Resolution Revolution

According to Wikipedia, the ancient Babylonians were the first to record kicking the year off with resolutions by making promises to their gods. The Romans continued the tradition by making promises to their god, Janus (for whom the month of January is named.) Making resolutions at the fresh start of a year continued during the medieval era and by, the end of the Great Depression about a quarter of American adults practiced the custom.

Surveys and studies confirm a very low success rate for those who set New Year’s resolutions. We often find the same people setting the same goals year after year and still failing. We browbeat ourselves and our peers with discouragement like, “Where’s your willpower? Toughen up, force yourself to do better!” We grit our teeth, tighten our spines and slug our way through the obligation. If we succeed, we are not always happy and sometimes find the success short-lived.

Habits and impulses do not change and are not conquered by determined resolutions, promises or bullying. When our commitments or goals feel like a fight or a battle, then we set ourselves up for internal hostility, conflict and loss.

Time for a revolution! Change the focus of force by “willpower” to “I will power.” Switch from “I won’t” to “I will.” Substitute the positive for the negative. Commit to a goal because you will find joy in the journey and love the reward.

Recognize that attaining a goal is a process of hard work. Face it and accept that when you try to change your ethics, a lifestyle or life-long habits, there are no miracles, quick fixes or phone applications that will get you an end result without effort and action.

Soul search and know that your goal is truly your goal. Own it. Create your resolution by discerning whether it originates from your desire or someone else. Where does your choice come from and what pressures are giving rise to change? What good will result from sticking with a plan to succeed?

No matter what your goal, take small bites and chew slowly. Avoid the trap of working on all your issues with all your energy at once. Think Thoroughbred vs. Quarter Horse. A quarter horse mentality will expend too much effort in the first stretch, leaving you depleted and wishing you had paced yourself like a thoroughbred that has stamina and endurance to get to the finish line.

Timing is everything. When you are ready to make a commitment, you will find the desire, the strength and the “I will power” to take the steps needed that guide you to achievement. Fresh starts are not exclusive to a new year; they can begin anytime, anywhere, and any place, even today.


Written by Susan Fix, The Applied Companies Community Liaison Partner. Fix has worked 15 years in staffing services performing outside sales, recruiting, permanent and temporary placement coordination, career counseling, customer service and social media/business.

Jim Annis: Unemployment Rates, A Reality Check

Click here to view Jim Annis’ RGJ article on unemployment rates. 

Jim Annis: Are You Leaking and Don’t Know It?

Click here to view Jim Annis’ RGJ article.

Captains of Industry: Jim Annis

Click here to view the RGJ article about Jim Annis, President/CEO The Applied Companies

Happy 2012!

The Applied Companies wishes you and yours a very Happy New Year! Plans are in the works for an exciting 2012. We are looking forward to partnering with our friends, family and clients to make this a time of growth, joy and triumph.

Be on the watch for fun events you can participate in throughout the year, as Applied Staffing Solutions celebrates its Tenth Anniversary!

Jim Annis: Workplace Wellness? There’s an App for That

Click here to view Jim Annis’ RGJ article on workplace wellness. 

Jim Annis: A Day in the Life of Online Training

Click here to view Jim Annis’ RGJ article on online training.

Avoid Company Chaos

The Toy Santa Refused to Deliver

Here are some tips from the world’s largest factory and its master toymaker on how he makes decisions regarding what to produce and deliver to avoid company chaos.

In the early 1970’s, Santa received countless letters from children requesting Clackers for Christmas. The workshop did not create the toy, so the Big Guy asked the elves to find samples and test the product. They discovered Clackers were two hard glass-looking balls about one to two inches in diameter hanging from a long durable string. Holding the top of the string and using an up and down motion they were able to build enough momentum to get the balls to swing and knock together above and below the hand.

The elves were addicted. With dexterity and rhythm, the balls “clacked” faster and faster, blending into a cracking melody. Unfortunately, a failed attempt hurled the balls onto the user’s forearm, causing severe bruises and broken bones. Snapped strings and shattered balls resulted in dozens of injuries to elves, as well as reindeer, who by the way, claimed to be simply observing. Production slowed. Chaos reigned. Santa declared no Clackers would be delivered.

