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Ask Coach Tony: Why Do New Years’ Resolutions Suck?

In Ask Coach Tony, you can put my Operation Melt coaching to the test by asking me questions about how to achieve your goals. 

Because a question asked by one is often a question had by many, I am regularly sharing these answers via the Operation Melt blog.

Amuse Bouche

Before we get to today’s post, I offer you this light “amuse-bouche” to entertain your mind before we get down to business. Like any other amuse-bouche, you may hate my “dad joke,” but it is worth every penny you paid for it, right?

What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire? Frostbite.

Ask Coach Tony: Why Do New Years’ Resolutions Suck?

Coach Tony: It is almost 2023, and I am starting to think about my New Years’ Resolutions. I have set resolutions every year, but I am seldom (really, never) successful with them. It is so frustrating to fail at resolutions year after year. Why do New Years’ Resolutions suck?

You hit the nail on the head; resolutions suck!

The vast majority of people who set resolutions do not succeed with them. Based on numerous research studies, only 8% to 12% of people ultimately succeed with their resolutions. On average, people abandon resolutions within the first nineteen days of the year.

Despite this abysmal success rate, people continue to try again year after year without addressing the two leading causes of the continued failure.

Problem #1: Following the Crowd, Not Following Your Heart

One of the biggest causes of failed resolutions is deciding to set resolutions at all. Pretty obvious, huh?

But seriously, folks…

A New Years’ Resolution is an aspirational decision to make a significant change in your life made on an arbitrary date. This decision is often fueled by a lack of sleep and the lingering effects of the previous night’s over-indulgence. 

But why? Because it is what everybody else is doing!

It’s usually best to ignore peer pressure, especially with your life goals. If everybody else was jumping off a bridge…

When deciding to make personally meaningful changes in your life, there are two good times to do it, and it is unlikely that January first is one of these dates. The best time to start making an important life change is today! Why wait until New Year’s day?

Maybe you aren’t quite ready to take that first step today. If you don’t start today, choose a day that is personally meaningful to you. As I shared in Happy New Year!?, I find my birthday an excellent time to set my intentions for the upcoming year.

Problem #2: Not Making the SMART Choice

Note that I said that I sent intentions for the upcoming year; that’s because I no longer do resolutions per se. I either set an intention of something I’d like to do more of in the upcoming year, or I commit to goals. A resolution is some ambiguous midpoint between those two options and is destined for failure.

If you are looking for something with a little more commitment than an intention, it is time to set a goal instead. It’s time to follow my six-step process to achieving the life of your dreams.

  • Set SMART Goals: by following the SMART principle for your goal, you will be sure that it is specific enough, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based. Resolutions usually ignore all of these points.
  • Build a Plan that Works for You: having a goal isn’t enough. You need to know how you will achieve it – you need a plan. But not just any plan will do; it needs to be a plan that actually works with who you are.
  • Measure Progress Every Day: You are off to the races with a SMART goal and a realistic plan. If you track your progress daily, you can help ensure that you stay on track and identify whether course corrections are needed.
  • Plan Ahead for Problems: speaking of course corrections, beware that problems will surface during your journey. Preparing for these problems ahead of time will keep them from sidelining you when they emerge.
  • Don’t Go It Alone: building a team of accountability partners and a network of experts will help you keep focused on your goal on those days when your willpower fails. 
  • Enjoy the Journey: if you hate what you’re doing, you will quit. So, find ways to have fun with your goals. You are trying to live your happiest, most fulfilled life, don’t make it suck.

Following these steps, you can break free from the sucky resolutions and start making progress instead. If you are looking for some help to get started, grab your copy of my free Goal Success Quick Start Guide eBook today.

If you need a little more personalized support to bring your goals to life, coaching may be right for you. I would be happy to be one of your accountability partners AND part of your team of experts. Click here to learn more about my Operation Melt coaching services.

Just remember, New Years’ Resolutions suck, but there’s a better way!

Ask Me Anything!

Do you have a question you would like to submit for a future Ask Coach Tony post?

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Whatever your question, I am here to help. Ask Me Anything!

If you want to have a deeper conversation and get more one-on-one help, click here to learn more about my Operation Melt coaching services.

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Meet Coach Tony

My name is Coach Tony, and I am a coach, author and project manager on a mission. I am working to build a world where no goal ever dies of loneliness.

I almost allowed one of my biggest life goals to die without ever being attempted for forty years. My goal almost died, not of failure but of loneliness. But, I took a risk and leveraged a simple, logical process that helped me wildly exceed my goal. 

I transformed my life, and you can do the same with the help of Operation Melt. 

Operation Melt provides engaging, practical content and hands-on coaching to inspire, motivate and equip project managers and other left-brained high-achievers to pursue and accomplish their biggest goals. 

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