Sharing this fascinating Forbes article on the impact of not realizing those annual New Years Resolutions! Maybe not following through impacts us more than we think!
Maynard Webb CONTRIBUTOR: I write about startup culture, leadership and the future of work
New Year, new you, right?
A few weeks ago many of us crafted resolutions to help us achieve better versions of ourselves, and now, a month into the New Year, many of us have probably already broken them.
Research by the Statistic Brain Institute shows that 42.2% of people fail on their resolution each year. We often have explanations for our failures, but they are hardly ever demanded. Everyone is expecting unfulfilled plans anyway. People seem to think it’s okay.
It’s not okay.
I think it’s critical to keep the New Year’s resolutions we make. Our resolutions matter because they articulate our long-term view and reflect what’s going on and what’s important.
Research shows that those who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than those who don’t explicitly make resolutions. Therefore, New Year’s goals should not be arbitrary. They should address what is most meaningful to us. They require thoughtfulness upfront and they require discipline to follow through.
At the end of every year I think about my goals for the next twelve months and organize them into different streams. Then I put them in priority order.
I start with family and outline what I will do in the first month of the year to deliver on my goal of putting my family first. We set specific plans to see our kids and grandkids. One of my new resolutions is to “redo” a Big Sur trip with my wife where this time I will stop at every stop she wants and not bring my phone.
Health is the next category for me and I outline how I will monitor issues and stay in shape.
I then go through all of my work and career goals and my goals for our philanthropic giving.
Once I have my yearly goals mapped out I delve into what I will do the first month. I then break those tasks down to a weekly level.
Every week I look at what I achieved against my list. This does not stress me out, but gives me pleasure to know that I’m on the right track. Or, if I’m not, I can see exactly where I am falling short and then course correct.
I repeat the same process every month. A week before the month begins I copy over my list from the previous month and add things that I now need to do. Again, instead of making me feel overwhelmed, knowing exactly what I will do step-by-step in order to achieve my goals gives me comfort.
We only have one chance at life. We have to take how we lead it very seriously. Creating the life we want is within reach but we won’t get there if we have an ad hoc attitude. Our partners and children and careers are too important and deserve meticulously planning.
As a society we need to stop giving out hall passes for broken resolutions. Holding people accountable will make their individual lives—and the world as a whole—a lot better and brighter.