new-years-confettiAt the stroke of midnight January 1 millions of people have raised their glass as they have countless years before and toasted to a new beginning.  This year like years past they resolved to lose those extra pounds, kick the two pack a day habit, get out of debt or finally find a better job only to find that two weeks later their resolve has been replaced by guilt, disappointment and failure.

Sounds a little bleak doesn’t it?    

Sorry… but there is substantial evidence suggesting that declaring a resolution on New Year’s Eve can actually reduce the likelihood of achieving it.  If this news comes a little late, no worries you can still fix it.

Most people (you may have been one of them) know going in that setting New Year’s Resolutions equates to about 50% joke and 50% hope. What they don’t know is that setting a half ass resolution and stating it out loud can have a profound negative psycho-emotional impact on their ability to set and achieve more serious goals in the future.

Out of 52% of the participants in a recent resolution research study who were absolutely confident of their ability to achieve success only 12% ever actually achieved their goals.

When done incorrectly goal setting can seriously undermine a goal setter’s confidence, motivation, and ability to achieve what they want.

I’m not suggesting that we stop setting “New Year’s Resolutions” altogether. What I am suggesting,  if you’re serious about achieving them is that you think about what you resolve to achieve in advance and then form them as real, specific and obtainable goals long before stating them out laud over a bottle of Dom.

You’d increase your chances of success if you waited until New Year’s day or later to work on your resolutions (providing you aren’t to hung over) and follow some form of goal setting strategy before declaring your resolutions for the New Year.

For years the more serious of the resolution setters have been using what is called the S.M.A.R.T. goals criteria to guide the process of taking it from desire to goal and giving it some legs. But in many cases the S.M.A.R.T. criteria falls short in providing the needed psychological/emotional map for reaching the final destination.Why Smart Goals May Be Dumb | Tom Terwilliger

In Why Smart Goals Maybe Dumb I share what I call the A.C.T.I.O.N. goals criteria for creating a truly compelling and achievable outcome statement and mental map of the process.

The A.C.T.I.O.N. goals criteria directs you in checking in with your own ecology before deciding to go after what you think you want just to make sure it’s in-line with your values and substantially increasing your likelihood of achieving it.

By getting crystal clear on exactly WHAT you want, WHY you want it and putting the A.C.T.I.O.N. goals criteria to work for you, you can turn the odds in your favor the next time you resolve to achieve of change something worth achieving.

Here are 7 Tips for an Achievable Resolution Outcome:

1. Set a date for your “resolution” setting session between one day and two weeks from New Year’s Eve.

2. Focus on what you won’t not what you don’t want.

3. Have a strong commitment to making the change you want or don’t bother!

4. Formulate a clear emotionally charged picture of WHY you want it.

5. Create a simple plan IMMEDIATELY and refine it later.

6. Come up with several coping strategies or better still “victory strategies” for the challenges that you anticipate showing up.

7. Find an accountability partner and share your goal with that one special person not with the entire world.


Why Smart Goals Maybe Dumb is available on Amazon for a very limited time and has the complete A.C.T.I.O.N. goals criteria outline.

Tom Terwilliger