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Resolutions Without Resolve Will Not Get You Anywhere

NewYear2015Do you typically make a few New Year’s resolutions? It is widely known that over 50% of New Year’s resolutions are broken within the first seven days of the New Year. Another 50% of the remaining resolutions are broken by January 15 – meaning 75% of the brand new and created New Year’s resolutions are broken within the first two weeks and a day into the New Year.

What are we to learn from this information? Is it that most people do not know how to create a meaningful resolution? Is it that there is no accountability process to keep people on track for their resolutions? Are these possible reasons? Yes, of course. The reality is the majority of us – yes, all of us – do not embrace change. People do not embrace change. For change to become of importance the resultant benefit, value, or return on change – the ROC, the return on change – must be clearly defined, processed and internalized.

How can we prove this is true? What if you insist it is an accountability issue, and once accountability is put into place then resolutions will be kept? One example may be taken from one of the most popular personal New Year’s resolutions. This would be to lose weight and to get fit. The numbers speak for themselves. The highest spike in new memberships at health clubs and paid gym membership clubs is the period directly after New Year’s each and every year. Personal Trainers are hired and scheduled out during this period for anywhere from three weeks to three months of training one on one with new clients.

Let’s review – money has been spent which will most likely be charged monthly to a credit card. A personal trainer is paid a deposit or a full payment to meet with the new member for the next three months two or three times a week. Initially people will show up each day or three or four times a week. By the second week, they are skipping more days of working out. The trainer is sitting and waiting for the client and the client does not show up. The accountability is there and built into the system, yet people willingly are paying and simply not showing up.

Take this example now and let’s add in the buy in and the ROC, return on change, for one person. Let us say there was a heart incident. The personal physician for this person explains the life or death potential results unless diet and workout regimens are put into practice. Specific goals with timeframes are established. In this exact scenario more people will build upon their days at the new health club they joined. They will rarely miss an appointment with their personal trainer.

This example may seem dramatic to you. It does prove the point. One item to note, even in the case described, there is a measureable percentage of people who still will not show up! What else is missing?

It is something referenced as PITE, Personal Investment of Time and Effort, in my keynotes and work with clients. A person must be willing to personally invest their time and effort to effectively create change in anything they intend to create lasting change in.

Now consider for yourself, right now, what might you personally need to change?

Mitch Tublin is an advanced certified executive and personal coach who resides in Stamford, CT.



  1. Great article, Mitch. These are pretty alarming statistics; especially about the behavior of those hiring personal trainers. Your example of a health related impetus for change is a good one. I think a lot of people wait until the pain of staying the same is more than the pain of changing…then, they will commit to change. Usually, an event triggers this…not a date on the calendar. I am all about goal setting and making goals manageable, actionable and trackable. The thing about the New Year though is it is usually a time of reflection and that can create positive changes. Great article:-)

  2. Those stats are high! and I see this type of thing with my clients – they wait until they have full-blown anxiety and panic attacks before seeking help. If only I could convince them to take care of themselves and reduce stress sooner. They really need a Personal Investment of Time and Effort.

  3. It comes down to how important are their goals. I’ve met people with diabetes whom the doctor gave diet and exercise plans and they’d rather eat cake. We can lead by example, and give them great articles like this one, and ultimately they have to make the choice to follow through.

  4. “Most people do not know how to create a meaningful resolution” So true! That’s why I encourage them to set goals instead. Resolutions are very hard and often undefined. Goals are something to strive for and the very nature of a goal encourages you to set parameters for it.

    Wishing you a wonderful New Year.

  5. Mitch, to me the most important line in this post is “A person must be willing to personally invest their time and effort to effectively create change in anything they intend to create lasting change in.” Goal setting and the motivation to succeed comes from within. Happy New Year Mitch!

  6. Amen, Sugar! You gotta be willing to invest of YOURSELF into the process to make your wish come true! “Wish upon a Star” is a pretty song. Make it Happen is a beautiful REALITY!! 😉 XO, Katherine.