ICAEW.com works better with JavaScript enabled.

Should we all resolve to make a resolution or two?

Author: Viresh Paul, President London Society of Chartered Accountants

Published: 20 Jan 2022

Viresh Paul, president of the London Society of Chartered Accountants shares his thoughts on New Year's resolutions.

By the time you to get to read this, we will be in a new year. You will have been asked – if not once, but many times – what is your New Year’s resolution? I don’t know why it is that we have to make resolutions at the start of the New Year especially as those are the ones that never last the whole year.

Many people will make New Year’s resolutions; however the majority will also fail to achieve them. I read somewhere that at least a quarter of people typically make at least one New Year’s resolution, and a large portion of those good intentions end in disappointment.

But making resolutions is still a good idea—with plenty of positive effects. According to a recent YouGov survey, 35% of people who made resolutions managed to stick to all of their goals, and 50% of people managed to keep some of their resolutions. That’s a lot of people who are making at least some positive changes to their lives – even if they do also fail at some of their goals.

Apparently the most popular New Year’s resolutions are about self-improvement (living healthier: 23% of people; getting happy: 21%’ losing weight: 20%; exercising: 7%; stopping smoking: 5%; reducing drinking: 2%). In addition, people resolve to meet career or job goals (16%) and improve their relationships (11%). So, even if you don’t keep resolutions, it’s a really good idea to make them anyway.

If LSCA has to make a resolution or two, then I imagine there are a number of things we could address – things we have not been able to achieve so far and things we would like to achieve for the benefit of our members. One of those is being addressed in this issue and that is about helping our members with their ongoing professional education or CPD. Our resolve is to encourage our members to use the opportunities we have provided to meet their career or job goals. That will be for the 16% (see statistics above). For the 11% we will continue with our aim of improving engagement with as many members as possible and hopefully reach more than 11% of our 36,000 members this year!

Reaching out to our members (“improving their relationship with ICAEW”) was my single big resolution when I took over the Presidency of LSCA in June last year.

To achieve this aim, we launched this new version of the monthly London Accountant and streamlined our committee and executive reporting structure as a foundation for improving communication between our membership and then planned a whole series of events that would appeal to as wide a range of members as possible.

I believe we are on course to achieve our objective despite the slight hiccup in December when we had to cancel a couple of pre-planned events due to the resurgence of Covid.

My overall objective is to firstly reach out to our members and engage with as many as possible. I want members to realise that whilst we are all part of the ICAEW, we are also part of a smaller support community of London based members that in numbers alone belong to the largest district society representing just over 25% of the total membership of the ICAEW.

Clearly, reaching out to our members is the first step. Then we have to engage with them with the objective of improving our members’ “relationship” with the ICAEW. So how can we do that?

I know of only one way. This can only be done by involvement, something I learned a few years ago as a member one of the largest charitable service organisations in the world (Lions Clubs International) of which I went on to become the UK and Irish president and also in my dealings with the Institute.

So if you are looking to make a resolution, why don’t you resolve to at least finding out what the Institute is doing for you by joining the various communities, looking at the CPD which ICAEW is providing (as opposed to other commercial bodies) as well as the events and programmes that LSCA organises because that is what belonging is all about. I would urge you to start feeling part of the ICAEW if you’re not already in that frame of mind. That may well be the best New Year’s resolution. For a secondary resolution, you can do no better than looking out for and enjoying the contents we assemble for you in the London Accountant with the objective of making you feel part of LSCA and ICAEW.

Viresh Paul