In theory resolutions should be a very powerful tool when trying to move your life or business forward. When a New Year’s resolution is made you are literally resolving to do something; you’re making a firm decision. The problem with all of the resolutions that are made during the New Year and holiday season is we don’t outline steps or goals along the way to achieving these resolutions.

We simply make sweeping, broad proclamations of these oh-so-amazing resolutions with hopes that somehow we’ll magically get from A to B successfully by the end of the year. And, of course, 9 times out of 10 resolutions fail. They fail so horribly that most people have given up on their resolutions by the end of January. Yikes!


This year, rather than simply resolving to do something, figure out a plan. Set goals - strong, deliberate goals, that will lead you where you want to be by the next year. There are a few keys to success when setting goals for yourself:

  1. Be Specific. The more detailed and measurable your goals are the better. This way you can keep track of progress and adjust accordingly.

  2. Be Challenging. Your goals shouldn’t be easy to reach, but they also should not be impossible to attain.

  3. Write it Down. It seems silly, but taking pen to paper will make you more accountable. When you’ve written them down in your own handwriting they become your’s, they become real.

  4. Create a Plan. You’ve done everything right. You’ve set a challenging, yet attainable (with lots of hard work) goal. You’ve written it down and even put it somewhere to be a daily reminder. You made it measurable and quantifiable. But what now? How are you going to get from where you are now to achieving your goal? It’s time to create a plan. This plan should have smaller goals/deadlines to meet along the journey to your final goal. This plan should be semi-flexible as adjustments, small failures and setbacks can and will occur. That doesn’t mean give up. Just make an adjustment to the plan, with the same end goal still in view.

Now that you’ve set a specific, yet challenging goal, and have an awesome plan in place to achieve it, be sure to keep in mind this is YOUR goal, not anyone else’s. Don’t fall victim to comparison. Be persistent and consistent, and celebrate the success of  smaller, daily goals you accomplish along the way!

Whether you sit down before the stroke of midnight on December 31st or you make some time now before the craziness of the holidays, remember to set goals and plans, NOT resolutions. Resolutions already have a negative connotation of being an empty promise. Goals are meaningful. They’re something you want to MAKE happen, not something you WISH would happen. Goals with plans lead to results.

As 2017 approaches ask yourself one question: When you look back in one year what MUST have happened? What must be different?