crumpled up yellow paper of new year’s resolutions

Another Wasted Year of Failed New Year’s Resolutions and Goals?

Time to Say, ‘Not This Year, Kiddo!’

Goal setting with clients is a large part of our job as a Business Coach and Executive Coach. We set all sorts of goals to achieve in life – business, health, finances, relationships, etc.  Many of us set these goals at the conclusion or onset of the new year with a clear, genuine intention to improve in some way. Setting these goals and resolutions is a conscious decision we are making to improve.

Yet as we all know, what we intend does not always come to fruition. In the case of new year’s resolutions, we could perhaps even say that they don’t come to fruition most of the time.

Why is this?

Understanding Immunity to Change

The answers to why we fail to achieve goals are many and complex. Perhaps the best explanation can be attributed to what Harvard psychologists Lahey and Kegan label ‘Immunity to Change.’  A phenomenon where we have unconscious competing commitments blocking the changes we consciously want to make. That is, unconscious barriers that prevent us from making the changes we want, or even need to make. To do a deep dive into Immunity to Change, Lahey and Kegan have some great resources online and on YouTube.

I thoroughly recommend you study their methodology for identifying your own unconscious competing commitments. That is, what unconscious barriers and assumptions do you have that prevent you from making the changes you consciously want to make?

How many of you have made goals or resolutions for 2023  that have already petered out?

If you do not have time to peruse Lahey and Kegan’s method to re-energising your goal accomplishment, consider an alternative.

A Simple Process to Get Back on Track

hand arranging wooden block staircase towards target icon

You had a conscious desire to change aspects of your work, business or life, yet now that goal has fallen by the wayside.
Make this year different – time to say, ‘not this year, kiddo!’

Take back control of your goals and get back on track by following these steps to achieve your goals:

Step 1: Choose Your Goal

Choose the dormant goal or new year’s resolution that would bring the most benefit or joy to you. e.g. getting a promotion, starting a business, doubling your business revenue, losing 5 kgs, etc.

Step 2: Write It Down and Re-Commit

Write the goal down if you haven’t done so already. Re-commit to it (ensuring your goal is a SMART goal).

Step 3: Identify One Behavioural Change

Identify one behavioural change that will most likely progress you to achieving the goal. i.e. pick a behavioural change from one of the following options:

a. What will you start doing?
b. What will you stop doing?
c. What will you do more of?
d. What will you do less of?

Step 4: Commit to the Behavioural Change

Commit to the behaviour you’ve chosen for thirty days, or until it’s completed if before. Then move on to another behavioural change or goal.

Make this the year when your new year’s goals and resolutions don’t fade away. Make this the year when you stubbornly commit to a goal that matters to you – and see it through to the end. There’s really nothing to lose. You may achieve the goal and get a boost to your self-esteem for seeing something through.

As the saying goes, ‘any action is better than no action.’