The Problem with New Year’s Resolutions

I wanted to write about the problem with New Year resolutions. The problem with writing about the problem is that it sounds so negative. I don’t want to start the year off in the negative.

The problem with the problem writing about the problem is that I don’t think it is negative and I don’t mean it as negative. In my rules of communication, the audience decides. The audience decides what is negative, I don’t get to decide or defend what is negative or not.

I ask and expect my clients to look at themselves, their experiences, and others through a different lens: upside down you might say. So I ask any reader out there to look at this blog differently than they may first respond to it.

Often when I speak, I offer audiences a challenge. A bet, actually. I bet them $100 that they can’t identify a time they spoke simply to inform in the last six months. My point is that we speak to persuade we rarely speak to inform. The bigger point is that we need the mindset to persuade rather than to inform. We need that call to action.

Whatever age, whatever profession, whatever age . . . we need action.

If Bill Gates or Steve Jobs had the information about computers and the Internet and did nothing with that information . . . the rest would not be history.

If Jonas Salk had the information about a polio vaccine but did nothing with that information . . . the rest would not be history.

The problem with New Year’s resolutions is that they often lack a call for action. “I want to lose weight” is a goal it is not a call for action. Without the action, eating smarter, working out more, the goal will probably not be met.

Any strategy is better than no strategy. A strategy is a call for action, something to “DO.” It can be a simple strategy, you can edit it, but a resolution by itself without a plan of action is like toilet paper. What use is toilet paper without a person to use it? What use is a goal without a plan to get there?



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