It’s a brand-new year and it’s time again to make New Year’s resolutions. According to a recent survey, 80 percent of the people who make a New Year’s resolution break it by the end of the first week in January. Fifteen percent of the people who make a New Year’s resolution can’t remember it because of their intense partying on New Year’s Eve. And 5 percent of the people who make a New Year’s resolution keep it. These are the same people who usually excel at everything they do in life no matter what. I really hate these people.
This year I made a resolution not to make any New Year’s resolutions. Who needs that kind of pressure at the beginning of the year anyway? Why isn’t it socially acceptable to start the New Year by just slacking off? That’s how I ended things last year, so why not begin the New Year that way? This way if I happen to do something constructive this year, I can always attribute my accomplishment to a resolution that I never really made in the first place. Who is going to know the difference anyway?
Better yet, why not make a negative New Year’s resolution – like gaining more weight or not exercising. This way when you get fatter you can tell people that you’re just keeping your New Year’s resolution. Or, if you get laid off you can tell people that you had made a resolution to explore new career options this year or to spend more time with your family.
The first days of the New Year always feel just like last year. I guess that makes sense since not too much goes on at the beginning of January. I also don’t really like to make New Year’s Resolutions. It just seems so cliché. That plus if there is something you want to change, improve, begin or stop you probably shouldn’t limit yourself to the beginning of the New Year to do so. But since it is the beginning of the New Year and not much is going on, I thought I’d create my list of personal objectives for 2021 that should not be mistaken by any means for being New Year’s Resolutions.
1) Try not to get COVID-19.
2) Stay away from people who have COVID-19.
3) Stop worrying about getting COVID-19 and staying away from people who have COVID-19.
4) Remember that God made everyone in His image including the stupid people.
5) Try really hard to accept the fact that God made stupid people.
6) Work on being less critical of others (i.e., stupid people).
7) Meet with a priest to find out why God made stupid people.
8) Pray to God to stop making stupid people.
OK, perhaps my list of personal objectives is somewhat narrowly focused at this point in the New Year, but shouldn’t I be able to modify my list as the year progresses?
As if the whole New Year’s resolution tradition wasn’t bad enough, work has its own version of making New Year’s resolutions known as setting annual “performance objectives”. It’s not enough that you have to go to work every day and actually “produce” and “add value”. Now at the beginning of the year you have to plan in advance what you’re actually going to “produce” and how you’re going to “add value” at work. It’s a whole process that is designed to align your individual work efforts with the company’s overall mission in a measurable way.
Breakdown of Work Time
The process of establishing “performance objectives” begins by first analyzing how an employee spends his/her time at work. Here’s a breakdown of how time is typically spent at work:
1) Reading/Replying to emails, text messages, and other instant messages 40%
2) Troubleshooting Your Software Applications and Re-Booting Your Computer 5%
3) Participating in Conference Calls and Video Meetings 30%
4) Breakfast/Lunch/Snacking 5%
5) Miscellaneous Web Surfing 15%
6) Going to the Bathroom 2.5%
7) Actually Doing Some Work 2.5%
Generic Performance Objectives
This breakdown of typical work activities can be expressed as the following generic “performance objectives”:
1) Engage in timely and responsive communications in a competent manner
2) Execute informational technology protocols to facilitate work activities
3) Collaborate with internal and external stakeholders to achieve mutually beneficial objectives
4) Participate in the active replacement of exhausted sources of creative energy and mental focus
5) Facilitate on-line informational research to assist in achieving definitive results and outcomes
6) Participate in the active expulsion of extraneous residues of creative energy and mental focus
7) Do some actual work
OK, perhaps it would be best to just focus on one key “performance objective” this year – staying gainfully employed!
Happy Same Old New Year!!!