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Jan 23, 2017

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Being Resolute vs. Making Resolutions

Every New Year is a fresh start and 2017 is no exception. As we face the year ahead, it is common to do a review of the previous year – the good, the bad, and the ugly. We tend to enjoy celebrating and reflecting on the good; but it is equally important to address the bad and the ugly. And – yes, for many that means making New Year's resolutions. Do resolutions really matter and do they work?

Forbes recently reported that only 8% of New Year's resolutions are achieved, equating to a whopping 92% failure rate. With a personal mantra of, "failure is not an option," this statistic troubled me. After thinking it through, I concluded that being resolute (always) vs. making resolutions (at the beginning of the year) proves to be a better framework for ongoing success.

For all good intents and purposes, a resolution is merely a statement of a goal if it lacks a plan and accountability for achievement. It is easy to declare I am "going to" and hard to actually deliver and do it. Being resolute, on the other hand, has teeth! It is who you are, what you are made of - full of passion, purpose and determination; demonstrated behavioral patterns with grit; a refusal to give up even after failing time after time.

If you need further proof of my conclusion, consider a few famous people who were driven to success because they were resolute despite multiple failures.

  • Super athlete, Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, did not give up, and turned into one of the greatest basketball players of all time. ESPN recognized Jordan as the greatest North American athlete of the 20th Century. The NBA website states that he is the greatest basketball player of all time and credits Jordan for popularizing the NBA around the world in the 1980s and 1990s. He was the first billionaire NBA player in history and did not stop there. Michael Jordan dabbled in professional baseball to honor his father and he was a member of the Gold Medal Olympic "dream team" not to mention his business success and product endorsement deals.
  • Prolific musicians, The Beatles were rejected by many record labels and then persisted even after being told that they had no future in show business. They rose to international prominence; changed attitudes about music, and affected popular culture and the musical style of U.S. bands. Credited as being the starting point of the British Invasion their honors include Grammy Awards, Academy Awards, and Lifetime Achievement Awards. Acclaimed Music even listed them as the greatest musical artists of all time.
  • Timeless beloved author, Theodore Seuss Giesel (better known as Dr. Seuss) was rejected by 27 publishers and kept trying until accomplishing great success and notoriety. Giesel wrote and illustrated 44 children's books that have been translated in over 15 languages. His books remain top sellers with over 66 million in sales and a favorite of both children and parents alike. Dr. Seuss has won 2 Academy Awards, Emmy Awards, A Peabody Award and a Pulitzer Prize.

So, at the start of this New Year I encourage you to ponder 2017 – what it may become based on how resolute you will be; AND, I leave you with some inspiring words from my favorite Doctor (Seuss that is).
"It's not about what it is it's about what it can become. You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go..."

Wishing you the best in 2017,
John C. Spier

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