Laura Alix

New Year, New You? More like “second verse, same as the first.”

I hate to be a Grinch about New Years (no, I don’t), but it’s that time of year again. The time of year when we optimistically promise to better ourselves – to finally lose those last 10 (or 20) pounds, finish that novel, get a new job … etcetera.

Personally, I tend to think that New Year’s resolutions are mostly a bunch of horse hockey and that the first of January is an awful day to promise to better myself. The first of January, in my own experience, is best spent sleeping. If anything inspires me to bump up my 401(k) contribution, it’s not the start of a new year so much as the start of a cold January morning when I can hear the wind howling outside and my bed has never felt warmer or more comfortable.

That’s not to say I don’t have a few goals that I intend to continue working toward in 2016. They largely revolve around boring stuff like bumping up said 401(k) contribution and paying down the not-insignificant hunk of debt I accumulated playing film student in New York City, but one or two may be of interest to the readers of Banker & Tradesman.

First, I intend to blog more for B&T. This is something our leadership here in the newsroom has emphasized for the past, oh … some time now. No better time like the present, eh?

Next, I (along with pretty much the rest of the B&T editorial staff) intend to pay much closer attention to data and incorporate that into our content for the paper. That includes The Warren Group’s own in-house data and data pulled from other sources. Earnings season is just around the corner, so there’s no better time to start.

Finally, I intend to be a little bit less cynical this year. No, that’s not right. (Nor is it probably even possible.) “Judgmental” is the word I want. I intend (to try) to be a little bit less judgmental, and I’ll start here. For those of you who have made New Year’s resolutions, who are optimistically trying to make them stick, I’ll offer you this helpful hint about building better habits with the cue-routine-reward cycle..

I’ve tinkered with my own habit loops for some time now and will testify that it works if you stick to it. Case in point: I’m actually feeling preemptively cranky that I won’t make it to the gym tonight after work because I’ve resolved (see what I did there) to clean my apartment instead of battling the hordes of New Years’ resolution exercisers. That’s because I spent the past eight or so months tricking my brain into enjoying exercise.

But for those of you who might be just as cynical as yours truly, there’s probably some way you can work that cue-routine-reward loop into your mobile banking platform or social media marketing. Perhaps I’ll save that for a future blog post.

Oh, yeah. Happy New Year.

New Year, Same You

by Laura Alix time to read: 2 min