As The Clock Strikes 14

Happy New Year14-1In a few hours, we will reach the dawn of the New Year; and with The New Year will come new hopes, new opportunities, and new resolutions. Yes, resolutions will include promises we make annually to lose weight, work fewer hours, and save more.  We entered into the New Year of 2013 with the best intention to change, to do better, and to keep our resolutions.  However, for many of us, we did not keep our resolutions. The change never happened, and now we find ourselves in the same boat as we did last year, and the year before, and the year before that.

As the clock strikes 14 (AKA 2014), what will be different this year? How can the resolutions I make on January 1st be real accomplishments by December 31st? Consider these tips as you make your 2014 resolutions.

1. Make resolutions only on goals you truly want to accomplish.

Wayman Tisdale3Wayman Tisdale did not want to play basketball; however, at 6′ 9 and blessed with great ability, he played becoming an All-American in college and a star in the NBA.  However, Tisdale’s true love was music, and he resolved that he would make his mark by becoming a recording artist.  He did recording, including nine bestselling jazz guitar records before dying of cancer at age 44.

My friends, life is short, and we have no idea how long we have here on earth. Our resolutions often fail because, not so deep down inside, we were never committed to achieving our goals when we made our noble resolutions.  We made each resolution because it was something that we thought our friends, family members, or acquaintances expected us to make, or because it was something that we thought we should do and not something that we truly wanted to do.

Therefore, as the clock strikes 14, take the pressure off. Wayman Tisdale 4 Commit only to resolutions you truly want to accomplish.  Wayman Tisdale was fortunate that he spent a large part of his life doing something that he was good at doing, sometimes at the expense of the thing he was passionate about. He was great at music; however, at the end, he resolved to do the thing he truly wanted to accomplish.  Will you and I be as fortunate and blessed to accomplish our goal in life?

2. Make fewer resolutions.

Thomas EdisonLess is indeed more when we make resolutions.  The secret to Thomas Edison’s success as an inventor was that he focused on a limited number of ideas for an invention each year.  The discoveries Edison made in the accomplishment of those limited ideas made him a prolific inventor.


3. Make resolutions with a project statement.

Steve JobsSteve Jobs was unyielding in turning his resolutions into project statements, using time-sensitive milestones to measure progress.  Granted your resolution might not produce the next IPhone, but your achievement of the things you resolve in 2014 is just as important to your feelings of success in life.  For example, last year, my resolution was to run in a 10K race. This is the project statement I used to turn the resolution into a reality:  “In 2013, I am committed to train and run in one 10K race per quarter for a total of 4 for the year.” This project statement clarified my resolution and enabled me to measure my progress.

4. Make your resolutions public.

Diana Nyad 1In 2010 Diana Nyad resolved publicly to do something no one had ever done before, swim the 110 miles from Havana, Cuba to Key West, Florida without a shark cage.  On September 2, 2013, in her fifth attempt, Diana accomplished her goal.  How did she do it?  She did it by publicly announcing her intentions.  Nyad captured the attention of the nation, and more importantly, she captured the attention of a decided 35-person support team who assisted her in training and logistics.  Your family, friends, and co-workers are the support team members you need to accomplish your resolution. They are eager to help, so let them help by making your resolutions public and asking them for help.

5. Make 2013 resolution failure the key to 2014 resolution success.

All the people profiled in this post have two elements in common; they experienced failures, but they also achieved a resolution.

  • Wayman Tisdale missed game winning shots.
  • Thomas Edison had failed inventions.
  • Steve Jobs was fired from Apple, the company he started.
  • Diana Nyad attempted the swim from Cuba to Florida four times before succeeding on her fifth try.

Looking back, why did your 2013 resolution fail?  Was it because:

–        You were not really committed to the resolution when you made it?

–        You made a higher number of resolutions than you could possible keep?

–        Your resolutions were not turned into project statements, leveraging time and milestones to track and measure your progress?

Whatever the reason, failure is a catalyst for turning 2013 resolution failures into 2014 resolution successes.

Hears to a Happy New Year and successful resolutions as the clock strikes 14.