23rd December 2023

Reflection and Resolution: An Accountant’s Perspective on New Year’s Goals

As the New Year approaches, the buzz around setting resolutions fills the air. For many, it’s a time of reflection, a moment to ponder over the achievements and challenges of the past year and chart a course for the year ahead. As an accountant deeply entrenched in numbers and strategies, the question often arises: Is setting New Year’s resolutions a beneficial practice or merely a ritual with little impact?

Let’s delve into this age-old tradition from the lens of an accountant.

Reflecting on the Past:

The end of the year naturally brings forth a retrospective analysis of accomplishments and missed opportunities. Accountants, in particular, understand the value of reviewing financial records and performance metrics. Similarly, reflecting on personal and professional achievements helps in understanding what worked and what didn’t.

Setting Goals vs. Resolutions:

Accountants are no strangers to setting goals. In fact, it’s an inherent part of our professional DNA. Goals in accounting often revolve around numbers—meeting financial targets, improving efficiency, or enhancing client satisfaction. However, New Year’s resolutions might differ in their nature. Resolutions tend to focus more on behavior, habits, and personal growth.

Pros of Setting Resolutions:

Personal Development: Resolutions centered on personal growth can complement professional achievements. Whether it’s committing to learning new software, improving communication skills, or maintaining a healthier work-life balance, these resolutions can positively impact both personal and professional spheres.

Renewed Focus: The process of setting resolutions brings attention to areas that may have been overlooked during the year. It can reignite motivation and provide a renewed sense of purpose.

Creating Positive Habits: Resolutions often involve forming new habits. Whether it’s adopting a better organization system or allocating specific time for professional development, these habits can lead to long-term improvements.

Cons of Traditional Resolutions:

Rigidity and Unrealistic Expectations: The rigidity of New Year’s resolutions might set unrealistic expectations, leading to disappointment if not met within a designated time frame.

One-time Focus vs. Ongoing Adaptation: Focusing solely on New Year’s resolutions might limit the ability to adapt to changing circumstances throughout the year. The accounting profession demands adaptability to regulatory changes and client needs.

Approaching Resolutions Differently:

Rather than viewing resolutions as strict mandates for the year, accountants can adopt a more fluid approach. Setting intentions or themes for the year—such as ‘continuous improvement’ or ‘adapting to change’—allows for ongoing growth without the pressure of strict resolutions.

Final Thoughts:

As an accountant, the practice of setting New Year’s resolutions can indeed offer benefits in terms of personal development and renewed focus. However, it’s crucial to approach them with a balanced perspective. Perhaps, instead of concrete resolutions, setting intentions that align with professional goals could serve as a more adaptable and sustainable approach.

In the end, whether to set New Year’s resolutions or not remains a personal choice—one that should be aligned with individual work styles and aspirations.