We have strongly advocated strategic abandonment as an ongoing practice for organisations. And in these turbulent times, as Peter Drucker rightly wrote many years ago, “the enterprise has to be kept lean and muscular, capable of taking strain but capable also of moving fast and availing itself of opportunity.”
The most effective and practical way to do this is to answer the nine questions every 90 days (see The Power of Strategic Abandonment)
Individually, it also pays to regularly reflect on our lives and abandon unhelpful habits and behaviours.
As we approach the end of another year, it is helpful to take stock of our efforts and results—successes and areas for improvement.
Our New Year’s resolutions will be far more effective after this exercise of strategic abandonment. For, unless we stop doing certain things, can we make room to start new habits.
Whilst it is essential to set goals and commit to fulfilling them, the power of eliminating or limiting certain practices is vastly underestimated.
The following are six key areas to consider:
- Faith/Mental Health
What limiting mindsets must I abandon to achieve my full potential?
- Family & Friends
What are the unhealthy relationships in my life? Are there people in my life that bring me down, detract from my aspirations, and normalise behaviours I’m uncomfortable with?
- Fitness/Physical Health
What unhealthy habits have I formed recently? Should I reduce or stop: smoking, drinking, sugary foods, fast foods, snacks, and quantity of food? What sedentary behaviours have I developed? Late nights?
What subscriptions don’t I use or are not leading me to my goals? Have I fallen into new spending habits that waste money (coffees, lunches, home delivery orders)? Spending on things that are a waste, clutter my life, unsustainable?
- Fun/Hobbies & Personal Pursuits
How much time do I spend daily scrolling social media, reading clickbait, and watching streaming shows? Do I go out to places that cost time and money without meaningful outcomes?
- Function/Professional Pursuits
What things at work should I do less of or stop? Do I say or do things in my professional life that affect my performance negatively? Am I getting distracted too often? Have I fallen into bad habits that affect my efficiency or effectiveness?
Like gravity, we naturally tend to atrophy – develop bad habits and abandon good ones. We take for granted the time we have left with those important to us and to live a meaningful life.
There can be few better pursuits than abandoning unhelpful behaviours to clear our mind, focus and time for habits that help us achieve our aspirations.