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Innovation Insights
by Stephen Shapiro

Setting New Year’s Resolutions That Can’t Fail

Once again it is that time of year when we look forward into the new year. We set our resolutions. Lose 10 pounds. Stop smoking. Get out of debt.

Unfortunately, most resolutions are about fixing what is wrong with you rather than bringing pleasure into your life.

In addition, most resolutions are target- and time-based goals (e.g., lose 10 pounds by the end of the year). These just set you up for failure. It’s no surprise that according to a survey of mine, only 8% of people are successful in fulfilling their resolutions.

And those who do achieve their resolutions are often no happier. When you focus on a target-based resolutions, you are focused on the future rather than the present. As a result, you miss the “hidden” opportunities around you, and miss out on the joy of every day life.

What’s a more creative alternative?

Rather than setting specific, measurable goals, set a New Year’s Theme. A theme is one word (or set of words) that serves as your “game” for the year.

In the past, my themes have included “flexibility.” That year, I got rid of almost everything I owned to the point where I was able to move apartments in the back of a taxi with only two trips.

Some past themes of mine include “platform,” “impact,” and “creating a movement.” Readers of this blog have sent me their themes which have ranged from “laughter” and “joy” to “new beginnings” and “(embracing) imperfection.”

I am still formulating my themes for this year and will announce them next week.

Setting a New Year’s Theme is fun. It’s easy. And it enhances your every day creativity.

If you want to learn more about setting resolutions that work, try some of the following resources:

Happy Holidays!