2023 New Year’s Resolutions

To me, personal growth is important. And there’s no better time to take charge of your habits and goals than at the start of a New Year. Good new year’s resolutions need to go the distance, and to take some accountability for the changes I hope to make I am sharing my three 2023 resolutions with you all.

1. Sprint not Jog

On the 22nd January (or early hours of 23rd to be precise!), I settled in to watch an eagerly anticipated NFL match between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Buffalo Bills. However just a few minutes into the game, an horrific incident occurred where Bills player Damar Hamlin collapsed on the pitch after a cardiac arrest. The medical teams immediately sprinted onto the pitch. Damar was resuscitated on the pitch after 10 minutes of CPR and taken to hospital, where he is thankfully starting to make a gradual recovery.

This tragic situation, and the way it was dealt with by these heroic medical professionals on the field, has made me reflect on the importance of their initial reaction in these moments. Treating injured players is a regular occurrence for medical teams at sporting events and, given the fact that the vast majority of on-field injuries are minor knocks or even players trying to run the clock down, they could be forgiven for occasionally lacking urgency in reaching the player. In my experience however, this is never the case. And it certainly wasn’t the case on that Monday night when it took them just 10 seconds to reach Damar Hamlin, a response time that may well have saved his life.

The speed of their reaction got me thinking about how this applies to our approach towards mental health rather than physical health. When we see signs of someone suffering with their mental health, do we sprint to them or do we jog? Do we immediately offer our support, or do we wait and see if they’ll be okay on their own? Damar Hamlin didn’t have a second to lose, maybe there are others that don’t either.

It’s for this reason that my first New Year’s resolutions is to take a “sprint not jog” approach when I believe that somebody may be suffering from mental health challenges. Like the medical staff at a sporting event, I will endeavour to be on the look-out for signs of distress of any kind and, also like the medics, will aim to offer support as soon as humanly possible.

 2. Challenge the Norm

This one started when I was watching a VERY old series called The West Wing (one of my guilty pleasures!). Anyway I got to reflecting on what ‘democracy’ looks like.

And, bear with me on this…

If you were responsible for organising the sandwiches for your team lunch and had to order only one filling type. Let’s say that ten of the team want ham sandwiches, nine of them want cheese and one wants tuna.

However, the ten ham-lovers definitely don’t want cheese and don’t mind tuna; and the nine cheese-lovers definitely don’t want ham and also don’t mind tuna.

I’d like to suggest you’d favour organising tuna sandwiches rather than going for ham just because it ‘won the vote’.

Yet, when you consider our political system, it is based on a ‘one person, one vote’ system.

Now, I’m not attempting to make any political statement here, I’m just saying that most of us take for granted that this is the definition of democracy, rather than it being one possible definition or solution.

Anyway… long story short, it made me think about other things I may have just taken at face value or challenges and solutions for which I may have failed to think outside the box.

So my second new year’s resolution is to “challenge the norm”, question why things are done a certain way, and hopefully find a few innovative approaches that improve effectiveness, efficiency and team morale.

 3. Play from a Seven

My final resolution is actually a re-focus on something I challenged myself on several years ago: “to play from a 7”.

What this means is to manage my ‘state’ or my ‘mood’ before interacting with other members of the team.

We all have times when we aren’t out best self – it can be impacted by time of day, how much work we have on, or how hungry we are!

Depending on these and many other factors, our mood (and importantly our external behaviours that reflect our mood) can vary from a 1 out of 10 (very low mood) to a 10 out of 10 (very high).

Achieving a 10 all the time is pretty much impossible, and can also be draining for others.

But we can aim to “play from a 7” to avoid dragging down the mood of others. Of course, even this isn’t always possible, “it’s ok not to be ok” after all, and in those moments I refer back to my first new year’s resolution where hopefully we have people around us to support us.

Personally, I’d like to focus on being a positive impact on those around me without the fact that I hate Monday mornings, for example, destroying that aim.

So there you have it, my 3 resolutions for 2023! I’d love to hear what other people have committed to themselves too…

Follow me on LinkedIn to monitor my progress!

#SprintNotJog #ChallengeTheNorm #PlayFromASeven #MakeADifference

Check out PeopleUnboxed’s course library, which contains our ‘Goal Getter’ session, to learn tips and structure to effective goal setting and action planning.

The 4Ps of Candid Conversations


The “Four Ps” model can help us to plan for a difficult or candid conversation so that both parties find it beneficial.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn how to plan for a difficult or candid conversation so that both parties find it beneficial
  • Understand how to use the 4Ps to deliver a difficult message
  • Consider how this can help manage under-performance in a structured manner

Assertive Disagreement


When you disagree with someone, it is often best to be direct and clear, as it avoids an unfortunate misunderstanding. People can shy away from disagreement as it can sometimes feel confrontational. The assertive approach introduced in this module helps you to express your disagreement in a professional, constructive manner.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn what assertiveness is
  • Learn a process to put your case across without getting emotional
  • Provide context for how to use the model in a real-world environment

Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument


Because no two individuals have exactly the same expectations and desires, conflict is a natural part of our interactions with others. This self-test assessment will tell you more about your predominant style of handling conflict and what this means.

Learning Outcomes

  • Provide a starting point for your development
  • Identify your conflict handling style
  • Learn about the five conflict handling modes

AID Feedback Model


Providing feedback that encourages open dialogue and communication enhances your credibility as both a teammate and as a leader. AID is a simple feedback model that can be used for positive moments and those that need corrective action.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn a simple model for providing feedback
  • Identify your own role in each of the stages
  • Discover the benefits of creating a feedback culture

Action-Centred Leadership


Good managers and leaders should have full command of the three main areas of the Action-Centred Leadership model and should use each of the elements according to the situation.

Learning Outcomes

  • Discover John Adair’s action-centred leadership model
  • Learn how to adapt the model for your own work situation
  • Investigate the danger of becoming out of balance

Question Types


Asking the right question is at the heart of effective communication and information exchange. Using the right questions can improve a whole range of communication skills; the information we receive back (the answer) will depend very much on the type of question we ask.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn why asking the right question is at the heart of effective communication and information exchange
  • Discover why the right questions in a particular situation can improve a whole range of communication skills

Dr. Mehrabian’s Communication Model


We are always communicating, even when we are not speaking. Other factors communicate what we really think and feel, which can be explained by looking at Albert Mehrabian’s communication model.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn the impact of mixed messages when communicating
  • Understand that communication is a blend of words, body language and tone

Situational Leadership


Leaders need to tailor their approach based on the person they are coaching, their experience at the task and their level of enthusiasm for completing it.

The ability to adapt your leadership style to cater to different tasks and your people’s needs is called situational leadership.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand Hersey and Blanchard’s situational leadership model
  • Recognise directive and supportive behaviours
  • Understand the four leadership styles in line with situational leadership
  • Understand the development levels of team members, based on competence and commitment
  • Become confident with flexing your leadership style to the individual and the situation