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The Champion Forum Podcast

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TCFP149: WHY NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS DON'T WORK

Thank you for listening to The Champion Forum Podcast with Jeff Hancher! As a business consultant, executive coach, and mentor, I see people fall into the same traps every year when setting professional and personal goals. Ultimately, only 19% of people who set new years resolutions stick to them long-term. The most successful people know how to not only dream about their future but also take strategic action toward it. In today’s episode, Jeff talks about how to avoid the pitfalls that keep others from achieving their resolutions by reframing your attitude toward your resolution, planning to succeed, and recognizing the cost.

1. You are not ready for change

Many people set a resolution based on what they think they should do instead of what they actually want to do. You have to be ready to change if you want to stick to your new habits. Most of the time, your desire to change has nothing to do with the turn of a year and everything to do with your own attitude and perspectives. One good way to change your attitude is to start looking at what you do not want to happen instead of what you do want to happen. Understanding the cost of maintaining the status quo will increase your urgency and help you define goals that you are actually going to follow through on.

Q: What goals do you have for this year? Why do you want to achieve them? What will happen if you do not?

2. Lack of planning

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Do not waste time setting goals if you have no strategy for their execution. As you form your plan, answer questions like: "Will I have to wake up earlier to go to make this happen?" "How am I going to stick to my budget and drive profit when my marketing agency keeps bringing me once-in-a-lifetime opportunities?" Anticipating challenges and identifying solutions will be the key to your long-term success.

Q: What method do you use to create a plan to achieve your goals? What do you think the hardest part of setting goals is? (Making them Specific? Measurable? Attainable? Relevant? or Time-bound?) Why? Describe a time you successfully achieved a goal. What steps did you take?

3. Overconfidence

Overconfidence can be even more detrimental than a lack of confidence. When you think your goal will be easy, you are likely to be unprepared to face the reality of the situation. Recognizing that meeting your goal will be challenging does not mean you are weak. It means you are being realistic. By understanding your potential limitations, you avoid setting yourself up for failure and discouragement.

Q: On a scale of 1-10, how confident are you that you can achieve your goals for this year? What would make you feel more confident? If you feel very confident, what is one obstacle that you have acknowledged relating to your goal?

4. Failing to look at what you will need to give up

Attaining something new usually means leaving something else behind. Getting to where you want to be will usually require you to give up what you want now for what you want most. You will need to make changes that might feel uncomfortable, but acknowledging what you will be giving up now can help remind you that it is worth the price you will pay.

Q: Think about the last time you made a significant change in your life. What did you give up to make it happen? Is there anything in your life that you will need to give up to achieve your resolutions this year? If so, what makes you want to hold onto that habit, job, or relationship? What will happen if you do not give it up?

Application Activities:

  1. Examine the resolutions you made last year and determine why they did not work. Was it a lack of planning? Did you try to add too much to your schedule? Was it too much change too quickly? Overconfidence? Once you have identified the cause (or causes) rework the goal by looking over the points in this podcast.

  2. As a leader, you should also be evaluating the goals your team members set. As you go over goals with your team, ask them about their readiness to change to meet their goals. Write down the potential obstacles and scenarios that would cause them to abandon their goals. Then, discuss how you can support them as their leader when (not if) these obstacles or scenarios arise. Prepare them for failure so that they are equipped to overcome those challenges. Then they will remain confident in their ability to see their plan through to the end.

  3. Tell someone you trust and respect about your goals! Having someone else to support you in your journey will help keep you accountable for your success. Furthermore, they can help you find blind spots in your approach. As you share your goals, share your motivation, plan, and the challenges you anticipate. Then, leave time to ask your confidant for feedback. Use their insight to help you make your plan stronger and push you toward success.


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