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Why Resolutions Fail

By Jessie Pressman

It’s that time of year…that time when we vow to change ourselves for the better. We make resolutions and promises to ourselves... and sometimes we keep them, but most of the time all of those resolutions and promises are forgotten by February. Why is it that we can’t keep our resolutions? Why is it that we so often fail?

I’ll admit, I’ve made my fair share of resolutions and, like most of you, I’ve failed miserably at keeping them. What I want to share with you is my “ah-ha moment” that completely changed all that.

Here is a list of some common New Years Resolutions…take a look and let me know if you can spot the overarching similarity.

  • To lose weight.

  • To eat better

  • To make more money

  • To get a better job

  • To be happier

  • To spend more time with my family

  • To learn a new language

  • To drink less alcohol

Did you spot it? None of these resolutions are specific. (Ah-Ha!) How much weight? How much more money? How much less alcohol? What language? Without being specific we don’t know what we’re reaching for…by setting a specific goal each of these resolutions becomes that much more attainable.

The next step to make sure each of these goals is attained is to set what I like to call an Action Plan. I backtrack from my goal and break it up into more manageable pieces… lets call them Bite Size pieces ;)

Here’s an example: one of my resolutions for Bite Size Learning is to increase our Twitter following. I turned that into a goal of 1000 followers by Q2, then I created my Action Plan. Bite Size Learning will schedule time on specific days to follow 100 new and interesting people each week (the specific days help turn our action plan into a habit). Our hope is that 25% of those people will follow us back. This means an increase of 25 people per week. We will look at that conversion rate each week (i.e. how many people followed us back) and increase how many people we follow if necessary. The conversion rate isn’t the goal, 25 new followers each week is the goal - so if it takes more work to get there, we need to adjust our Action Plan accordingly.

Maybe your resolution is to invest in your career growth this year. Be specific! What will you do? What do you want to learn. Create an Action Plan! How will you do that? Will you take a course? Will you buy a book? If it's tech concepts, we can help. Make it a bite sized goal to learn one new piece of tech a week. Call it Tech Tuesday! Then set a calendar reminder to visit TechBites. (Form a habit!) Spend 5 minutes watching one of our videos and call it a day. Each week you'll have learned that much more of tech and forwarded your career at the same time. Click here to get a free TechBite and see if they fit into your Action Plan and goals.

Resolutions fail because they aren’t specific. Resolutions fail because they are too big. Resolutions fail because no action plan is put in place. Resolutions fail because they don’t become habit. And resolutions fail because people don’t reassess their strategies.

Make your resolutions stick. Turn them in to goals. Break those goals down into bite size, manageable chunks. Create an Action Plan that is habit forming. And reassess that Action Plan to make sure it’s working.

Follow these steps and your resolutions won’t suck this 2015…they’ll stick.

Jessie Pressman | Founder
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