What is a resolution anyway?

I hear this same question at least once every year “what is your New Years Resolution?” It seems that this is a required task that we all need to accomplish when it comes to January 1st. After all, you never hear anyone in June talking about the resolution they are planning for January.

So, since this is a required task, I thought that I would take a moment and help you accomplish your goal. First, it would seem best if we agreed on exactly what a resolution was. For this reason I have decided to provide you with the definition.

res·o·lu·tion -ˌrezəˈlo͞oSH(ə)n/
1. a firm decision to do or not to do something.
“she kept her resolution not to see Anne anymore.”
(resoluteness, single-mindedness, firmness, firmness of purpose)
2. the action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter.
“the peaceful resolution of all disputes.”
3. a quick statement made on January 1 indicating an action or actions that need changing, or implemented, to improve one’s life.
“my new years resolution is to exercise more.”

The problem with most resolutions is that there is very little thought placed in making them or any thought on the plan necessary for them to be successful. As leaders, if we would take the time to evaluate the entire process of resolutions, and we could easily determine that most people fail in accomplishing their goals. They have a vision without the willingness to determine the necessary steps to accomplish the goal.

I read an article in Forbes Magazine a while ago where it stated that “University of Scranton research suggests that just 8% of people achieve their New Year’s goals.” Let that sink in for a moment, according to this study, there is a 92% failure rate.

Now we need to give praise where it is due. The idea of coming up with a goal is commendable. We can determine that most people have the ability to see that change is needed; they only lack the ability to determine the steps needed to be successful. They lack the encouragement, the coaching, the accountability. Using a familiar word of a friend of mine, they lack a “system” to get it done.

This is where we, the leader should come into the picture.
I am not going to give you a challenge for the week in this blog. Instead, I am going to provide you with a challenge that could last an entire year.

There is no doubt that you will be hearing of your friends, your colleagues or team members making resolutions over the next couple of days. I challenge you to follow up and ask them a few questions. And after they answer, I want you to follow up and be the leader that you are called to be.

Here are the questions.
Once you hear the resolution, ask them….
“Why do you want to make that change?”
“If you were to be successful with this change, what would that look like?”
“Do you have a time frame for accomplishing this goal?”
“How can I help you be successful?”

After they answer these questions, you need to make a commitment to them to help them be successful. After all, that is the core purpose of a leader, helping others be successful.