According to a YouGov® poll just under half of those who made new year’s resolutions at the start of January say they have managed to keep some but not all; and around a quarter of these say they kept none of them. As business owners, when thinking about resolutions made at the start of the year, it is really important to understand why this is, and how to ensure we remain steadfast in our resolve to keep them.

8 Reasons why New Year’s Resolutions Fail
1. You need to change the process in order to get the result
It may sound obvious but getting your desired outcome can only happen if you take the right steps along the way to facilitate the end result you want.

2. Change does not happen overnight
You start the new year with loads of energy and with a clear plan of the goals you need to achieve your desired outcome, and yet you are impatient to see results. However, resolutions are a marathon not a sprint. Your business resolutions will require adjustments, and (like adopting a healthier diet) implementing small, achievable changes over time will help get you to attain the end result you want.

3. Setbacks happen
Even if you’ve remained focused with your eye on the end goal, there will always be something that unexpectedly happens to put a spanner in the works. Setbacks are inevitable but if you don’t have a strategy to cope with setbacks, then it is easy to give up.

4. You’ve gone all out
It is exciting to have ambitious goals, but it is easy to get disillusioned when it seems there is a long way to go. Break them down into achievable chunks – setting smaller targets helps you to see the progress you are making towards that bigger resolution.

5. You need to be adaptable
Plans and circumstances change. It is important to check in with your initial resolution to determine if it is still worth keeping and continues to make sense. Maybe you haven’t made as much progress as you want – try to understand why that is and consider if it still makes sense to work towards that same resolution. There is nothing wrong in abandoning a goal for another if it improves the outcome for your business.

6. Your resolution is not realistic
Goals which bring about your resolution, need to be achievable. Track your progress to get feedback so that you know you are on the right track, and to make yourself accountable. Keeping watch on your progress is a good way to remain motivated and focused on the end result.

7. You didn’t plan properly
Every resolution needs a specific plan to ensure it happens. Setting goals is a way to direct your work so that you can take tangible steps towards the conclusion you want.

8. You didn’t have the right support
Accept that you can’t do everything on your own without support from others. Utilitise the key strengths of others whether that is within your business or from external experts. Ensure those working for you understand your desired outcome and how you plan to implement it.

How to Stick to your New Year’s Resolutions
SMART objectives are a great way to keep you focused on keeping any resolution. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-focused. Implementing these will give any new year resolution the opportunity to succeed:
• Specific. Know what the end result will look like, be clear on what the desired outcome should be.
• Measurable. What does that success look like, how will you know you’ve achieved your goal?
• Attainable. Do you have the resources in place to follow through on your resolution?
• Relevant. Is this the right resolution for you at this point in your business career; do you really want it? Is this the right priority for you now?
• Time-focused. You know where you want to be by the end of 2020, how can you track your progress over the year?

A new year’s resolution for your business should be viewed as a specific desired outcome. Break it down into achievable goals and monitor your progress as you move forward. Your resolution therefore becomes a new process to implement, rather than a single weighty goal to be achieved by the end of the year.