I resolve that you should…
It’s almost the New Year, which means resolutions are just around the corner. I personally love resolutions… the challenge and goal-setting fires me up. One year I resolved to give up sugar. That resolution lasted two years (and I’ve since made up for the two years void of sugar).
But one huge problem with resolutions is that after the first few weeks of the new year, we rarely stick to those resolutions. Research shows that actually 8% of people keep their goals. Not exactly inspiring odds.
But research also shows that if you have help – if you have someone who comes alongside you and encourages you with your resolution, then your chances of success increase. This isn’t that surprising, many of us know that accountability helps to achieve goals. But accountability with resolutions? Some resolutions are deeply personal. Not the kind of thing I want to blast over social media. And especially with those kinds of resolutions – to overcome an addiction, to be a better parent, to spend more time doing “X” – we need a friend to walk alongside us. Because we can’t do it alone.
Here’s my suggestion as 2016 closes in on us. Instead of making a resolution for yourself, make a resolution for someone else. Talk it over with one close friend or mentor, and see if they will partner with you in this. You make a resolution for them, and they make one for you. One of the things we love about the holidays is the spirit of giving – we give gifts to others and receive gifts from others. Resolutions are usually done alone, and therefore are isolating. But when we give resolutions to others and receive resolutions from others – they are shared.
And resolutions are more sustainable when shared.
So think of a friend/mentor – what’s your resolution for them in 2016?
That they finish that project they’ve put on the back burner?
That they finally make it to Ireland to visit their ancestors?
That they complete their first 5K race?
Whatever it is, once you’ve thought of it – go and tell them.
Definitely like the approach of having shared goals rather than having isolated New Years resolutions. I really like long term big picture goals like running a marathon, because that takes dedication, commitment, determination and leads to being in great physical shape. A by product of this is “losing weight” which is not really a goal IMO or perhaps it’s a goal that really has no payout and therefore it’s an continuous goal that never ends. As an entrepreneur, setting some big goals such as supporting and serving 5000 customers is better than saying I want to make more money. Making more money alone isn’t a sustaining or long term motivating goal. Thanks Annie for your perspective and allowing me to also reflect!
Great reflections, Peter. I agree with you, resolutions without motivation will fall short. If I have the goal to run a marathon, than my resolution should be to start with a 5K and build from there. Steps to achieve bigger goals! I’m running 16 miles on New Year’s Day – you should do the same! Run the miles of the new year (I think this is my 8th year in a row doing this…and for some reason it gets harder each year, hahaha).
Didn’t run it on New Years Day but I just ran 16 after getting inspired by your comment! Thanks Annie, you’re a blessing!