Right now, whether it is on Linkedin, Facebook, or any other social media/marketing platform, you cannot help but notice the annual rounds of suggestions, courses, and training proclaiming new year new you, set fresh set of goals for an amazing 2017.

To all of these, I say, ‘HOGWASH.' So once again you think a wagon has come off of Neils’ wagon. Well, the wheels have always been a bit wobbly, however, as usual, I am of course being a little facetious. I am not ANTI Goal setting rather perturbed by the volume of people, courses, trainers and even coaches who are missing the single most important point.

I believe the skill of goal setting in an essential one, a skill that improves with repetition, execution, and importantly completion. January every year sees a simply marketing drive to conflate real GOAL SETTING with the far less substantive ‘New Year Resolution.' By doing this, I would suggest that most professionals who engage in this sort of January flimflam sale will get nowhere.

Do not just take my word for it lets start by looking at things as they actual are. Then we can look at the real cause of the problem before I end by suggesting a way avoid the entire madness.

I like to deal with facts and figures so let us look at a couple:


“But for all the good intentions, only a tiny fraction of us keep our resolutions; University of Scranton research suggests that just 8% of people achieve their New Year's goals.”


How long do New Year's resolutions last?

Less than a year 86%

One month or less 66%

Less than three months 80%

Not even a month 43%

So let us say that the average reader of the article fell somewhere between the ages of 35-45 and started making new years resolution from the age of 16 this would mean that for 20+ years you have been making new years resolutions/goals. Now with at best a success rate of between 8-14% at the very best why do YOU keep doing it? I’m sure if in other areas of your life your success rate was as low you would have moved onto other more profitable endeavors by now.

The reason we carry on is that we ‘know’ goals work so continue to persist and yet fail to grasp the real opportunity to make our goal setting truly life enhancing/changing. I am sure you are all familiar with SMART targeting… ever checked your new year's resolution to this standard?

New years resolution tend to be in areas of life where currently we feel we have lost control. Now the mistake that everyone makes is in not recognizing that we define ourselves as much by our negative states as we do the positive. Why is this? Simply the mind at a fundamental level does not differentiate between a positive and negative belief as you would at the conscious level. Therefore your mind will do everything it can to prevent you from reaching your stated goal!

Take the number one new year resolution that of weight loss I bet we all know friends who see this every year. Firstly they lose weight then they put it all on again and ‘define’ themselves as a yo-yo dieter. We all have patterns of behaviors that are very hard to break unless we apply the correct framework.

My experience is that it is incredibly hard to reach your business potential on your own, we all need networks around to support us. We need to combine personal development with education/training.

So do not set goals as part of your new year's resolution at least not before you put in place the necessary framework to support you. Apply the same vigor to Goals whether they are personal or career. Apply consistent methodologies/techniques such as SMART combine coaching and training to flex the muscle of decision-making. Start small and build momentum and set goals all year round do not join in the once a year hullabaloo call New Years Resolutions.

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