Negotiating the New Year: Quit Making Resolutions

It’s been a week since New Year’s Day. If you made resolutions, are you upholding or ignoring them? Remember those homemade goodies you devoured? Are you neglecting your workout equipment at home? Did you look the other way as you drove past a fitness facility? Is there a project at work or maybe training you avoided last year that still needs to be completed? What’s up? You’re smart. Why you aren’t reaching the goals you set?

You aren’t alone. According to Statistic Brain, only around 9% of people keep their New Year’s resolutions. One reason we fail is we choose the wrong words to discuss the changes we want. Watch this TV interview from a few years back on New Year’s Resolutions. Could better word choices improve your ability to achieve your goals?

Four Words to Make New Year’s Resolutions You Can Keep, KTXD-TV Dallas

Thankfully, I’m achieving my marketing goals this year. With ADL Speaker Management, I am focused on improving my message and professional image. We upgraded my website, my speaker video and even my hairstyle. Were we successful in making positive changes? Give us your feedback. Please check out my newly relaunched website and video.

Negotiating with Yourself to Stay Motivated

Have you ever asked yourself why you aren’t keeping commitments you made to yourself? You consistently honor your word to others. So, why not honor your promises to you?

Consider the similar responses received in the Ask Outrageously study. Two-thirds of the more than 1,200 respondents reported that they are more likely to ask when it benefits someone else. When asking on behalf of others, people are less emotionally attached to the outcome and more motivated to get past the fear of looking stupid or hearing “no.”

Change Your Vocabulary

Important conversations, including those you have with yourself, improve when you stay objective and manage your emotions. One strategy is to consider those conversations as a negotiation or a problem to be solved. Proactive words help.

To reach this year’s goals, start using these four powerful words:   

  • Become

  • Improve

  • Conquer

  • Commit

These words are stronger and more motivating than you “should”, “need” or “resolve” to change. Who wants to make the effort when it sounds like are creating an obligation or more rules to be enforced? Instead, try asking:

Who do I need to become to achieve this goal?
What can I improve to move forward?
How can I conquer this issue or challenge?
What steps must I commit to successfully reach my desired outcome?

These inspiring questions encourage you to create solutions and to make decisions. Youtake charge when you say, “I became a nonsmoker this year.” Or, “I committed to healthier eating.” Or, “I conquered my fear of speaking in public.”  

How Do You Keep on Track to Reach Your Goals?

First, publicize your goals. Share them with people you trust and who will hold you accountable. Select those people carefully. Ask yourself: 

Whose candid feedback do I value? Who would look out for my interests? 

Would accountability to my best friend, spouse, or partner improve our relationship?  

Second, identify the roadblocks. Roadblocks can be procrastination, burn out, setting aside adequate time, and/or failing. Ask yourself: 

In the past, what obstacles stood in my way from achieving what I wanted? 

How will I prepare in advance to address obstacles like those? 

Third, prepare for failure. If you want to improve your results, consider how you can take more calculated risks. Identify options beforehand if your plan fails. Ask yourself:   

What is my worst case scenario? How likely is that result? Can I live with it? 

If I failed, what are my next best steps? What backup strategy can I design? 

Staying Positive

A lack of clarity or support can derail you in achieving your goals. Instead, negotiate a routine which encourages planning, measuring your progress, and taking chances. Remain optimistic even when you are delayed, make a mistake, or go in a different direction. Ask Outrageously and expect to achieve results. Celebrate big and small accomplishments.  

Happy New Year as You Negotiate the New You! 

PS: If you want to achieve with your goals, upgrade your leadership skills and team performance, and/or improve all of your negotiation results, please ask .