Starting Fresh in 2017

By Mark Delgado, Hitachi High Technologies America.  
2015-2016 SAPinsight Leader Board Member.

Starting Fresh in 2017

It’s the start of the new year and most of us if not all of us have some type of new year’s resolution.  According to, the top 10 new year’s resolutions are listed below. I am guessing that many of you reading this blog have a least one item on this list as a goal for 2017.

1 Lose Weight / Healthier Eating 21.4%
2 Life / Self Improvements 12.3%
3 Better Financial Decisions 8.5%
4 Quit Smoking 7.1%
5 Do more exciting things 6.3%
6 Spend More Time with Family / Close Friends 6.2%
7 Work out more often 5.5%
8 Learn something new on my own 5.3%
9 Do more good deeds for others 5.2%
10 Find the love of my life 4.3


Each year we all start the year with great ideas and a huge desire to make positive changes in our lives both at work and at home. I would venture to guess that many of us start off our new year’s goal marathon at a full sprint and then slowly move to jog and then often to a stop. Large life changing goals are easy to set up but we often underestimate all of the details that need to be accomplished to reach the much bigger goal. As SuperUsers we see this problem all the time with the projects that we participate in within our individual companies.  The company wants to change lofty goals such as overall operations efficiency, develop a new strategy, become more innovative and/or change the company culture. All of these things are possible but not without a great plan and a great team of people aligned and committed to the plan.

At the start of every year we talk about all of these ambitious goals but I would like to like to talk about a few points that are in the same ilk but with more a SuperUser twist. We I see SuperUsers in companies, I see people that are hugely compassionate about their company and job, empathetic to their colleagues that are working to make the company better and more profitable and typically dedicated to life-long learning. Although we typically think of SuperUser from an ERP (especially SAP) point of view; there are many SuperUsers in each company they are not just related to ERP projects but all sorts of projects and planned improvements for many companies. I am a big fan of TED talks and will use some of these talks to provide you with some ideas to consider as we start up 2017.

Happiness -In a number of ways this item is on the list above multiple times. One of the funniest and most interesting talks was from Shawn Achor, titled “The happy secret to better work”. He talks about the substantial impact the following small changes can have on individual’s happiness by using the following stepping stones: 3 gratitude’s, journaling, exercise, mediation, random acts of kindness. The talk is just over 12 minutes and well worth your time, even if it is for the humor.

Journaling – In supporting one of the items below and in support of creating positive habits I am listing The Five Minute Journal from .  Their “mission is to help you create positive habits without investing years in experimenting and research to achieve the same results.” The have a great little journal designed for you to write down something about your day in 5 minutes. Some of the items in each entry are: Inspiring Quotes, I am grateful for…, What would make today great?, list 3 amazing things that happened today, I am grateful for…,Daily Affirmations, how could you’ve made the day better?, etc. For more information, take a look at the following article about Tim Ferriss (author, investor and podcaster) or search The Five Minute Journal and Tim Ferriss.

Mindfulness and Meditation – Our lives are full of “content” speeding towards us, during the past 10 years the amount of information that we produce, consume and exchange are at an all-time high leading our minds to an all-time high of constant business and churn. Spending a little time each day or week without any device, without any sound, without any distraction allows our minds to relax and find some peace leading to improvements in our daily work and family settings. Below are two very interesting TED talks about mindfulness. The first presenter is Andy Puddicombe a mindfulness expert. Andy has an app and website that can help you through your 10 minutes of mindfulness.

The second presenter is travel writer Pico Iyer. He promotes stillness and disconnecting from your daily hyper busy life.

Disruptive Creativity – After focusing on you, the next step is to disrupt your business processes and use frustration to make you more creative. Watch Tim Harford’s video on the techniques that have been used in the past to create frustration and create solutions to problems that were never envisioned in the past.

I wish all the readers of this blog a happy new year and a successful 2017. Remember to focus on your happiness, it is truly contagious at home and at the office. When you are happy and content you are more willing to take risk and inspire creative solutions to the toughest of problems.

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