According to the time management firm Franklin Covey, one-third of resolutioners don’t make it past the end of January. Such surveys have led to many people giving up and feeling they are already part of the statistics of failures even without starting or trying.
Over the years, we have ended up with two groups of people: The first group of people is those who believe in setting New Year resolutions, goals, and vision whatever you call it. These people believe in the importance of starting the year by envisioning what you wish to achieve for the year. Some are diligent and dedicated and walk the vision to the end regardless of the challenges they face. Whether they achieve the actual results anticipated or not, they get motivated and are happy by their dedicated discipline throughout the year.
This group of people believes that growth doesn’t just happen. You have to work, you have to put effort, you have to be focused, and you have to be consistent regardless of the challenges ahead. These groups believe that challenges are what define them, challenges are what make great leaders. Leaders were made for challenges! And if you are unable to concur yourself first, then you may not be able to concur with other spaces of leadership out there. Self-Leadership and Self-Discipline are what help these groups to concur themselves through the year to see their goals and vision to light. This group has mastered the art of pausing and allowing themselves to reflect. They have understood that learning to pause allows growth to catch up with them and can make the necessary corrections, improvements, and energize focus towards their growth trajectory.
However, others do it for fun, to feel good that they also have a plan somehow they can share in their circles. At the start of the year, they are well motivated to start well but do not have the discipline to keep growing into the year with consistency. This reminds me of what John Maxwell shared, “Motivation keeps people going, but, discipline keeps people growing”. The latter group does not have the discipline to keep growing into the year with consistent habits to see their resolutions, goals, vision into reality. They have not understood themselves, their capabilities, and strengths and this could be their undoing in their consistency.
They are unable to grow as they have not known themselves well. John Maxwell shared the Law of Awareness, “You must know yourself to grow yourself”. This group would be presumed to not know themselves, as they set out goals that they are unable to consistently follow through based on their strengths. But, are doing it at the start as part of the fitting in and having a feel-good spirit that they at least tried or at least they had the good intentions. However, good intentions alone don’t matter, good intentions without action are like being a dreamer without taking the initiative to act.
To see your vision, goal, resolution for the year through, you must be able to go beyond seeing yourself achieving to taking the steps every day towards your goals, having the right people surrounding you that will challenge you even in those difficult seasons and keeping the discipline to grow every day.
The second group of people is those that do not do their resolutions, goals, and plans. They have resorted to living by the day. They give themselves comforting reasons in many ways – I have allowed God to direct me, so am not planning, I am living me the day, my goals or resolutions is to make no resolutions, I do not want to make resolutions I can’t keep, resolutions are for children and many other excuses they give.
These are people who have given up on their capabilities or abilities, they are not sure what they can achieve and what they can’t achieve. They have allowed themselves to have limiting beliefs dominate their mind to a level of mediocrity. They have not understood their significance, they, therefore, have no story to write for themselves. They are unaware of what is important to them, so any action will do – living by the day. They, therefore, make their days not count, no goal to count for, so the goal that the day brings becomes their goal and they celebrate anything that comes their way and assume it’s what they are to achieve. This group does not believe in their capabilities and therefore does not understand that their beliefs drive their behavior. They end up living a borrowed or someone else’s dream or mission for the year.
They own their memorable days, weeks, months, and year by chance as they did not decide the outcome for their days, weeks, months & years.
Whichever group of the two you fall into, critical is for you to understand that your growth for this year will not just happen by chance, it will take action, efforts, and consistency by you. Your cost of success is you. It doesn’t have to be a big fight with yourself for the year, but, you need to start from where you are and be committed to making small changes. Focus on your strengths and align your goals with your areas of strengths. If you align your goals and resolutions in the areas of your weakness which is what most people do, you will not achieve them as you will not be motivated on them and consequently, you will not develop the discipline to see yourself grow in the goals.
“I want to lose weight in 2022, maybe this is you but, your strength is not in the gym, or you may not have the financial muscle to pay the gym for the whole year, yet you insist on enrolling in a gym anyway the first month. You will not sustain the gym to the end and you will give up and be frustrated. Why not keep the resolution or goal and say I will walk 3 times per week instead and see how you can attain your goal by also working within your areas of strength rather than weakness.
Whatever your resolution or goal for the year is, to lose weight, eat healthier or change diet, get fitter and take more exercise, spend more time with family and friends, be more aware and take care of mental health, sort out finances and cut back spending, and many more, align them with your areas of strengths and follow through with discipline by developing your strategy for execution.
When we operate in the areas of our weakness, we create goals and resolutions aligned t our weaknesses and end up creating excuses for not having the discipline to execute the goals to succeed.
Therefore today make a conscious choice to always operate in the areas of your strength. This is what will trigger you to understand your why in life and even for the year 2022. Living out your why in 2022 will give you the confidence, motivation, and discipline to grow and attain your resolutions, goals, plans, and whatever the name you call it: the bottom line is, it is your “Personal Growth Strategy” (PGS) that you are playing with. You decide to let it be a worldly growth strategy, so whatever comes your way, whichever side the wind blows you are okay. Or you FOCUS, employ SELF-DISCIPLINE, build CONSISTENCY and be AUTHENTIC to create your PGS and see it to the end!
The key to personal growth and success is recognition that no one else can do the work and make the effort in our place.
About the Author
Gilbert Ang’ana is the CEO of Accent Leadership Group. He is an expert source for topics relating to all matters leadership, coaching, and organization development and a regular content contributor to various online publications. Gilbert is also a Director at Innovate Leader Academy an online academy that teaches matters leadership. He is a Leadership Coach, Scholar, and an Independent Research Fellow. You can reach him through www.stepafrique.com