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No matter when you read this post on the Excel Communications blog, I suspect your New Year resolutions will have fallen by the wayside. 

More irritating if we are still in January too! 

There is plentiful evidence out there to suggest that only 5-10% of us stick to our resolutions; not many is it? 

So Why Do They Fail? 

The reason most of us fail at nailing our resolutions is that they aren’t tied into our bigger life and career goals. 

Our resolutions are often based on all the negative aspects of our lives and all the things we think we ‘should’ be doing. 

Here is a selection of ‘should’ resolutions that have been discussed over the years at the Excel office 

  • Drink more water 
  • Give up sugar 
  • Get up at 6am each morning 
  • Go running every day 
  • Meditate every morning 
  • Stop drinking alcohol 
  • Get a new hobby 

… and the list goes on. 

It’s quite a challenge to stop an ingrained pattern of behaviour overnight. Especially when the gain we are seeking isn’t thought through and aligned to our bigger, longer-term goal of what we want. 

How about taking the motivation of one year ending and another starting to shift aspects of what we want according to our life goals? 

Ironically you might then find that you are drinking more water, less wine and naturally have more energy which spurs you to be up with the larks. 

It’s funny how these things work. 

Time To Truly Take Control 

Look at any individual who is truly successful and you’ll notice they take control of their own development and have a life plan with incremental step changes along the way. 

In his latest book on High Performance Habits, New York Times best-selling author, Brendon Burchard reveals six high-performance habits from over 20 years of research, which exceptional individuals embody. 

These spread along a spectrum starting with clarity through to courage, each of which can be up-levelled. 

Much better then, to focus our New Year’s resolutions on forming part of delivering our bigger goals related to what is important to us as we continually stretch and grow. 

New Year, New You: Review Where You Are As A Result Of Last Year 

Before you move forward, it’s a great idea to look back. Remember, reflection is something we can do at any time, not only as one year ends and another one starts; though the start of a year is as good a time as any to review where we are. 

Questions to consider asking could be: 

  • What were my high points last year? 
  • What am I proud of when I look at the previous year? 
  • What were the shifts I made? 
  • What could I have done differently? 
  • What held me back; was it my mindset, skills, or knowledge? 

This is an opportunity to look at last year and map your progress along the way. 

By analysing last year, you’re able to see clear, solid and quantifiable ways to improve and achieve more of what you want during the next 12 months. 

New Year, New You: Decide What You Want 

One reason most people don’t achieve their goals is they aren’t clear on what they want, or they expect ‘things’ to happen overnight without being willing to put in the time, effort, or resources. 

In the words of a famous quote by Mike Robbins; “Nothing Changes Until You Do”. 

However, on the upside, remember life is a marathon, not a sprint. Therefore, think about goals in the context of 1, 5, 10, and 20-year cycles. 

For some people reading this, it might be a step beyond what you were considering; though it’s critical if you are serious about building a successful career that you are passionate about. 

So, let’s make it easier for you. 

Remember the plan you made last year and what you highlighted were areas of focus. Remember those things you wanted to happen last year that didn’t. The question is, are they still relevant? If they are, add them to your list. 

What about your successes last year; can you take them to a logical next level? 

(Hint: These are easy wins for you.) 

Real goal setting takes thought.  

So rather than randomly picking out a ‘new resolution’ decide what changes will help you achieve what you want. 

Let’s say that developing knowledge about a specific topic is critical this year. Allocating time to study will be key. 

How about planning to read three blogs a week on the topic,  watch one webinar and then read a book on the subject a month? 

All of these are more than possible without burning the midnight oil. 

Then perhaps getting up at 6am has a different and logical driver for you? 


Rachel Hewitt-Hall 

About Excel Communications 

Excel Communications has a 30+ year history as a global leadership and communication skills organisation dedicated to exceeding the expectations of clients through the training and development of their business and people.  You can view our case studies here. 


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