Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? Or maybe you write goals for the upcoming year? According to a 2016 research study, 41% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions.

If your answer is yes to either question, I have another more important question. How successful are you in accomplishing your resolutions or goals? For example, how many months did you work towards your resolution last year before you quit?

Well, research shows only 9% of individuals complete their resolutions. Furthermore, research by Strava indicates by January 19th; most people will throw in the towel and quit their resolution.

So why do we make New Year Resolutions or goals? Because it is a time of new beginnings. The start of a new year is a time of reflection and preparation. We think about the things we should have done or want to do. During this time, we set the goals we want to accomplish for the year.

Now in full transparency, I no longer make New Year’s resolutions. Yes, I used to be in the 41%. So why did I stop making resolutions? Because I never completed them! I would get frustrated and revert to my typical behavior.

However, when I married my husband, something changed. So what? My husband became my accountability partner. Now, I have someone to remind me and hold me accountable.  

At the beginning of the new year, during our annual anniversary vacation, my husband and I review last year’s goals and craft our goals for the upcoming year. Then, throughout the year, we discuss our progress or lack thereof.

I would love to say we always successfully complete our goals, but that would not be true. However, our success rate has dramatically improved.

So how can you improve your success rate? Well, Marcel Schwantes offers four steps to assist you. They are:

  1. Set specific and challenging goals
  2. Set goals that you are passionate about and pursue them relentlessly
  3. Establish a support system
  4. Chunk your goals into smaller goals to reach your big goal

If you follow these four steps, you will be on the road to successfully achieving your goals.

“We are what we repeatedly do.”

– Aristotle

As a leader, if you don’t set goals, I highly encourage you to start doing so. But if you are like me, you are wondering how to improve your success rate. After all, you don’t want to be like the 91% of individuals who never complete their goals.

Will you improve your New Year’s Resolutions success rate this year?


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Dr. Kim Moore

About the author

I'm Kim, your Educational Leadership Guide. I equip educational leaders with research-based and experientially learned educational leadership principles and best practices to promote student success.