As the year comes to an end, this is a time many people reflect on that past 12 months and think about the coming 12 months.

Millions of people make resolutions only to quickly resort back to behaviors that are familiar. The very behaviors that keep them stuck.

Rarely do people keep their resolutions for the entire year. According to U.S. News, approximately 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February, so the odds are against you.

The top resolutions are:

  • Lose weight
  • Exercise
  • Stop smoking

Other popular resolutions are to pay off debt and save money.

Sales Are Up

Any business related to health and fitness, weight loss, smoking cessation and money tend to see a substantial increase in sales at the beginning of the year.

Books related to these topics see an increase in sales at year’s end through the first few weeks of the year. (Authors, take note here that if your books relate to these topics, now is a great time to remind potential readers where they can access your book).

Yet, within a short period of time, people are right back to where they started.

Why Resolutions Don’t Work

If people don’t stick to resolutions, why do they set them? Simple. They want to believe “this time will be different.” Yet unless you change your thinking and actions, not much will change.

Does this mean you should simply throw up your hands and give up, resigning yourself to never making changes? Absolutely not.

What it does mean is coming up with a plan that is more realistic and involves daily actions toward the outcomes you seek.

Convictions Work

Rather than resolutions in the coming year, what about convictions? Convictions on how you treat yourself, others, what you eat and don’t eat, how you take care of your health, what causes you will get involved in, and how you treat your loved ones.

Convictions and commitments to how you run your business, treat your clients and customers, vendors and all those connected with your business.

Convictions and commitments to playing full out, standing up for what you believe in and knowing your voice counts if you are willing to let it be heard.

Convictions and commitments to the well-being of children, elderly and animals. Conviction and commitments to be the voice for those who don’t have a voice.

What are you willing to move toward to live fully, love deeply and make a difference each day?

What are your convictions in the coming year?

Whatever it is you say you want to change, you absolutely must be more committed to the change in behavior and actions than maintaining the status quo of your current behaviors.

The thing to keep in mind is this; you may not always feel like sticking with your plan of action, so you must put safeguards in place to assure success.  One of the most self-defeating behaviors is to say, “I’ll do this tomorrow.”

Tomorrow rarely comes. Saying you will do something tomorrow, start next week, begin in a few days, or whatever lies you tell yourself, is setting yourself up for failure.

Start right where you’re at. Don’t wait.

One of the best ways to stay the course is to find an accountability partner. Whether it be for your health, your finances or your business, having someone to share the journey with can make a huge difference.

Another way to stay the course is to join a mastermind group. Finding a group of people who are committed to the success of others in the group is a powerful way to stay the course.

Regardless of what you say you want to accomplish, the bottom line is this; you have to be willing to do things differently in order for change to be permanent.

What are you willing to do to make this happen? What changes do you need to make? What daily actions do you need to take?

Resolutions are made to have a better quality of life. However, simply making a resolution rarely accomplishes this outcome.

Commitment, conviction, daily action and having the willingness to put in the time and effort are more likely to result in the kind of life you say you want.

It may not be easy, but it will be worth it.