So, we’re three days into the new year. Have you broken your resolution yet?
Yes, we know what you’re thinking: Why so negative?
Why do we belittle resolutions? Is it because they’re so hard to keep? Or because we’re simply tired of hearing about them? Or because no matter how hard we try, we fail miserably, so everyone else must be in the same boat, right?
We’ve all done it. If you’re a regular gym-goer, you’re annoyed by the “resolution people,” who will overrun your equipment for three weeks or so, then disappear forever. We’ll be happy when they’re gone, we say.
Setting goals at the start of a new year is a tradition. Goals can be lofty and wide-reaching. Other goals are simple and short-term. (We know the short-term goals quite well. Ask us about how several TFF team members set a goal of simply getting out of the Christmas week blizzard in the Midwest and making it back to Nashville.)
But a goal is a goal, whether it’s one for you or one for your business. And yes, they can be hard to keep. That’s easily ascertained, simply by the number of articles written over the last 72 hours offering advice on how to keep your resolution this year.
Hannah Walters of Scientific American writes that the best way she’s found to not break a resolution is to simply not talk about it.
"The act of announcing what you aim to do to friends and family — and hearing their approval — provides similar satisfaction to achieving the goal," she writes, citing a 2009 study published by New York University.
Gary Belsky writes in Time Magazine that practicing the behaviors necessary to complete your resolution before actually tackling the goal itself is the key to success.
His concept is based on a study of women trying to lose weight. Instead of going straight for the dieting, the women learned habits and behaviors that would required through the dieting period eight weeks before beginning the diet.
"By first identifying the thought processes and skills you’ll need to maintain your commitment, then 'practicing' those before you begin the hard work of changing behavior, you might be better positioned to carry your resolutions through," he writes.
Or how about Lisa Evans' widely-retweeted post on Entrepreneur, offering four tips for keeping your resolution as recommended by author Mark Murphy.
Murphy's suggestions included making your goals more challenging and creating an emotional attachment to your goal, among others.
So, lots of recommendations for success are out there. Yet we continue to assume that everyone that makes a resolution at the start of the year will fail.
Here’s a novel concept: Maybe it’s time we started encouraging each other to not fail.
Or, as one friend so aptly wrote on Twitter, "All I've seen on my (timeline) all day is whining about 'resolutioners.' How about an 'Awesome! Keep it up! It's worth the effort!'?"
If we’re all in this resolution boat together, so to speak, if we band together as a group – or maybe even as a city or a business community – isn’t it possible that we could be crazy enough to actually, gulp, succeed at reaching our goals in 2013?
Scary, we know.
So, how about it? What are your goals this year? Let’s make them happen, shall we?