approach – I asked my spouse to make a list for me, based on her views and what she had heard from me. It was enlightening to say the least!
Am I ignoring a valuable, unbiased and free source of feedback ?

The Big Ah Hahs

This was easy…there were so many this year. The book, new friends, awesome learning, abundant time spent with my son, quality conversations with wife. Suddenly, it wasn’t about material possessions or that long sought after holiday destination! The list was changing.
Is this the process of aging or merely evolution?

The Plan Forward!

Typically this is about what to achieve. Write so many pages, reduce weight, get rid of that blasted tablet regimen… da da da
We all know what happens with these To-Do Lists… so this year, I was looking for something different. What if I limited this list to only one thing?
This is tough – my priorities ran a few pages and threatened to become a dome. Until I saw this sign ‘What’s different in a mall today?’
What is that one thing that is different for this year?
Why only different? It could be ‘new’ too… that has a better feel!
Before this became another list, I decided to take control and decide on that one new thing. And if that ‘thing’ didn’t happen (I hate to say it), I may have failed! Oooh …that is harsh!
So here you go… the only thing on my list of ‘what’s new’ is Cycling. I will focus on cycling! Why cycling? I have no clue. Seeing my son finally learn the ropes and set off on his own two wheels, listening to my friend Gokul brag about his 800 km cycling trip this year – maybe, both.
Decision done…. cycle bought and I am all set for 2012. And as I come to terms with this purchase, I realize that this will introduce me to new friends, give me a lot of me-time to muse when on those long road trips and build stamina and muscle while at it. Wow! Hopefully, this is not post-decision rationalization.
So what’s different? I am taking the big step and declaring my commitments to the whole world.
Enough about me – over to you, my Reader. You have been my constant support through the year. Reading, commenting, talking… I owe you one. Why don’t you go ahead, do your own Gazing Backwards and choose that ONE Big Thing for 2012?

A suggestion - write down the ‘gaze backwards’ and the ‘plan forward’. For some reason, this always helps internalize and action. And most importantly, make an announcement about it so that you can’t backout!

A friend actually makes a video of his ‘Big Deal’ and mails it to all of us. Imagine what would happen if he doesn’t make it happen? He is guaranteed to be the next Kolaveri Di in our friend circle!

And don’t stop at that. Popular wisdom confirms that if you continuously do something for 21 days, it becomes habit. It is time to check it out for yourself, whether it’s really true. Stay at it for 21 days and if it becomes a habit, you will never need to try hard again.

Here’s wishing you a fantastic 2012. Stay connected, go ahead, put your 2012 Big Thing in the comments section and let’s talk about your journey next December. I promise to write about it if you announce, stay connected and give me your story.
Good Luck and wish you wild success.

Elango R, is the Chief Human Resources Officer at MphasiS and author of the book “You Don’t Need a Godfather”. You can read his blog on and follow him on Twitter

Read full story

Topics: Life @ Work, Watercooler

Did you find this story helpful?



How do you envision AI transforming your work?