9 Ways to Fail-Proof your New Year's Resolutions

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! …It is also that time of the year when you might be reflecting on what you don’t have, and what you haven’t been doing right, and you’re likely feeling compelled to close the gap between where you are and where you think you ought to be by making new year’s resolutions. (I speak from personal experience). Most of us don’t even remember what resolutions we made this time last year, probably because we haven’t thought about them for over 11 months!  You could argue the statistics but I tend to believe that, by far, most resolutions are broken and forgotten about in about 14 days. 

Let’s dig into why most of us cringe at the very thought of last year’s resolutions and get into what we can do differently about this year’s. Although etymologists may disagree, I think “re-solutions” are called what they are because we tend to repeatedly try to solve the same problems every year. Most of us resolve to lose weight, eat right, exercise more, quit smoking or some other harmful habit, stay in touch with family and friends, etc. These are all wonderful things to do and noble goals to have.  However, the truth is that many will have wishes, some will set goals, and few will have accomplishments. So, what does it take to break the ordinary cycle and experience the extraordinary in 2016? 

Consider these 9 actionable ways of making your ordinary new year's resolutions, extraordinary:

  1. Ordinary resolutions are all about our wants, needs, and our success. They are motivated by what we want to get. Extraordinary resolutions are about fulfilling a greater purpose and leaving a legacy of significance. They are fueled by what we want to give.
    Get In Action: Start with a cause you are committed to that is bigger than yourself. Be clear on the WHY behind the WHAT!

  2. Ordinary resolutions are focused on fixing something. They are rooted in changing something we don’t like about ourselves. Extraordinary resolutions are focused on creating something. They are anchored in transforming something in the world.
    Get In Action: Start with the outcome you want, not what you don’t like about your current circumstances!

  3. Ordinary resolutions are scheduled for a significant date like January 1st. Extraordinary resolutions are put into effect right now, the moment we commit ourselves to them.
    Get In Action: Start now!

  4. Ordinary resolutions are postponed until it is convenient, like “I am going to go on a diet, but after Thanksgiving so I can enjoy all of the delicious food I won’t be able to eat on my diet.” Extraordinary resolutions involve giving something up now that hurts, so that when we have the urge to quit we think back about the price we already paid and stay on track.
    Get In Action: Start your resolution at an inconvenient time!

  5. Ordinary resolutions are focused on what we think we should do and what we want to have. Extraordinary resolutions are focused on who we want to be and how we experience ourselves and our life.
    Get In Action: Look more deeply at the true motivation behind your resolution and determine if it is aimed at transforming your experience of life, and in what way.

  6. Ordinary resolutions are kept under wraps in an attempt to save us potential embarrassment, in case we end up not going through with them. Extraordinary resolutions are boldly declared and widely shared.
    Get In Action: Let your community/network/friends know what you’re up to and invite them to hold you accountable.

  7. Ordinary resolutions rely on will power and discipline to stay on track. Extraordinary resolutions are based upon a solid commitment that transcends temptations to quit.
    Get In Action: If your commitment is partial or conditional, reconsider your resolution.

  8. Ordinary resolutions involve great intentions, but not a detailed plan of action. Extraordinary resolutions are followed through with an action plan.
    Get In Action: Create an action plan that you will carry out consistently, no matter what.

  9. Ordinary resolutions are acted upon when it is convenient and as opportunity presents itself. Extraordinary resolutions involve a structure for integrity and tangible ways to ensure the actions we have identified get scheduled and carried out.
    Get In Action: Put the actions you have identified on your calendar and protect the time to perform them.

So, why not make the process of making and keeping resolutions a year-round habit?  Have some fun with it. Experiment with some of the nine ways above that speak to you to strengthen your resolve to cause a transformation in an area that matters to you. You could even use some of these to put your favorite resolutions on steroids and have them actually work for you. 

I wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season. May you Boldly Declare, Courageously Pursue, and Abundantly Achieve the Extraordinary!

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