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Monday, December 31, 2007

Forget making a New Years Resolution – Set a Goal instead

Making a New Years Resolution is an age-old tradition. On December 31, millions of Americans will commit to some sort of resolution for the New Year. However, according to studies, 80% of resolutions are broken by the end of January.

Why the high failure rate for New Years Resolutions?

Impatience and expectations cause most of these failures because most New Years Resolutions require us to change a well-ingrained, specific behavior. We need to create a new habit.

Two telling statistics from behavioral scientist are:

1. New habits require 20 days to form. In those first twenty days, we can expect regression back to the old behavior. No problem – just recommit again. Think about it. Most people give up after the first regression even though they may be days away from making the new behavior a habit.

2. It takes about 9 weeks to start seeing results from any new activity. This fact discourages most people. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, you may not see any difference for the first 9 weeks, but in this time, your body converts fat into muscle. Suddenly your metabolism changes and you start to see dramatic changes.

Set a Goal for Long term Success

The best method for keeping a New Years Resolution is to set a goal. I using the Franklin Covey Method of goal setting.

The Franklin Covey Planner is great I take it with me everywhere. First, you write a mission statement, your roles, and goals for the year. Then, you create a monthly Master Plan. Finally, you work off a daily task list and calendar to keep you on track. I found the results are nothing short of amazing.

If you want to join me in planning, Franklin Covey offers a FREE TEMPLATE to print from your computer. You can place it into a three ring binder or paste the goals template into a journal.


Best of luck to everyone in the coming year.

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