Forget the Resolutions: Do Something Different in 2019

Wow, where did 2018 go? It seems the older I get, the faster and faster the years go by.

As the calendar turns to a new year, many will focus on a new resolution (or two). defines resolution as “the act of resolving or determining upon an action, course of action, method, procedure, etc.” Resolutions are usually not resolved because we tend to revert back to old habits and what’s comfortable. Instead of setting a resolution for 2019 (that may be broken), I challenge you to focus on doing something different this year.

Last June, as I began to think about my term as president of the Society, I wanted to do something different. One idea was changing the way the SMPS board communicates with members and nonmembers. You may have noticed that we have done something different with Marketer QuickLook this year. Instead of receiving a message from the president every month, you’ll now hear from all the board members. You’ve already heard inspirational messages from Stacy Stout, Beth Harris, and Barbara Stiles. This wasn’t done in an effort to take something off my plate and put onto someone else’s; it was done to give you several different thoughts and perspectives. And maybe some additional inspiration? I hope you have enjoyed the change.

I’m also looking to do something different at my firm this year—changing our go/no-go process. What would happen if we were truly intentional with the project pursuit process? Do we have the courage to say “no” to many projects that may have a low profit margin and, instead, target the few that have a significantly higher margin? Which would you choose: winning five projects that total $1 million in fees and an average of 10 percent profit, or two projects that total $500,000 in fees and an average of 30 percent profit? I’m for the latter. Imagine the transformation that kind of change can have on a business if we operate that way.

Doing something different can be difficult and even scary. Even when it’s uncomfortable, I encourage you to stick with it for a while to see if it begins to transform the end results.

What will you do differently in 2019? I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time!



SMPS President Chris Rickman, FSMPS, CPSM, is executive VP and chief operating officer at ZFI Engineering in Oklahoma City, OK. He can be reached at

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