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New Year’s Resolutions:
How to Turn Your Good Intentions into Real Results



About 100 million Americans are getting ready to embark on one of the most common year-end traditions: making a New Year’s resolution. Yet, despite their popularity four out of five Americans will not achieve their goals.

new year's resolutions

Four out of five Americans do not follow through with their New Year’s resolutions.


At the most basic level, it’s because our resolutions often set us up for failure. Consider these popular New Year’s resolutions listed on

  • Lose weight

  • Manage debt

  • Save money

  • Get a better job

  • Get fit

  • Eat right

  • Get a better education

  • Reduce stress

In Franklin Covey’s annual New Year’s Resolutions Survey found that the top three goals for this year were to get out of debt or save money, lose weight and develop a healthy habit such as exercising or healthy eating.

Notice anything in common?

They’re all broad concepts that, while good in theory, do not propel you into action. Rather, they may seem entirely overwhelming, leading you to burnout before you’ve even begun. Achievable goals, on the other hand, should be specific, bite-sized and concrete, such as:

  • Jog for 30 minutes during my lunch break on Wednesdays and Fridays.

  • Tell my spouse “I love you” at least once every day.

  • Drink water instead of soda with my dinner, at least four times a week.

Making your New Year’s resolution specific and tangible like these will help you to beat the odds and actually achieve your goal … but there is more to it than even that.

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Attitude and Commitment: The Secrets to Turning Intentions into Actions

When Franklin Covey polled over 15,000 customers for their New Year’s survey, they found that 35 percent had broken their New Year’s resolutions by the end of January. The top contributors to this failure had everything to do with attitude and commitment:

  • Close to 40 percent said they broke their resolution because they had too many other things to do

  • 33 percent said they were not committed to the resolutions they set

It’s all too common, especially around the busy holiday season, for our attitudes to turn negative, and leave you feeling an array of emotions that will sabotage your good intentions. Are you experiencing any of the following right now?

  • Overwhelmed: Having committed to too much.

  • Overburdened: Feeling anxiety over demands others are placing on you.

  • Stressed: Financial, career and family problems are getting to you.

  • Tired: Physical and mental fatigue that wears you down.

  • Fearful: About the economy or personal matters.

new year's resolution

In order to achieve your goals in 2009, you must first get your mind, thoughts and beliefs in the right place.

You have the ability to change these feelings for the better by directing your thoughts and actions in a more positive direction.
Each time you feel the urge to think about what you don't want -- fear, anxiety, stress, anger, etc. -- reverse that thought to your desired state of mind (peace, contentment, joy). Then focus and allow the positive state of your mind to impact your body -- remember the concept of mind over matter.

This can include being happier in the worst of times financially by focusing on the most important and valued things that you know will make you healthy and well … things like family, friends, nature, and spirituality.
If you believe … you can and will achieve whatever you put your mind to do (be it good or bad).

Recommended Reading

Guided Imagery: What It Is and How It Is Being Used to Help People Heal

The Top Nine Steps to Set and Achieve Your Goals in 2008

Sources Popular New Year’s Resolutions December 9, 2008

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