Variety may be the spice of life but many people find themselves in a rut where there is little variety and no spice. If you want a varied, challenging and innovative year ahead then try these resolutions:
1. Set yourself a secret assignment at work. Pick a big challenge that is not in your current job objectives and make it your personal goal to achieve it. Chose something that will surprise and impress you colleagues and work on it secretly (to start with).
2. Deliberately take a different point of view. Get a different perspective on the world. If you normally watch CNN or BBC News then watch Al Jazeera instead. Read a newspaper at the opposite end of the political spectrum from your regular paper (e.g. the Guardian instead of the Telegraph). Do not visit your regular bookmarked websites but try some entirely new ones. Read more books. If you normally read fiction then try non-fiction and vice-versa. Spend time with people who will disagree with you and challenge your views.
3. Visit an old relative. Who is your oldest living relative that you have not seen for at least a year? Visit them in January. You may not get many more chances.
4. Meet an old friend. Think of someone you have not seen for many years who was a good friend at school or college. Invite them to lunch and chat about old times and what they are doing now. Friends are important and good ones are hard to find.
5. Change a habit at home. If you sleep on the right side of the bed try sleeping on the left. If your partner does the cooking and you do the gardening then try swapping roles. If you normally watch TV then trying listening to the radio or reading a book for a change.
6. Change how you exercise. If you normally cycle then try running. If you normally run then try walking. If you normally walk then try cycling. If you don’t exercise then start.
7. Go somewhere different. Plan to spend a day every month visiting somewhere you have never been before. Book a holiday in an exotic place that you have never visited.
8. Start writing that book that you have thought about. Just write the first chapter. Nothing more. Then review it and see how you feel about venturing further.
Stop wishing for a better life; make it happen. Carry out some of these resolutions and I guarantee that you will have a more creative, more successful and more interesting new year.
Paul is a professional keynote conference speaker and expert facilitator on innovation and lateral thinking. He helps companies improve idea generation and creative leadership. His workshops transform innovation leadership skills and generate great ideas for business issues. His recent clients include Airbus, Microsoft, Unilever, Nike, Novartis and Swarovski. He has published 30 books on lateral thinking puzzles, innovation, leadership and problem solving (with over 2 million copies sold). He also acts as link presenter at conferences and facilitator at high level meetings such as a corporate advisory board. He has acted as host or MC at Awards Dinners. Previously, he was CEO of Monactive, VP International of MathSoft and UK MD of Ashton-Tate. He recently launched a series of podcast interviews entitled Insights from Successful People.