Every year my wife and I have a Swartz-family strategic session where we  review our previous year’s outcomes and discuss our goals for the year ahead. We started doing this about three years ago after realising that setting new year’s resolutions usually ended up fading into insignificance by the end of February. We wanted it to be more impactful.

Gym, health and failed resolutions…

When I consider all the failed resolutions of joining the gym (and actually training frequently), eating healthier (I do have an unnatural love for chocolate) and spending more time with friends and family, I tend to feel a bit guilty for not always following through on what I set out to do at the start of each year.

Traditionally at the start of the year we tend to ask many questions regarding what the year will have in store for us or what we can look forward to and how we might perceive the world. We think about our family, our jobs, our finances and if this year will be better than last year. We become quite philosophical in our approach to life and seek to change everything about ourselves in one single swoop that is brought about by the remorse of eating too much during Christmas, not going for a jog and the reminder of the inevitable family conflict situation you had to resolve during the holidays.

I think we are often unreasonably hard on ourselves. We all want to be better, more productive, healthier, more engaging, more responsible and perhaps even more caring then we were in the previous year, but we want to do all this in just one month.

We invariably fail to achieve such lofty ideals and goals and this leads to even more guilt.

A new way of looking at it

In 2018, as a Valcare team we challenged each other to draft our own resolutions and goals for the year. We made it personal and focused on being better versions of ourselves. To be honest, most of the things we set out to accomplish at the start of 2018 we probably didn’t achieve. So, I am left with this question of what is the point in doing it again, why should we spend time on setting unrealistic goals that we cannot achieve?

Making #RealResolutions

I do however believe there is another way. I believe that New Years resolutions should be replaced by #RealResolutions. Resolutions that are not about us, but about other people.

When I consider our failure in terms of resolutions at the start of 2018, I remind myself of the incredibly humbling year we have had in seeing impact in our communities. How real people, every day, impacted small parts of their community. Perhaps we did not achieve all we had set out to achieve personally, but where I did see changes in our team was when they were focused on helping other succeed in their hopes and dreams. I believe we change ourselves when we focus on considering others. That is a #RealResolution.

For 2019, the Valcare team has decided to set a #RealResolution. This is a resolution that is outwardly focused and easily achievable. As Valcare we work with community projects and organisations on a daily basis. However, much of our work is behind the scenes. As a team we have decided to personally volunteer our time on a quarterly basis to directly serve wherever we can at one of our member nonprofit organisations. Watch this space as we challenge ourselves to make our #RealResolution a reality.

What are your #RealResolutions for the year?


Ivan Swartz
CEO of Valcare