On a global scale, the year of 2015 was marked by many stressful, disheartening events, including ISIS terrorism, the VW emissions scandal, the Syrian Civil War, American racial tensions, and continued handgun violence. On the opposite hand, there was much to rejoice about! We witnessed Pope Francis’ call for action against climate change and COP21 – where 195 nations adopted the Paris Agreement to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Was 2015 a year of woe or joy for you… and what will you do differently in 2016?

Feeling at peace is a personal state of mind.

“What is your New Year Resolution?” This is a question we all probably heard a few times in the past week. Lose weight? Quit smoking? Find a new job? The possibilities surmount, but the transcendent factor is the question of internal peace. You define what will bring you joy and happiness this year.

You’ve seen or heard it, time and time again. A resolution to lose 15 pounds begins in January, but by April, only three pounds are shed. A self-defeating mentality, excuses, and lack of continued enthusiasm wash away the resolution until the cycle begins again next January. How can you turn this frown upside down, and make sure 2016 is the year to really achieve success?

Your inner peace will lead to success, and that success turns back into harmony.

To start, define a realistic scope, and visualize the end mark. What would a successful year look like – in your own shoes – on December 31, 2016? Work backwards and make a plan to tackle simpler, small goals along the way to the resolution. Think of your resolution as a business plan – create a statement of goals, reasons they are attainable, and plans for reaching them. Achieving milestone benchmarks and “checking off the boxes” will give you a continued sense of satisfaction and drive your enthusiasm to continue on the path to success!

What is your own professional business plan for 2016?  

In the context of sustainability, this is what the folks at Sustrana do all year long. They help you plan the work and work the plan. There are lots of tools to keep you focused and put your 2016 resolutions on an attainable, benchmarked path towards success. If you can measure it, you can manage it! Here are some ideas for the workplace:

I’m hoping my benchmarked planning leads to internal peace through professional success this year! I recently founded a sustainability communications firm, Climate Social LLC, to expand my ability to help others converse about responsible business. My role with Sustrana will not change, and I will have an increased capacity to help other businesses talk about their own paths to success. I find peace knowing that I’m doing my small part to create positive impacts in our world. You can, too.

Define your personal or professional goals and develop a plan to achieve benchmarks that will bring inner peace to you as an individual and success to your organization. If your resolution includes improving your ability to manage organizational sustainability, you might enjoy some of Sustrana’s free resources to start the year. They cover topics from risk mitigation, to impact investing, to employee engagement, and more. You’ll find lots of good information on how to move your organization toward a more sustainable future. So go ahead, make 2016 a great year!