Quaker A-Z: A is for Annual Actions & Atomic Habits

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash


January first brought in the shiny new year. Annual resolutions, tasks and events are fairly high in many people’s minds at this time of year.

Returning to work after some time off and the completion of a year is often a shock. In addition, many groups book a full year’s worth of meetings so the new & empty calendar is starting to fill up with meetings and events.

It is all too easy to draw a line over the ‘old year’ and only look forward to the ‘new year’. As if there weren’t any connections between the two. It’s always best to take a few minutes to think back and decide what you need to bring along with you into 2024. Are there lessons learned, new practices you want to continue? Or challenges you overcame but want not to repeat!

ANNUAL definition: 1. Annual events happen once every year. 2. Annual quantities or rates relate to a period of one year. 3. Occurring, done, etc, once a year or every year; yearly. 4. Lasting for a year

Atomic Habits

Atomic Habits (a recommended book) are habits which you develop because you attach them to another habit.

They don’t have to be connected except that you do both. So perhaps you drink a cup of coffee/tea every morning, and that reminds you to get something out for dinner…. or you put the books to go back to the library by your coat so they’re not forgotten.

I’m sure you have other habits which are linked together – how have you remembered to do a new thing?

What new goals – or roles! – do you have as we move into 2024?

Write it down

Research has shown that writing down goals improves success at those goals. There is a Gail Matthews goals study that was published in 2007 through Dominican University.

That research showed showed that having the following four ingredients would lead to the best chances and levels of success compared to those who do not have goals:

  • written and clear goals,
  • commitment to action,
  • accountability partner,
  • weekly progress reports.

With my training and mentoring clients, I stress that it also means you don’t have make a decision again, or do the research and thinking that led to that decision… Decision fatigue is a real problem after all.

So, if you are determined to ensure xxxxx

e.g. all policies are collated into one place, and a firm procedure for reviewing and rewriting where necessary…. Write it down and use one of the MBS scheduling resources to do just that.

e.g. the new trustees will be properly onboarded and have the information they need…. write it down, and use the MBS Trustees spreadsheet to support you in showing compliance and good governance.

You get the idea, write it down, ensure you using appropriate tools or resources and finally – find someone who will hold you accountable. Even if this is just you when you do a regular review!

Free Resources

Our next quarterly webinar is all about how to ‘Start Right‘. It’s the second in a two-part series, the first was ‘End Well’ back in November.

For a limited period, if you book for ‘Start Right’ on the 24th of January you get access to a recording of the ‘End Well‘ webinar, which leads you through some thinking about 2023.

In Start Right, we’ll do some exercises to help you plan and strategise about upcoming problems and challenges. And demonstrate the new free resources library.

Picture of Wendrie Heywood

Wendrie Heywood

MBS Founder




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