Be Successful In 2013 By Not Making New Year's Resolutions

Always make your resolution for new years because your number one goal will likely better your life for the year.


You’ve read it or heard it before:

  • 25 percent of resolutions are broken in the first week of January.
  • 80 percent of gym goers drop out within eight weeks.
  • 90 percent of people who make resolutions on January 1st give up on them by March 1st.

Every year, the media exhibits this fascinating schizophrenic behavior: On one page or in one segment, they encourage people to make New Year’s resolutions. And in the next, they explain how most people are losers incapable of sticking to their plans.

Because the media keep reporting such made-up factoids, people may not even try to come up with resolutions. After all, if most people fail, why bother? The true problem is that resolutions are a lot like fantasies or dreams. They are not SMART, meaning they are not:

  • Specific: Merely wishing to “be happy,” “lose weight,” “save money,” “read a book,” “get out of debt,” or “finish the bathroom” are vague projects.
  • Measurable: How will you know when you achieve your goal? How will you track your progress? How will you measure your results? You need to define “how much?” or “how many?”
  • Attainable: Losing 100 pounds by the end of March is specific and time-bound, but is it really doable? Is losing weight by going on a crash diet sustainable?
  • Realistic: Finishing vet school in two years is ambitious; winning the lottery is specific; running for President in 2016 is measurable; but these are not exactly realistic goals. Stretch yourself, but don’t set yourself up for failure.
  • Time-bound: Resolutions are not time-bound. Goals must have a deadline. Each one must answer the question: “When will I achieve my goal?” Otherwise, it will be too easy to put it off.

So are resolutions doomed to fail? They very well might be.

Goals however—defined as a dream with a deadline—are more attainable. If you only pick four to five goals in four or five categories and attach a deadline to each one of them, you are much more likely to succeed. Categories might include family and friends, professional, financial, personal and community. Next, write your goals down.

Having multiple, vague, non-committal resolutions is comparable to light coming out of an old-fashioned incandescent light bulb. Having specific goals is akin to a laser beam.

You can go even further and pick your No. 1 goal, the most likely to improve your life over the next year.

Post it on your fridge. Post it on your bathroom mirror. Post it on your smart phone.  Post it on your dashboard. Post it on your night stand.  Post it everywhere!

Become relentlessly, unequivocally, unwaveringly obsessed with it. If you reach your No. 1 goal before its deadline, then you should celebrate—big time.

Then, you’re ready to move onto your second most important goal.

By the way, setting goals on January 1st is merely a tradition. As Dan Kennedy, the marketing guru, once said: “You could just as easily change your life today as any other day. You don't need to wait for January 1st.”

One final thought is borrowed from my good friend Kelly, who decided to write down the top 10 sources of stress in her life. One by one, she will work at eliminating them from her existence. She’s already half way through her list!

So go ahead, set specific goals, attach deadlines, write them down, make them public (including in the comments section below), and become a raving success in any area of your life!

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Be Successful In 2013 By Not Making New Year's Resolutions

Always make your resolution for new years because your number one goal will likely better your life for the year.