New Year’s Resolutions

New Year's Resolutions

About half of all Americans make New Year’s resolutions. Yet statistics show about 80% of those New Year’s resolutions are already a lost cause by February, and only 8% of all resolutions are achieved — usually, the ones that are written down.

(Sorry, ladies — according to statistics, men have a 7% to 17% higher resolution success rate than women. That rate is even higher when there’s money riding on the resolution).

Why the pitiful success rate?

It’s because most people do not set goals, or do not know how to. A goal and a resolution are different. A goal must be specific and achievable and carry a deadline. If it does not have these parameters, a resolution is simply a wish — period. And you’ve probably heard the saying, “Wish in one hand, crap in the other, and see which one fills up first.”  (Sorry, Santa – did that land me on the naughty list?)

Sometimes we Americans are a predictable bunch. Most people have pretty similar resolutions. And if you do a search on Google, you’ll find they don’t change much from year to year. Here’s a Top 10 list that’s pretty standard year after year:

1.    Diet or eat healthier

2.    Exercise more

3.    Lose weight

4.    Save more, spend less

5.    Learn a new skill or hobby

6.    Quit smoking

7.    Read more

8.    Find another job

9.    Drink less alcohol

10.  Spend more time with family and friends

Other popular New Year’s resolutions to round out the list include getting organized, traveling, living life to the fullest.

(Notice none of these are measurable or specific.)

I’m already working on my other resolutions for next year. Getting fit is not one of them. (I did that two years ago and have maintained it well, despite the holiday cookies that keep finding their way into the office.) #10 is critical for me — I do not do it enough.

Here’s what I have so far:

  • Post twice a week on LinkedIn (this is my second one today — first was a video)
  • Have a monthly goal-setting meeting with my staff (I have one tomorrow at 11:30 AM)
  • Hold at least 10 planned giving hours for clients a year
  • Hold a conference in October with a goal of 200 attendees
  • Increase my investments by 10%
  • Make 10 public presentations
  • Travel on business or pleasure once a month
  • Earn 100 more clients.

A Few New Year’s Resolutions For You

Here are some ideas to boost your career and personal life:

  • Take a time management course. You can begin The Success Brain or Monthly Micro-Lessons. There are also plenty great courses out there.
  • Take a negotiating course and go through our articles on negotiation. “You don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.” This is why a Harvard MBA can easily lose out to a third grade dropout if the latter is a better negotiator. I know this for fact.
  • Visit with 75 donors.
  • Have a bottom line of planned gifts totaling $$$ (fill in your number!).
  • Give out 3 compliments a day. Don’t forget very young people as many have self-esteem issues.
  • Report to work 15 minutes early at least once a week. Stay 15 minutes late a few days a week.
  • Look at what the majority does, and mostly do the opposite. {Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. ~ Mark Twain}

And, if you haven’t done it already, here’s an important one for your personal life:  Make an estate plan and tell your donors to do the same. I revised mine this morning.

Here’s hoping you have a fantastic New Year — and that you keep your New Year’s resolutions.

Category: Sustainability

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