Why most New Years Resolutions don’t work

By Richard Elmes, The Sales Dating Guy

Many of us who are looking forward to the future have made New Years resolutions.

You know those grand plans that we come up with, that if we follow through, will make our life more fulfilling. Unfortunately, they are also those plans that are usually forgotten by the 3rd week of January. If you don’t believe this just check the classifieds in February for used exercise equipment.

Common resolutions like “Quit Smoking, Lose Weight or Save money,” may sound great, but they aren’t very successful. Using the following 7 steps will help you design more powerful New Years resolutions.

 1. Develop S.M.A.R.T. Resolutions

Specific:  You must specifically and clearly identify your target. The more details you give, the more likely you are to get excited about your resolutions and develop the passion that it takes to focus and to follow through on them. You need to know what success looks like.

Measurable: Effective Resolutions need clear destinations as well as checkpoints along the way. These checkpoints are the mini-goals or stepping stones that are easily attained and provide victories along the way to keep you motivated.

Attainable:  Your purpose for designing resolutions is to solve a problem or to achieve a dream. They should stretch you out of your comfort zones, but if you make resolutions that are completely out of reach, you are only setting yourself up for failure.

Require Immediate Action:   The purpose of making resolutions is to get you moving toward your dreams. If you don’t take the first step within 72 hours chances are you never will.

Timely: You need to have short term goals that allow you to measure whether you are on track or if you need to pick it up a notch.        

2. Identify what’s in it for you: If you are going to follow through with your resolution you need to be excited about the benefits it will bring you. Visualizing yourself fitting into those jeans that “shrunk” or driving that new car are powerful motivators.

3. List the obstacles that stand in your way: Knowing what the obstacles are can help you determine how to get around them.

 4. Consider who can help you: You need to carefully identify friends whom you can trust to share your goals with and who can check your progress and encourage you. These people enable you to maintain your focus and keep your eyes on the goal itself.

5. Consider what resources are needed: Knowing what tools and knowledge you need to help you accomplish your goal will increase your chances of success.

6. Develop an Action Plan: There is something so powerful about putting your resolutions down on paper, but this is the step where most people fail.      I think Denver Broncos football coach Mike Shanahan but it best when he said, “If you have a plan, and if you have your direction laid out. You can chart your progress to your dreams at each stopping point along the way. And just as important, all along the way you can see how far you’ve come”. Developing your action plan will give you the road map to your dreams.

 7. Set a deadline for achievement: Resolutions without deadlines are only dreams. Deadlines are another powerful  motivator. Also when you are setting deadlines add the phrase “on or before” ie. “I will weigh 190 lbs. on or before July 1, 2010”

 So this year make those New Years Resolutions stick, and reap the benefits.

Because the best way to predict your future, is for you to create it yourself.


One thought on “Why most New Years Resolutions don’t work

  1. Richard, I want to add one more to your list… Please update your CRM tool!

    I have been writing all week on having sales reps update their CRM tools and holding Sales Managers accountable for the accurate and up to date information.

    We are starting the 2nd week of Jan 2010 and if your reps don’t know who to call and why they are calling them well then the whole sales department is probably lost.

    In my Atlanta Sales Training classes I spend a lot of time not only reviewing CRMs but spelling out what should be accomplished with these tools.

    Add clean out your CRM to your list of New Years Resolutions.

    David Peterson
    Atlanta Sales and Consulting


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