“We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.” – Bill Gates

It appears that the older we get the less likely we are to achieve our resolutions. Does that mean because I am over 50 I shouldn’t bother? If you are in your 20’s, the odds of you succeeding actually are much higher, almost 40 percent. Less than 50% are still adhering to their resolution 6 months later and only 8% of people are successful in achieving their resolution. Check out these and more statistics on New Year’s resolutions for yourself.  http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/
You may be thinking that given all the negative data and the research that shows most resolutions don’t work, why bother? Well hopefully you are the exception and not one of the masses that don’t try, or ends up failing. The fact you are reading this blog probably means you believe in, and are committed to, professional development and personal improvement.
I would strongly encourage you to aim high and set some ambitious goals for 2014! If you don’t and nothing changes, in 12 months you’ll be one year older, not much smarter or wiser, and possibly even more entrenched in your poor habits or behaviors and likely more frustrated or angry with yourself about being “stuck”. I have worked with people that certainly know what they need to do, why they should do it, the benefits and value of changing, and still do nothing. In many situations the person has given up on themselves and those around them including their boss, peers, spouse, friends, etc. resign themselves to either accepting the individual the way they are realizing so much potential is buried inside, or worst case give up on them and terminate the relationship, either personally or professionally.
I don’t know where you are at as you read this but I am reassessing my life and realizing there have been some major improvements and successes in 2013, and in some areas I still have a long way to go.  I am very excited about the prospect of my personal and professional development in 2014. If you are also committed to making 2014 a great year consider some of the following suggestions for improvement:

  • Rather than state a general goal like losing weight, set a weight loss target and identify specific actions or steps you can take every day to help you achieve your goal – no sweets such as candies or soft drinks after 6:00 p.m.
  • Rather than join a gym and go three times per week, get a dog and go for two walks a day for the next 10 years.
  • Change your daily habits. Comfort with things we know and do out of routine can keep us “trapped’ in bad habits. Rather than go to the same sandwich place for lunch every day, pack a healthy lunch and go for a 30 minute walk while you eat. Get some fresh air and exercise while burning calories and eating your lunch.
  • Don’t link your goals to a specific date – make them a daily practice or life-style change.
  • Don’t wait a year to start again if you slip up. Create a list of your resolutions and goals and review them every week.
  • Make yourself accountable to someone that will support and encourage you. Select someone that you respect and don’t want to disappoint. This will provide extra motivation and self discipline to achieve your objectives.
  • Take small steps that are achievable and give you a sense of accomplishment and success.
  • If you fail or have a setback, which you likely will, brush it off, and accept that failure and recovery is part of achieving your goals and changing your habits.
  • Celebrate your success and achievements! Reward yourself with something that you particularly enjoy. A mini indulgence of your favorite food, a glass of champagne, the purchase of a quality piece of clothing or upgrade of your smart phone are all ideas to consider.

“Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit.”
– Napoleon Hill

As you launch into the New Year with all its promise for opportunity and success tempered by the assurance of challenges and setbacks, determine to persist. Select some noble and worthy goals. Resolve to face each challenge and learn from it and savour each success and enjoy it all the while realizing that life is a series of opportunities for you to grow and make the world, your company, family and community a better place by being involved and participating. Be a difference maker!

“There are three kinds of people in the world: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder what happened.” -Tommy Lasorda