For many of us, this is the time of year when we take a moment to reflect on the last 12 months and set new goals for the coming year in the form of resolutions. New Year’s resolutions are a long held tradition by many; however, when it comes to maintaining them, most studies show resolutions begin to drop off after a week and only about 40% of those who made resolutions actually stick to their goals. So, why is it so hard to keep them?

Lisa Lahey, a Harvard professor, says, “People in the New Year’s resolution approach are just going directly at trying to change their behaviours. For the majority of people… it is just not going to work because it is not fundamentally a behaviour problem: It is a mindset problem.” The key is to not focus on changing behaviours. Many behaviours are ingrained in us and usually have a deeper root cause that, if not addressed directly, will cause our surface behaviour change to be short-lived. You may succeed in the short-term, but you will usually fail in the long-term if you are trying to just change behaviours.

This is our first year together as Amec Foster Wheeler and as we look forward into 2015, with our newly rebranded business around the world, our new vision, values and business structure, and the combined talents of our 40,000 employees, we are resolving to strengthen our culture of collaboration so we are able to deliver excellence consistently to our customers wherever they are in the world. Key to sustaining our resolution is our mindset. This is a new company – it’s not AMEC and it’s not Foster Wheeler. It’s the best of both. And this new company culture is inherently collaborative - building on the foundations of both companies, focusing on high performance and new ways of working, and engaging our people, clients and shareholders. It requires a change in behaviour, but to do that we must start with our mindset; therefore, instead of focusing only on the behaviour (i.e. being more collaborative), we are thinking of our resolution in terms of what we want to learn and discover (how we want to grow) – finding new ways to solve an old problem, connecting people by asking questions and sharing knowledge, fostering an environment for new ideas to emerge and discovering more efficient ways to work together.

In the spirit of celebrating the New Year, we asked the Leadership Team to share their personal resolutions for 2015 – here’s what they have in store:

  • Samir Brikho, Chief Executive: To sleep more, exercise regularly and keep learning - by learning we stay young!
  • Ian McHoul, Chief Financial Officer: To not to have a resolution as I find they tend to last less time than it takes to make them
  • Jon Nield, Group Project Delivery Director: To get back on the rowing machine and to drink more water and less coffee
  • Jeff Reilly, President, Strategy & Business Development: To run at least four days a matter what time zone I am in or how a travel schedule attempts to get in my resolution's way!
  • Gary Nedelka, Group President, Global Power Group: To take the effort to reconnect with friends from long ago
  • John Pearson, Group President, Northern Europe & CIS: To do things whenever they seem right or necessary and don’t like the idea of waiting for 1/1/xx to start - so my resolution has always been not to make New Year resolutions!
  • Roberto Penno, Group President, AMEA & Southern Europe: To learn something new……
  • Simon Naylor, Group President, Americas: To resolutely support my family through the transition towards being ‘empty nesters’ in 2015
  • Will Serle, Group Human Resources Director: To take part in two cycling races in 2015 – Ride 100 (100 mile Olympic route in London in August) and ETAP Caledonia which is around 90 miles in Scotland in June
  • Alison Yapp, General Counsel and Company Secretary: To eat less and exercise more.... (sadly the same theme every year!!).

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year and the best of luck in 2015 from all of us at Amec Foster Wheeler!