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Your family will love you for this one

Your family will love you for this one

January 02, 2011

Here are some sobering facts to follow the New Year's celebrations: 80% of people who make New Year's resolutions eventually break them. Even more surprising, one-third will break their resolutions by the end of the month. But we've found a unique way to make sure you keep your promises to get 2011 started off right.

It's just a few days after New Year's Day so how many resolutions have you broken so far?

I'm not knocking resolutions. If you've made a promise to yourself to lose weight, exercise more, spend less and save more and so on, those are all terrific aspirations.

Most people however, never stick to them.

Eighty percent of people who make New Year's resolutions eventually break them. Even more surprising, one-third will break their resolutions by the end of the month, according to the New York Times.

But I've found a way to keep your promises that will get your new year started right'

See if this resolution sounds familiar: I plan to spend more time with my spouse and my family.

This is probably the most common promise I hear business owners make. However, most never fulfill that promise. They may come home for dinner once or twice a week and then soon enough they're back to their old habits and feeling guilty again about how they spend their time.

Why? Because they suffer from a lack of commitment.

In fact, in a study by Franklin Covey researchers found that 'lack of commitment' was cited by 30% of responders to their survey as their primary reason their resolution won't be reached. 'Having too many other things to do' was cited by 22% of respondents followed by 'forgetfulness' at 18%.

In other words, 70% readily admit that their resolutions for the new year will fail because it simply isn't a priority.


So what's the secret?

Here's something I've found very interesting. We run away from pain and run towards gain. This is true in just about everything. So what's the secret? Make failure so painful that you'll be fully committed to making the change you've promised.

For example, one of our clients wanted to make sure he was home by 6 PM 4 out of every 5 days in the week so he could spend more time with his wife ' something he had been promising for years. He felt no one else in the organization could do the work better than himself so he often found himself working longer and harder than everyone else.

He was allowed to spend one night of the week working late, but he had to call his wife ahead of time to let her know he wouldn't be home on time. But here's the kicker. If he didn't stick to his promise for 2 months, he had to make a donation to the American Nazi Party (imagine a Jewish guy like me on a Nazi website trying to figure out how to go about making a donation?!). We made the pain so great that he was going to do everything he could to make sure he kept his promise -- and wasn't about to let him fail either!

For another client, we had a similar bet. He had to be home every evening at 6 pm and he was prohibited from working in the evenings. If he didn't he had to purchase his competitor's product.

Did it work? You bet it did! We run away from pain and run towards gain.

So if you want to keep your resolutions and promises this year, make the pain of failure so great that you'll do everything you can to accomplish your goal.

Find a mentor or a friend who you trust to hold you accountable. In the cases I described above, I would actually call the client to make sure they still weren't at work after their deadlines. A 'safe person' who won't judge you but hold you accountable is important to help you keep your promise.

Try it for 30 days or even 60 days and I'll bet you'll keep your promises once and for all. Your family will love you even more for sticking to your promises.

Always taking you from where you are to where you want to go,


Jon Goldman, President