Quick Tip for Setting Better Goals

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

As I do every December, this past week I've been rerunning the Mental Detox series on Twitter - short thoughts meant to help us declutter our minds and prepare for the new year. One of the social media exercises I recommend to help in this process, especially at a time of year when goal setting and planning is on everyone's to-do list, is to go through your social media posts for the past month and count the number of times you complained. This can be overt complaining (the traffic this morning sucks!), complaining dressed up to make you look important (I have so many emails, I'll never get through this inbox), and any passive aggressive remarks ("industry politics are horrible!" when someone else is honored with an award and you aren't). After you've tallied the number of times you've complained in the past month, set a goal to cut that number in half for the next month.

There are several reasons for this exercise: first, complaining on social media doesn't do your brand any favors unless you are trying to claim the title of whiniest, most inflexible company to work with. Second, I believe that most of the time we don't realize how often we complain. By actively measuring it, we can nip it in the bud. When we complain we close our minds to possibilities and then nothing worthwhile gets accomplished.

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