Updated: Dec 28, 2020

As we approach the threshold of a new year, most of us generally look at it as an opportunity to start over, pick up where we left off, overcome a bad habit, start something new, become better at what we currently do, be a better spouse or parent, lose weight, become better manages of their time, etc.

“New Year Resolutions” become the buzz phrase for at least the first three months but unfortunately most of these resolutions are broken in a matter of weeks. Cosmetic surgeon Dr. Maxwell Maltz, wrote a book called “Psycho-Cybernetics, A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life," which revealed the results of a study that eventually coined the phrase “It takes 21 days to form a habit”. There was also a spin on it that said the breaking of the habit, could take as little as three days (not scientifically proven), but this pattern can be seen as true when we study human behaviour. It is easier for us to do or revert to what is familiar than continue on with what is new (change), hence in most instances, there is an early bailout from a resolution.

Forbes 2013 article: “JUST 8% Of People Achieve Their New Years Resolutions”

Most resolutions are open-ended, which leaves room to easily acquit oneself from change. There are, at times, high levels of pessimism about the making resolutions and rightly so, because so many good intentions are followed by a history of bad habits, practices and climaxed with the familiar bad taste of failure.

The feeling of apprehension or anxiety to commit to a resolution generally comes from having the wrong approach i.e: Based upon where we are now (current state), and where we need to be (future state), there is not a full appreciation as to how large or small the gap is, and what needs to be done to fill it.

A consultant takes an approach of looking at the present and then the future. This approach gives a snapshot into where the individual or organization is and what needs to be done to get them to where they need to be. The same should happen with anyone making a resolution.

Here are some of the questions, that one should ask themselves when making resolutions;


• Who am I really?

• What am I doing presently that is good?

• What am I doing presently that I can do better?

• Am I happy with my current state? If no (see next bullet)

• Why?

• Where would I like to be?

• What is required of me to get there?

• Where am I devoting most of my time, thinking of SUCCESS, or of FAILURE? Not thinking of any at all?

• Have I developed over the last year? If so, how and in what way?

• What’s the next step?

These are just a few primary questions that will do one of two things about our resolutions.

  1. They can make us feel really good, empowered, optimistic and driven about ourselves/direction. Or,

  2. They can make us feel extremely bad, scared, dejected, worthless, etc.

Whatever the outcome, these questions are very relevant in relation to your development and the next step.

The next step to making that change is setting GOALS and taking action. Goals define or redefine the purpose and set things in the right direction. Without them we are a rudderless ship, knowing where we would “like” to be, but no planned direction as to how and when that destination will be reached. This is not something that should be rushed, but it is vital to the success of whatever is to be achieved.

Lastly, the main ingredient of any resolution is COMMITMENT. Without commitment, the purpose of the resolution and goal would be baseless. This is considered to be one of the hardest steps to any change towards growth or improvement. Commitment challenges our very being and sometimes puts us in a place of uncertainty.

This uncertainty creates a crippling feeling of fear and drives us to a halt. Human nature will always gravitate to anything that we are most comfortable with and as a result, some run away from their resolutions, easily reverting to what was familiar and sometimes unproductive, while consciously knowing we need to move from that place of comfort.

The significant problems we face today, cannot be solved at the same level of thinking from when they were first created. - Albert Einstein

One of my favourite quotes from Albert Einstein says "The significant problems we face today, cannot be solved at the same level of thinking from when they were first created”. Everything mentioned here has one thing in common, and that is it requires the mind to be tested.

Resolutions, Goals and Commitment are all intangibles, but once properly approached and executed can make a large tangible difference in our lives and the lives of others.

Research Resource-Statistic Brain:

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Diego Martin 

Trinidad, West Indies


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