OK, I know. You are going to exercise more often, eat less fatty food, lose weight, save more money, and maybe even write that book you have been swearing you would write for the past five years! And, maybe you can add a few things to your list that wont be so hard to do and which will actually improve your own performance, and that of those around you.

Here are some suggestions guaranteed to improve performance in almost any workplace.

First, let's agree to encourage others. I know it is a simple and obvious thing. But, we all thrive on encouragement. Let us agree to see the potential, not simply the current reality, in each of our team members.

There is something I like to call creative dissatisfaction, which is the gap between who we are and who we know we could become and, there is always a gap, no matter how great we may be. Rather than pointing out what I am not (and there is lots you could point to!), how about pointing to what or who I could become? Its a small difference that makes a huge difference. When I have a vision of who I could become, I develop a drive, that creative dissatisfaction, to achieve, to close that gap.

Second, strive to become a scientist in the coming year. It may sound strange, but how we make judgments is often colored by learned biases. Continuous improvement is the result of the continuous design of experiments, watching the data, understanding cause and effect and the humility to say, Oh, well, that one didnt work. Lets try something else. The great managers, like the great scientists, respect the data and have the courage to experiment and to learn from what the data are telling them.