Over 100 million Americans resolve to make a change in the new year, and most of them fail. For busy managers and executives, work is the main reason why.
It’s pretty obvious if you think about it. Business travel gets jacked up after the holidays, diets get shot down because of client dinners and ignoring all those inspiring exercise plans to padded little rooms on the hotel’s second floor. Emails come in, that distract from the phone-free family dinners and date nights.
Yeah, it’s easy to blame these resolution failures on the difficulty of work-life balance. However, sometimes work-life balance can actually be about using work skills to bring balance into your life. By the way, there is a skill you use at work every day that can totally change the resolution game.
Decisions Happen, Resolutions and Goals Don’t
A lot of advice about how to achieve your resolutions comes from theories about setting business goals. The idea is if you make your resolutions more like specific and measurable business goals, then you are more likely to achieve them.
That advice is a particular type of baloney. I call it “grass-fed bullshit.” It is objectively better than regular bullshit, but it’s still bullshit. Here’s a bullshit advice explainer chart:
|Type of Advice||Results|
|Regular Bullshit||10% follow through on resolutions|
|Grass-Fed Bullshit||30% follow through on business goals|
|Grass-Fed Steak||90% follow through on business decisions|
Fact. We are three times more likely to follow through on business goals than resolutions. That’s a real improvement. But the real truth is that most of the time we still don’t follow through.
The same types of issues that torpedo our personal resolutions step in and destroy our business goals. Just think, how many times have you explained away a missed goal because you had to fight a fire somewhere else? It’s not that different from taking those work calls from the movie theater with your spouse.
But there’s hope. We are nine times more likely to follow through on business decisions. That’s heavy duty on different level, as you can see from the chart. In fact, when it comes to making decisions, we almost always follow through. So why aren’t we all making decisions all the time?