Leadership, Productivity

Why I Stopped Making Resolutions

By , February 14, 2017

With the change in year comes one constant: people setting grand resolutions and failing spectacularly. The question is, why?

The calendar has recently turned, and, with the change in year comes one constant: people setting grand resolutions and failing spectacularly.

No, this isn’t some deep-seated lack of faith in humanity – it’s fact. Research shows only eight percent of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions. This failure has, unfortunately, become so comically commonplace that it’s expected.

The question is, why? Why do so many people fail, year-in and year-out? A successful friend of mine once proudly remarked to me, “I have never once made a New Year’s resolution.” Upon seeing my skeptical look, he explained. “You know why nearly all New Year’s resolutions fail? It’s because they’re just that – New Year’s resolutions. I make resolutions because I need to change something, not because it’s a new year!”

This is an extremely helpful mindset to successfully achieve one’s goals, but I want to take it one step further.

There is a fundamental difference between a goal and a resolution: Goals are based on a process. Resolutions are based on a feeling.

People set goals in order to ultimately grow. But growth itself is not a destination, it’s a process.

A process that only begins when done in the proper mindset. For most people, their New Year’s “change proclamations” are resolutions, devoid of proper thought and approach.

And this is why they fail.

With this in mind, here are a few Ptex Practical Pointers to help ensure that 2017 is the year you set some hard-hitting goals, not resolutions:

Look in the Mirror – Effective goal setting is an exercise in introspection – not to be done on an impulse or whim. Whether setting personal or business goals, it is imperative to know who you are, what got you here, and what’s needed going forward. Be specific, be realistic, be honest. Don’t just say “I want to increase sales.” By how much do you want to increase them? By when? How?

Write them Down – Goals kept in the head rarely come to fruition. In other words, they’re nothing more than resolutions. Writing down your goals sets the wheels in motion, helping clarify your objectives and ultimate destination, helping you stay the course no matter what.

Create an action plan – Committed goal-setters have a plan of action that will take them to the finish line. They have a thorough understanding of their strengths and weaknesses, and lay out the necessary steps – on paper – to ensure they stay motivated and determined.

Start Doing – Time to put your money where your mouth is. You’ve determined your goals. You’ve mapped out a detailed action plan. Now, comes the hard part: doing. This is always the biggest hurdle to clear, the point where most fail, because it brings along with it the unpleasant feeling of change. As much as we know we need to change, it’s action that takes us to the next level. Enough planning – let’s get to doing.

As a leader, no one else but you is responsible for what happens. It’s critical to take complete ownership of your own outcomes. This will come in handy when encountering those inevitable hurdles, because accountable people don’t play the blame game. They focus on solutions and achieving results.

So, will it be goals or resolutions for 2017?

P.S. To find out when our next Leaders Forum event is taking place—where you can spend a day working on your business instead of in your business—click here.


Meny Hoffman

Meny Hoffman is the Chief Executive Officer of Ptex Group, an Inc. 500/5000-ranked marketing and business services firm headquartered in Brooklyn, NY.

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