Stop Planning to Fail!

In less than 48 hours millions of people are going to have a new attitude about their life and the world around them.   They are going to set goals to make changes that they can’t seem to focus on the other 364 days of the year.   Yes, in less than 48 hours millions of people are going to be starting their:

New Year’s Resolution!

The gym is going to be packed.  Budgets are going to be followed.  Promises will be kept.  New attitudes will appear at work.

But . . . for how long?

It’s very easy to talk about what we want and even set goals.  Why is it so hard for people to follow through on them?

My short answer is we allow ourselves to be pulled into a hundred different directions at once, we are easily distracted, we love the new and exciting, and we aren’t big fans of doing things that are uncomfortable and challenge us.

How do we overcome this?

My personal opinion comes down to our ability to articulate and organize our world and what we want out of it.   It’s real easy to say we want to lose weight or quit smoking or save money or have a better relationship with our children.  And . . . it’s awesome that people want to do this stuff to better their lives and the lives of the people around them, but what are people doing to give themselves the best chance at success?

I break life into four areas:

  • Health
  • Finances
  • Relationships
  • Careers

When I think about my world and I am setting my goals I really try to look at each of those areas objectively.   As I look at each area I am asking myself two questions:

  1. What goal(s) do I want to accomplish in each area?   Of the goals I create, which are my top priorities?  This step is important because it’s not productive to go full throttle and focus all your attention on one goal or in one area and ignore other goals and areas.  You will be off-balance and the needs of your other areas could prevent you from getting the results you want.
  2. How do these four areas need to work together for me to be successful?   Each area impacts another area.  For example:  If you set a goal of losing weight this could have significant impacts on your finances.  Some people get a gym membership or hire personal trainers.  You will spend more money on healthy foods than you will crappy foods.   You might want to start taking vitamins or supplements.  Losing weight can impact the people around you.  Wing night at the bar with your buddies might not work anymore.  If  you weren’t exercising previously, you’re going to have to make time now and that might impact time others are used to having with you.

My point is you can’t just set a goal, get excited, and go . . . well, you can, but chances are you’ll end up like the majority of people a year from now that will be setting the same New Year’s resolution as they did this year.

Perhaps Alan Lakein said it best: 

“Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail”

As you are making your New Year’s resolutions for 2011 you need to ask yourself . . .

Am I planning to fail?


About Jason Kiesau
Jason has been studying personal, professional, and leadership development for over 13 years and is passionate about helping people confidently pursue and achieve meaningful results. He is a speaker, trainer, coach, and author who works with leadership groups, emerging leaders, and young professionals. Jason is a contributing author with The Good Men Project and and was honored as a 2014 Forty Under 40, an award given to 40 local business leaders under the age of 40 who have demonstrated impressive career achievements and unparalleled community involvement. You can learn more about Jason at his website:

One Response to Stop Planning to Fail!

  1. Pingback: The Problem with Motivation « What's Your By 30?

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