The reason New Year’s Resolutions get dumped on so much is that the success rate is so poor.

But that’s partly because the way most folks make their resolutions is absurd: it’s December 31st, they’re bloated on weeks of too many calories, with a drink in both hands and cigarette behind the ear (nice), and they’ll say stuff like this:

“Next year I’m going to lose weight, quit drinking, quit smoking, and start spending more quality time with my family.”

Then, after the hangover passes they make a half-baked attempt at all the above and crash and burn within 10 days.

image of two champagne glasses clinking on New Years'

New Year’s Resolutions by themselves don’t suck. It’s your goal setting skills that do, since that’s all New Year’s Resolutions really are.

I will spare you the tenets of SMART goal setting — Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound — but definitely start there.

Beyond that, if I could emphasize only one thing, I would say simply to take advantage of this gap week and plan ahead. Spend time thinking about the different ways that achieving even one goal would benefit you and your family.

Then make a list of the daily habits that will lead to the goal coming to fruition.

Once you’ve done that, make a MUCH more important list: the things that will prevent you from reaching your goal, the habits and triggers or even people you must avoid.

Finally, ya gotta attend to the details and do a few dry runs. Join the gym. Book the AA meeting. Buy the groceries. Practice a recipe or two. Find an hour in your day that you could give to your kid. When you do this, you’ll discover potential roadblocks you won’t have otherwise thought about. You’ll also get a handle on these roadblocks in advance, so that they don’t throw you for a loop when it’s the real deal.

Then it’s go time.

Or you can just keep blaming 2020 for your lot in life (that dog don’t hunt no more in a week) and make a few impulsive goals over drinks that go absolutely nowhere.

And then declare that “New Year’s Resolutions are for losers.”

Uh, pot? Please meet kettle.

Take INTELLIGENT action now.

– Coach Bryan