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Successful New Year Resolutions

by Miki Saxon

“Joe” an executive I know, sent me his list of New Year’s resolutions and it reminded me of a cartoon I recently saw, and the written counterpart that’s been around for ages:

Person 1: “Would you like to see my New Year’s resolutions?”
Person 2: “Aren’t they the same ones you show me every year?”

He sends the list every year, as kind of an informal accountability function. He keeps it short, just a few things that he really wants to do, but, sadly, they are too often variations of the same things that were on previous lists.

Sure, we’ve all been there, but this is from a guy who is famous for hitting his goals at the 95 to 100% level.

Why do people so often miss on resolutions, yet rarely blow their goals in a similar manner? What’s the difference?

Let’s take a look at Joe’s list. He wants to

  • stop micromanaging;
  • communicate better;
  • workout daily;
  • lose 20 pounds.

Other than the first item, the list probably duplicates thousands of others. What is the problem?

Have you ever noticed that resolutions are

  • phrased in an absolute manner that leaves no room for incremental improvement—an all-or-nothing approach;
  • short and not quantified;
  • rarely have a viable plan by which to achieve them; and
  • often aren’t realistic when measured by the resources (time and/or mental/physical energy) required to accomplish them.

If you set your company or department goals this way do you believe that they would be achieved?

If they aren’t achieved, did you really fail? Not if you believe in ering, as I do.

This year, why not do what Joe’s finally doing? Learn about ering (use the link!), reformulate your resolutions as goals, do a reality test on them to see if they hold up, and show them to someone (feel free to send them to me) for both support and a few accountability nudges during the year.

Do this and see how far you can really go, as well as the difference it makes to your esteem and peace of mind.

2 Responses to “Successful New Year Resolutions”
  1. Lead Change Group | January 2015 Leadership Development Carnival Says:

    […] […]

  2. MAPping Company Success Says:

    […] The start of every year is a time of resolutions, which I never believed in; resolutions waver, while goals flourish — not the same thing at all. […]

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