Why we fail to follow through on New Year’s Goals and Resolutions


48840123 - new years resolutions eat healthy, lose weight and join gym written in notebook, fresh fruits, dumbbells for fitness and tape measure, healthy lifestyle

It’s been a long time since I set official New Year’s Goals or Resolutions. For a while I called them Intentions but I found I still didn’t focus on them. I think from now on I will call them New Year’s Commitments! In the past, I would make dozens of resolutions about how I was going to change my life, build my business and revolutionize the world and finally lose that 50 pounds I have been carrying since my daughter was born 15 years ago. I had big dreams and audacious goals. Rarely did I follow through on any of those resolutions.

There were two key ingredients missing in goal setting and dreaming: commitment and action.

When we have an idea that we need to make a change or do something differently than we are now, it’s just that, an idea. From the place of idea, we have to move to a place of decision.

Let me give you an example.

For years my husband and I talked about moving back to the west coast from Texas. We were serious about it but we hadn’t really decided to make it happen. We just talked about it, a lot. Our friends didn’t believe us when we began to say, “This time we are serious.” What changed? We stopped talking, made a decision and created a plan.

We sat down, talked it through and picked a date about a year and a half away. We knew it would take time to get our finances, current home and lives in order to make this type of move. Plus, we wanted to move before our oldest child started high school. Once we decided, we realized we had to make some big changes in how we were currently living in order for our goal to reach fruition. That’s where commitment comes in.

“Don’t give up what you want most for what you want in the moment.”

This quote became our mantra. We stopped eating out as often, cut back on kids’ after school activities and weekend outings. We didn’t know how we were going to be able to buy a house, find my husband a new job or sell my business. But it didn’t matter. We were 100% committed to making it happen. We stayed focused on the goal of getting there and prayed everything would fall into place.

Along with 100% commitment, we made a very-detailed and specific list of what we needed to accomplish and chipped away at the list week by week. In the case of remodeling and preparing our home for sale, we focused on one room at a time. Just like the old adage, “How do you eat an elephant?” “One bite at a time,” that’s what our lives were like, especially in the final 6 months before our move.

What does this story about moving to California have to do with building your business, losing weight or spending more time with family? Everything!

Use journaling to get clear about the right New Year’s Goals and Intentions

Ask yourself the following questions. In fact, before you keep reading grab a journal and a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and spend some time considering what you want to be different in the coming year.

  • Take a look at your goals and resolutions: are they achievable in one year?
  • If your answer is yes, set a date. If your answer is no, what part of the goal is most important for now?
  • Are your goals what you REALLY want or are they SHOULDS? “I should do this because…” you fill in the blank. If you find a goal on your list that is a should: delete it.
  • Test your level of commitment for each goal, be honest with yourself, no one is reading this but you. If you are not committed, what’s holding you back? Fear? Doubt? Don’t know how? Make sure you write about that, too!
  • Pick one goal on your list. Write a detailed list of what you need to accomplish this goal. Then note where you need to start. Break the list down into doable bites. Do you have our Artful Profit Planner yet? This can help you with managing tasks to move you steadily towards your goals.
  • Celebrate your success every step of the way. If you are the person who looks at the calendar and exclaims, “It’s already mid-January, oh no! I haven’t reached my goals yet,” relax. Test your level of commitment, renew it and take action.

Success follows commitment and action.

My story had a happy ending, happier than we anticipated. Because we were 100% committed to moving to Santa Barbara, CA in June of 2012, no matter how we got there or what kind of house or job we would find, everything fell into place perfectly.

  • My husband kept his job in Dallas and spent 4 years telecommuting before deciding to quit his job and join me in building The Path to Profit Academy.
  • I sold my publishing company and launched a coaching business.
  • We found the perfect house and didn’t have to downsize, phew!
  • The kids made friends and settled into new schools.
  • We live less than 2 miles from the ocean and have a gorgeous mountain view out our kitchen window. 95191.1.9bdb6075092e803d7ac03014b3475550

It wasn’t easy getting here, it took a lot of hard work and a lot more attention to detail than either of us are good at, but we made it! This happened in the summer of 2012. Then in fall of 2015, Brad decided to quit his full time job. It was time for another plan and another layer of renewed commitment to a different goal.

Today we are celebrating his one year anniversary as an entrepreneur and co-founder of the Path to Profit Academy. This goal would not have occurred if we didn’t have the courage, the commitment and the plan to move to California 4 years ago.

As I write this post and reflect on what’s possible in 2017, I am asking myself the same questions I posed to you above. I am not sure I have all the answers yet but one thing I know for certain. Once I commit and create my plan of action, anything is possible!

Brad Dobson
Brad Dobson is a co-founder of the Path to Profit Academy, and husband of Minette Riordan. He handles all the techy stuff and shares parenting duties. He is a 2-time marathon and 2-time Ironman finisher and for some reason enjoys endurance athletics. After 25 years in the software industry he quit his job to become an entrepreneur alongside Minette.

About Brad Dobson

Brad Dobson is a co-founder of the Path to Profit Academy, and husband of Minette Riordan. He handles all the techy stuff and shares parenting duties. He is a 2-time marathon and 2-time Ironman finisher and for some reason enjoys endurance athletics. After 25 years in the software industry he quit his job to become an entrepreneur alongside Minette.

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