New Year’s Resolutions. Really?

NYRes_ImageIt’s New Year’s Eve and the blogosphere is full of statistics from 2013, trends for 2014 and LOTS of ads for fitness and business improvement products and services.  The end of the calendar year seems like a natural time to throw out the old stuff that is not working and start anew.

What does the New Year mean to you?


To some, it means outlining specific personal resolutions – things that we are DEFINITELY going to start doing in the New Year:   Setting and following a budget, curbing impulse shopping, counting calories, exercising regularly – whatever.

To others, it means setting specific business goals along with micro-goals that set out the path to accomplish them.

The practice of setting New Year’s resolutions is global.  If you take the time to make resolutions, wouldn’t you be confident that you could achieve them?  Only 52% of those who make resolutions are optimistic about accomplishing them.  In reality, 88% of those who set resolutions or goals for the New Year fail.  Men who set specific goals (lose 1 lb per week vs. a more general “lose weight”) are 22% more successful in achieving them.  Women’s rate of success is 10% higher when they make their goals public or get support from friends.*

What do others do?  Here are the Top 10 NY Resolutions for Americans:

1.  Lose Weight

2.  Volunteer more

3.  Quit Smoking

4.  Go back to school (get more education)

5.  Find a new/better job

6.  Save money

7.  Get fit/exercise more

8.  Eat healthier

9.  Manage stress better (meditate / yoga)

10. Manage debt

I am a list-maker and a believer of setting goals, but am not particularly bound to the calendar year.  When I decide to make a change, I make it right now – let’s start today.

As the statistics bear out, if you’re going to make resolutions or set goals, it’s important to articulate them.  Write them down, make a vision board, tell a friend, put them out in the universe.  (The SMART method is helpful:  Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-sensitive).  If you’re not great at holding yourself accountable, find a buddy that is also making changes so you can update each other on a regular basis.

Making resolutions and setting goals is consistent with a culture of continuous improvement – whether in your personal life or in your company.  Wishing you a New Year of success and accomplishment!

Happy New Year!






*2007 study by Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol