New Year, What’s New ?!

Happy New Year to you all. Am I still allowed to say that? I’ve said it personally to several people on calls already, sometimes more than once when we’ve forgotten who was in the last call …. what can I say, it was a busy week ok! I did discuss with one client the annual dilemma of what the approach should be. I’ve always tried to say it in the first week to anyone I’d not already met or spoken to and left it there. There are no rules, no superstitions about whether to say it or when to stop, so it’s very open to interpretation. A recent survey showed a quarter of people only say it on the 1st January and a third continue for the first week. This year is more tricky – we’re generally not seeing people face to face so the ‘first meeting’ is well into the New Year. I’m also not certain that the start of 2021 is the ‘Happy’ we were all hoping for, yet. Does the New Year really feel that new? I’m sure it will, there is much to be positive to look forward to, but it certainly doesn’t feel that way to me yet.



This brings me around to New Year’s resolutions. I’ve always thought there is something more positive about having goals for the year rather than resolutions, which tend to imply some kind of correction is required, like there is something wrong with us – drink less, lose weight, stop smoking etc. Many resolutions like these are tough, they are aimed at permanent lifestyle changes which have developed over time, yet we expect a binary positive outcome from 1st January. For a few days, this is probably manageable, but sustaining such changes over a longer period is difficult and might need building up to. This year, getting through lockdown might be resolution enough. And some such resolutions can be doomed from the start, especially if they rely on the behaviour of others :



So, what am I doing this time around?


I’m setting myself some goals to work on, not major changes but improvements I’ll be able to see the results of.


1. Stop saying Happy New Year. Now. The last one was at the beginning of this article, I promise.


2.  Keep running. I don’t like running, but it’s the best way I’ve found to keep my weight, fitness and mental health steady. My first aim is to get my 5km time consistently around 32 minutes (for those of you who know running, you won’t be impressed. For those of you who know me and my ‘progress’ last year, you might be). This translates to running 5km at least once a week, ideally twice. Having hit that 32 minutes last weekend already, I’m thinking of lowering it to 30 minutes, but I’ll see if that was a fluke first. If I achieve that, maybe I’ll extend it to doing a 10km event.

3. Achieve a certification in Project Management. I’ve been involved in formal projects for years, but I’d like to be able to evidence my experience as a proven skill. This one is fairly binary – find a course, complete it, pass a test. Implementing the learning is going to be the interesting part.

4. Grow my expertise in Client Success Management. I’ve been dealing with clients most of my career, so why do I feel the need to do this now? I want to formalise the way I work, learn from what I’m doing, and make changes to improve my positive impact on our clients. This is will involve active listening – clients can tell us where we can help; networking with other CSMs can enable sharing of thoughts and ideas; following thought leaders and online communities.


5.  Lift some of the burdens of managing projects and organising activities from other team members, so they can focus on technically delivering impact for our clients.

6. Drive a program of system upgrades across our clients, to move to the latest version and to get the most from their investment.

7. Keep reviewing our business performance, our client needs, and keep adapting to fit.

So some of these are binary, some are progressive and some are subjective. I think the key to success will be to regularly review my progress, and recognise the small improvements as much as the big-ticket items.


I’ve already (just) completed number 1 so I’m off to a good start! 


What are you aiming for this year? I’d love to hear what you are planning, how you get on, and what you need help with!

At Mass, we are committed to helping you achieve more and particularly in facilities and estates management. Please call us on 0118 977 8560 or email us at me at to discuss your particular needs or to discuss. 


Alastair Jeffery 


Managing your way through 2021 06/01/2021

Suddenly we find ourselves in 2021 with Christmas behind us and time ticking on at its usual faster than the speed of light rate. Mostly, we are in one of 2 camps, either we have been on ...
read more view all blog posts