Executive DevelopmentLeadership AcademyOrganizational ResearchSeminars & WorkshopsCompany ProfileContact Us        

3 Reasons Why Most New Year Resolutions DON’T WORK...

Most people make New Year’s resolutions, yet most people never realize what they’ve resolved to do.  Think back to your last year’s New Year’s resolution – what happened?  Chances are, you’re looking to make very similar resolutions this coming New Year.  Since only about 10 percent will actually take actions their resolution, many people repeat the same resolutions year after year after year.  These New Year’s resolutions are just another form of planning that can transform people’s lives.  This article will show you 5 steps to making your new year’s resolution a successful one.

 Reason #1. For the most part, the majority of these resolutions are verbal.  They are not written down, thus easily changed.  The human brain is brilliant at making reasons up for you to feel good about yourself.  If you don’t write it down, your mind will find plenty of reasons why “you just didn’t have the time this year” or “if you only had the money”…  The key principles of planning are not taught in most schools.  Although there is an enormous amount of data supporting continuous planning in writing, most people don’t know how.  So they allow the automatic function of the mind trap the possibility of achievement.  This one is called the mind trap.

Reason #2. Many New Year’s resolutions involve some form of action that is not who you are.  You know all the things we promise to do, but never do (like lose more weight, eat healthy, find another job, etc.) – that’s because we’re human beings not human doings.  Looking at the words, these are all action words – requiring action from the person.  Yet, these actions are not apart of who you are as a person.  You can’t just consistently decide to do something that is not within your being. 

Reason #3. Most New Year’s resolutions are simple conversational pieces with friends or yourself.  These resolutions don’t truly have the commitment required nor have a conversation with someone who can help you achieve it.  They are simply sideline talk that never gets people on the court to make a difference.

What would the world look like if a lot more accomplished every New Year’s resolution? Approximately, only 6% of the people in the US make written plans.  Out of those 6%, over 90% of them accomplish their goals on the plan in the time frame they specified.  Furthermore, if one plans continuously and journals on the progress, research has shown a number of impacts such as reductions in the number of physician visits, increase in their immune system, decrease in stress, faster reemployment after job loss, reduction in absenteeism from work and many others.  Wouldn’t most American want these results?  Sure, but most people are not aware of this knowledge. 

 There are 5 basic steps to greatly increasing your chances to having your New Year’s resolutions come true.  They are as follows: the verbiage you use; the image; the medium; the specificity; and the accountability structure.  

1. Verbiage - Use present tense as if these events have already happened.  So if you intend to lose 20 lbs, say "I've lost 20 lbs.".  As most intelligent people know, the state of mind plays a huge aspect to reaching the goal you want.

2. Image: The image should be as visual as possible.  Go to your favorite magazines and cut out what you'd like to achieve or obtain.  Cut these images out and paste them into a collage to keep it in front of you.  A visual image helps to remind your conscious and the powerful subconscious.

3. Medium: Make sure to write them down.  Talking about it gets lost often.  Write it down with the specifics that you need to make it tangible.  You have to be able to see the finish line if you are to finish a race.   

4. Specificity: In order to have a chance of making your resolution happen, it must be specific.  You can't just "have a better relationship with someone" - that's too ambiguous.  State it in certain terms like "I am the top three trusted friend if they need anything".

5. Accountability structure: This is where most people fail.  We're all prone to the human nature of not doing something without consequences.  Whether you're 5 years old or 50, we all need some driver to push us.  Share your New Year's resolution with a friend who can hold you accountable.  Create a structure that has rewards and punishments that are fun.

Whatever your New Year's resolution is, you know how important they are.  In order for it to come true, it must be a conscious effort.  Much of business planning works the same way.  All the skills you have as professionals can use them in your personal life and at home, since that is your most intimate and crucial organization.  

As and expert in planning and organizational development using new concepts such as quantum physics, Dr. Sun has helped many individuals/companies realize their dreams. In addition, he is part of the faculty at the University of Phoenix at the Polaris Campus, and the President and CEO of an executive/leadership development firm called Executive Balance.  He’s also heading up the 2005 Community Leadership Symposium in Columbus with First LINK.  His research in adult learning, contextual ethics, entrepreneurship and leadership has gained the spot light repeatedly at major conferences such as the Global conference on Business and Economics, in addition to being a recognized expert in many national media such as Entrepreneur magazine, the LA Times, and INC magazine.  

On be half of Executive Balance, Happy New Year and live a balanced life.

For other articles by Dr. Ted Sun, click here








Helping you achieve greatness though balance.


Site design by
Kristi Gerner © 2002

Email: Your Local Executive Development Expert  or Call (614) 538-1664