New Year’s Resolutions – Should You Set Them?


Here’s a hot topic for you this time of year—New Year’s Resolutions. Just like leadership development, it’s a topic that applies to both your business and personal life. And, if you’ve done even two minutes of research on how to set New Year’s resolutions you have realized there are a TON of different ideas out there on the topic. Some say you should set them, some say you shouldn’t, some say you should but call them “intentions” instead of “resolutions”. So, here at SPEARity, we want to break it down for you.


What is a resolution?

A resolution is just a fancy name for a goal or commitment. When you set resolutions you are setting goals. When you “resolve” to do (or not do) something you are simply making a firm decision that you are going to stick to it. Every January 1st, when the new year rolls around society likes to think of it as a fresh start. Therefore, we resolve to stop doing the things we know we shouldn’t and start doing the things we know we should. We feel a determination to make this year different than the last.


Why people don’t set resolutions

From my research and personal experience, the main reason people don’t set resolutions is that we are tired of failing at them. Have you ever gone into a gym in January? It’s hard to find open equipment to use because there are so many people that have made resolutions to lose weight and get into shape. Now, come back just a few short months later and you can have your pick of the equipment. Why? So many other people missed a workout or two and simply gave up.

We tend to view “resolutions” as all or nothing. If we resolve to exercise three times a week and don’t, then we have failed and there is no point to continuing. It sounds silly when you really think about it, but I’m guessing you can think of at least one or two areas of your life, personal or business, where you have responded in this way as well.


Should we set resolutions?

So, should we take the time to set resolutions? At SPEARity, we’re all about goal setting and that’s really what resolutions are. Therefore, YES, you should set resolutions and goals. But, there are a few things you should know as you get started.

Don’t just set big goals 

The key to achieving your goals/resolutions is to break them down into bite-sized goals. These smaller goals are the stepping stones that help you reach your big goal. They also help you to not feel so overwhelmed about going after that big thing you want to achieve.

You can see an example of how this works in the SPEARity app. There’s a place for you to record your annual goal, quarterly goals, weekly goals, and daily tasks. Your daily spear helps you accomplish your weekly goals, which help you accomplish your monthly goals, which work on your quarterly goals, which helps you achieve your overall annual goal.

Celebrate the successes and learn from the failure

Your confidence level plays a major role in your ability to achieve your goals. If you allow every failure to make you feel like a failure, you’re going to give up time and time again. But, if you build a habit of celebrating your successes, big and small, and learn from your failures, you will learn to keep working towards your goals. Failure doesn’t mean your progress towards your goal is over. Remove the emotion from it, learn from it, and create a plan to move forward from it.

Make them SMART

You might be sick of hearing about SMART goal setting, but there’s a reason why it’s so popular—it works! Setting a resolution to “grow my business in 2019” doesn’t give you enough to go off of. How much do you want to grow it by? How are you going to split it up over the year? What’s your plan to make it happen?

You need to write them down

Setting goals and resolutions in your head is not going to help you accomplish them. It’s too easy to come up with an idea and forget about it. If you really want to make it happen you need to get them written down somewhere. This allows you to keep them in front of you, look back at them, and track your progress.

A few years ago my husband and I started spending time each New Year’s Eve writing out our goals for the coming year. We made it a family affair and got our daughters involved, including the youngest who was only five at the time. It’s become a fun tradition. Throughout the year we get our sheets out and track what we’ve accomplished so far, and look at what we still need to make happen before December 31st rolls around.

My husband and I focus more on personal development and business growth. My daughters have things like “hold the door open for at least 11 people” and “eat two things I’ve never tried before”. Then, on the following New Year’s Eve, we sit down with the old sheets, celebrate our successes, and set our goals for the coming year.

Don’t get hung up on the New Year

Goals and resolutions are something that should be set all year long. You don’t need to wait for January 1st to roll around, or the start of a new month, or a new week. How many times have you committed to starting a diet or a daily routine once the next Monday comes along? Why wait? If you know the action that needs to be taken then don’t delay.

Putting it into action

We are at the perfect time of year to start creating your goals and plans for 2019. If you haven’t already done so, take time to sit down and look at where you want your business to be at the end of the coming year. Spend some time dreaming about how you want to end the coming year. Then, work backward and think about what you have to do in order to make that happen.

If you want 2019 to be different than 2018 and aren’t sure where to get started contact SPEARity™, a local Milwaukee leadership coaching firm that specializes in business coaching, executive coaching, and leadership development training.

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