I’m happy to report that an updated – safer – version is now being distributed from the North Pole.


Be open to input. Managers, supervisors and front line workers may have different and valuable perspectives. Bring in knowledgeable reputable resources. Create or find samples where needed.


Gather the facts. What do you already know? What do you need to know? What research needs to be done? Factor in all the variables and choose the best alternatives. Analyze the risks and consequences. What is the legal, financial, physical and emotional impact?

Examine & Test

Hold the potential decision up to the light and think out of the box. Examine it from all sides and viewpoints. Discover every potential scenario. Test with an unbiased audience. Think in three’s regarding their comments. If one person says something, pay attention. If two people say the same thing, pay close attention and consider adjusting. If three people say it, change or tweak the product or service.


There are times when we have an “inner knowing” about an issue, yet we can’t rationally explain it. Have the courage to bring that inner voice to the table for consideration. How many times have we acted against our instincts and regretted it?

Final Call

Know who will make the final decision. An individual? A team? Communicate the decision, set a deadline and take action.

Using these tips should help your company avoid chaos, injuries, slowed production and not knowing if your product or service is naughty or nice.


Written by Susan Fix, The Applied Companies Community Liaison Partner. Fix has worked 15 years in staffing services performing outside sales, recruiting, permanent and temporary placement coordination, career counseling, customer service and social media/business.

This Season’s Hottest Workplace Accessory

Trendy men and women are rocking a classic look this season with a simple workplace accessory.  Move over Dooney & Bourke, Ralph Lauren and Louis Vuitton – health conscious employees in workplaces across the country have been spotted toting the Brown Paper Bag.

You’ve heard it before from a wide array of media sources; the brown bag lunch is one sizzling food trend.  What’s not to like?  Whether you pack your lunch in a paper bag, a sleek and stylish Laptop Bento box or an old school vintage lunch pail the benefits are more than Ho Ho Ho-Hum. You:

  • Save money
  • Eat healthier
  • Save time on your lunch break

Here is what the fashionable employee knows about successful and festive brown bag accessorizing:


Set a goal that engages and looks good to you. Want to save money for Christmas gifts, vacation, college or clearing debts? Take off weight or improve your health? Perhaps your greatest desire is spending time in stress-busting activities like walking, reading or visiting the gym during your lunch break.


When you are devoted to succeeding, nothing stands in your way. Write your goal on several sticky notes. Post the reminders where you’ll see them daily – bathroom mirror, car dash and at work. Photoshop a picture of you at your favorite vacation spot or college and hang it on the refrigerator, in your car and at your workplace.

Planning is Essential

Check out websites like Rose Reisman’s The Art of Living Well and MSN’s Money Take the Brown Bag Challenge for tips on planning ahead to avoid same day workday lunch prep.

Become an Apple Connoisseur

Its pectin helps with cardiovascular and digestive health, may lower incidence of cancer, is high in potassium with no sodium and in its whole form is high in fiber slowing insulin response. There is a reason for the saying, “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away.” Purchase several varieties like Gala, Pink Lady, Granny Smith and my personal favorite Honeycrisp. Bring enough for coworkers and have an apple tasting.


Remember when you were a kid and traded lunch items with classmates? Sharing makes packing lunch entertaining and interesting. It encourages coworkers to get on board and copy your trendsetting style.

By the way, I’d love to see Jim Annis, CEO of The Applied Companies, walk into the office sporting a Mighty Mouse vintage lunch box. How fun is that? More importantly . . . I hear Gini Annis is a fabulous cook.


Written by Susan Fix, The Applied Companies Community Liaison Partner. Fix has worked 15 years in staffing services performing outside sales, recruiting, permanent and temporary placement coordination, career counseling, customer service and social media/business.

Jim Annis, HR Solutions: Workplace Ethics is not an Oxymoron

Click Here to View Jim Annis’ HR Solutions RGJ Article