New Year’s resolutions seem destined to fail. Still, it may make sense for business leaders to commit to such resolutions, provided they have a clear purpose behind them and they draw up a detailed plan to achieve their goals.

New Year’s resolutions have a less-than-stellar reputation. Amid the exuberance of the celebrations that accompany the passing of the old year, many feel compelled to pour their hopes for a better future into various resolutions. Once the dim reality of day-to-day life inevitably sets in, people are quick to toss their resolutions aside as impractical and unrealistic ramblings of an alcohol-fueled imagination.

new years resolution

New Year’s resolutions are expressions of our hope for a better future. 

Why Do New Year’s Resolutions Fail? 

The majority of those who make such resolutions fail to stick to them for an entire year. Some give up on their new goals within a week. And such people make up 25 percent of all those who make resolutions.

Less than half make their resolutions stick past the 6-month mark. And only eight percent stay on track after a year.

We tend to make our resolutions in the heat of the moment. Therefore, most New Year’s goals lack substance and definition. They are vague attempts to chase new experiences and do not reflect a real commitment to change.

In my leadership coaching and development books, I have jotted down such exercises to leadership immaturity.  Real change requires a commitment to developing new habits through self-reflection and keen self-awareness. Resolutions that lack commitment come without a concrete plan to achieve well-defined goals.

Should You Make a New Year’s Resolution? 

Does it make sense for a leader to make New Year’s resolutions in light of how prone such exercises are to failure?

In addition to the poor track record of resolutions, the study I cited also established that people who made such promises to themselves were ten times more likely to achieve their goals than those who chose other paths for self-improvement.

Well-formulated resolutions that carry substance do make sense for leaders and employees alike.

Lend Substance to Your New Year’s Resolutions

Meaningful resolutions come with a plan and strategy. Those who stick to their resolutions past the one-year mark establish well-defined goals, break them up into more manageable bits and set a practical plan to achieve what they want.


Commitment is the lynchpin between theory and practical success. 

Commit to change certain aspects of your life, and do not underestimate the effort and time it takes to develop new habits and integrate them into your everyday existence. Leadership coaching professionals understand that it may take months to effect real, lasting change in behaviors.

Make Sure You Know What You Want and Why You Want It

You can’t pursue a goal that does not exist. Define the goals that make up your resolution and write them down on paper. Executive coaching professionals can attest that writing down your goals gives them clarity and a physical presence.

It doesn’t hurt to know why you want to achieve the goals you outlined in your resolution. Then the “why” lets you establish a purpose for your plan to go with your vision. Once you have a purpose, you will find a way to turn your goal into a necessity instead of an option.

Worthy New Year’s Resolutions for Business Leaders

Make your New Year’s resolutions count. If you’re going to make an effort, make it meaningful.

  • Delegate more and do it better. Small business leaders tend to feel that they need to do everything themselves. This way, they fail to scale up their businesses, missing opportunities and getting bogged down in menial tasks.
  • Promote your business more. Having a marketing plan is a must for every small business. Create one or hire a business coaching expert to do it for you.
  • Pick up a new skill. An executive coaching expert can help you pick a skill and master it, adding a new dimension to your life and leadership.
  • Pay more attention to networking. Renewing your focus on networking can revitalize your leadership and business.
  • Don’t settle for just making do. Address the aspects of your business that are barely adequate and hold you back at times. Commit to getting rid of these problems and improving your potential.

If you have goals worthy of chasing, commit to them right now. You don’t have to wait for the New Year to take meaningful action.

Pick up my books to learn more about leadership, business coaching, and commitment to positive change.


Back to blog