But only 8% of people keep their resolutions. There are tons of article, blog posts, and news segments designed to give people tips to help make their resolutions stick. I believe that you’ll have a higher chance of making these goals stick if you focus first on picking the right goals—and not picking too many.
That’s why I recommend that you pick only three New Year’s Resolutions:
- One for your family
- One for your career
- And one for yourself
Picking a goal for your family
Maybe you’re trying to counteract “working parent guilt” and want to volunteer more for your child’s school and activities. Maybe you want to try more things as a family or maybe it’s starting a new family tradition such as Friday Family Game Nights. Whatever it is, don’t pick this goal in a vacuum. Ask your family what resolution they would like to see you make—and see if you can come up with one for the entire family. If you all share the goal, you can hold each other accountable and work together to make it stick. What a cool example to set for you kids—and a cool opportunity to work together as a team to accomplish a goal.
Picking a goal for your career
Perhaps you want to build your personal brand. Perhaps you want to build your network. Perhaps you want to seek out an executive coach. Or perhaps you want to make your team stronger. Whatever it is, make sure you pick a goal that fits into the broader context of where you want to go long-term. If, deep down inside you want to be an entrepreneur, then don’t pick a goal that relates to your “day-job” unless it helps you build skills that can help long-term for your business (plus, you probably already have a list of goals that you’re measured on for you day job anyway).
Before picking this goal, check out your bucket list. If you don’t have a career-oriented item on your bucket list, maybe your New Year’s resolution is that you add one. While it takes work to figure out “what you want to be when you grow up”, it’s worth it. There are great books to help you figure this out, such as What Color Is Your Parachute? 2014: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers.
Picking a goal for yourself
Maybe you want to get inspired. Maybe you want to read more. Maybe you want to plan a few weekend trips with your friends. Or maybe you want to be healthier (and this time you REALLY mean it ;).
Whatever it is, make sure you ask yourself why your picking it—and that you pick something that is actually meaningful to you and not what you think others think you should do. That sounds obvious, but happens more often than you think. If you’re seeing an article and news segment about health every day, you might feel subconscious pressure to pick “diet” as a resolution. But is that meaningful to you? If not, it probably won’t stick. In contrast, a goal of “get off blood pressure medication” is much more meaningful (and will lead you to overhaul your total health strategy). This is another case where your bucket list is a good source of inspiration. And if you don’t have a bucket list, maybe your goal could be to create one.
Make your goals stick
Once you have your goals selected, make them stick with these following tips:
- Ask everyone in your family to pick three goals (Kids can pick a goal for school in lieu of a goal for career)
- Have everyone share their goals at a family dinner
- Put all the goals on a board/poster and display them proudly in your home
- Come up with a way to check in with each other and hold each other accountable—such as talking about progress once a month during dinner
By sharing this experience with your entire family, you’re not only increasing the chances that these resolutions will actually stick, you’re also teaching your children goal-setting, planning, and accountability.
And in case you’re wondering—I do take my own advice. I have three goals for 2015:
- For my family (which my girls and I came up with together): Start Family Game Night
- For my career: Publish my book (currently in draft format)
- For myself: Strengthen bonds with close friends (Plan at least two girls’ weekends)
Wishing you, your family and your teams a very happy holiday season and a successful New Year!