A Better Resolution

by Monique Beauchamp Doll

It’s a New Year and a great time to refresh, evaluate, and take a deep breath. When we think of the new year, we think of new resolutions. Typically, the gyms fill up, and Google’s top searches include losing weight and healthy eating. Maybe a better way to think about the new year is less about “fixing what’s wrong” and more about understanding ourselves better.

In business school, a fundamental tool is a SWOT analysis. This is where a company looks at its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. So each year in January, I try to complete a personal SWOT analysis. I encourage you and your family to join me. Let’s examine how it’s done.

STRENGTHS- what am I good at? What do I enjoy doing? We seldom really take a look at ourselves and determine what we’re good at. This is an opportunity to try to objectively look at ourselves and discover in which areas we excel. Maybe you’re a great cook or an excellent public speaker. Perhaps you can put together a puzzle in record time. Take some time to write down all the things you are good at, whether small or large.

WEAKNESSES: This is the one area where many people probably get stuck. We’re often hard on ourselves and focus on our flaws. Use this as a way to focus on the things about yourself that you want to and CAN change. Do you want to struggle with math? Do you trip when tying your shoes? Write a list of the top 5 things you want to improve over the next year.

CONVERT WEAKNESSES INTO STRENGTHS: Rather than beat yourself up over your weaknesses, try to put together a plan to convert them into strengths. So you’re not great with math? What about working with a tutor or studying with a friend? And you trip when tying your shoes? I hear yoga is excellent for balance training!

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OPPORTUNITIES: Think about the world around you to identify opportunities. The way the world has changed over the last couple of years, it might be in technology or developing personal relationships.

Whatever it is, think about the world around you and how you can use your strengths to take advantage of these opportunities. Are you a great cook? Maybe bake some cookies for the school bake sale? Make a pie for your elderly neighbor. Are you a good public speaker? Join a debate club or the book club at the library. Perhaps volunteer to read to younger school children. When you grow your strengths, they become even stronger.

THREATS: What distractions can interfere with your growth? Time?

Money? Social Media? These are often the most common uncontrollable threats we face.

Brainstorm some ideas for how to overcome these threats.


This is key in analyzing your SWOT. Focus on what you can change and let the rest go. Remember the beginning of the serenity prayer:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Happy New Year from Lift2Enrich


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