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Get Contagious in '09!

written by Robyn Austin


January represents a time of renewal. The holidays and celebrations that we embraced and accepted are now part of our past, making the last day of December our bridge to a year filled with new experiences and opportunities.


I was reminded of the excitement around December 31, as I was shopping in the grocery store on New Year's Eve. No matter which aisle I walked people were seriously scoping out all of their New Year's culinary traditions: shrimp cocktail ingredients, beef brisket, black-eyed peas, beverages, decadent desserts as well as the makings for menudo for the dreaded New Year's ailment: crudo.


And while the shoppers noisily pressed their way through aisles and shelves filled with the end-of-code-date items, discounts, free samples and two-for-one offers, I could faintly hear the conversations about "who was coming to the parties, who would be late and how many pounds of (you can add the item of your choice) should be purchased."


I found this retail energy to be fascinating. Why? Well, imagine if this same enthusiasm that the shoppers showed in the produce, dairy and meat sections was focused on our personal goals and resolutions throughout the entire year? What if we chose to inject not only an enthusiastic attitude into each step of our path to achieving these goals but also an extended flow of enthusiasm to keep us on target?


It seems that when we first make that statement about what we are going to achieve in the New Year, the excitement that we experience from taking on this new opportunity makes us feel good. Then the months pass by quickly, work responsibilities resume, spring breaks and summer vacations arrive, and the all of the sudden, it's Thanksgiving and we are feeling less enthusiastic about the goals we made several months earlier. In fact, we may have completely forgotten what those goals were.


This is where getting contagious can help. If each of us commits to just slightly increasing our enthusiasm each day and offering that enthusiasm to our own goal-setting process as well as those of others, we will create a stream of ongoing positive energy. Even if we forget or miss out on some of the days, the fact that we are keeping the enthusiasm afloat is sure to help all of us stay on course towards what we want to accomplish.


Therefore, this is my resolution. I will make an effort to be contagiously enthusiastic about anyone's personal or professional goal/resolution/promise for 2009. To those that worry that I'll broadcast your intentions to the universe, you can calm down; I won't do that. But, I can assure you that if you find you need a boost, I will enthusiastically encourage you to re-connect with the plans you want to achieve, but you have to let me know when you need to be nudged.


And like the New Year's Eve shoppers, if enough of us do this for one another, we can energize our surroundings, and feel good knowing that we are helping people to bring their goals to life.


Best wishes for a wonderful New Year, and I hope you too will become contagiously enthusiastic in 2009?