Keeping Our New Year’s Commitments


A New Year, A New Me.  Per published research, the three most common areas of New Year’s resolutions are to exercise more, lose weight, and improve overall health and well-being. I was surprised that in a list of twelve resolutions, reducing debt, saving more, or reducing consumption were not mentioned at all, although I was glad to see that spending more time with family and friends was on the list.   

Many people have these plans, and some have even begun the process.  Others are planning their big focus of personal change to begin the week of January 9th, some still celebrating New Year’s and not wanting to begin a major change mid-week.  Whether your personal change plan begins this week or next is not as important as is having a structured process for your plan.

I have written before about the difference in resolutions, plans, and commitments, stating that commitments are stronger than resolutions or plans, and therefore have a greater potential for success.  The words are not just a game of semantics; the distinction is real.  However, since many people think in terms of goals, “goals” will be the language used in the remainder of this discussion.

The percentage of people who have written goals has long been recorded, which is 3% of the population, and the percentage hasn’t changed much over the years. The 3% who do have written goals are far more successful financially, and I suspect otherwise, than the other 97%.   There is no question that by writing down our commitments, we greatly improve our potential for keeping those commitments.  There are many ways to record our commitments, not one right way.  I suggest a simple process for doing so.

Many people have three main priority areas, Personal, Family, and Professional.  Within these three areas are many areas of focus, such as Health, Spiritual, Financial, Career, Education, Cultural, Physical, and Relationships.  There are other areas of focus as well, and even sub groups within each of these areas.  While this process can be as specific or as general as desired, the more specific our goals, the easier it is to be clear about them.

One option is to set one overall general goal for 2017 in the three main areas of focus; Personal, Family, and Professional, and then more specific goals in each of those three areas.   I will give my three general goals as an example.  In the area of Personal, my goal for 2017 is; To Reach and Maintain a Weight of 127 pounds.  In the area of Family, my general goal is: To Continue to See our Grandchildren No Less Than Once a Month in 2017.  In the area of Professional, my general goal is: To Build My Speaking Business Around It’s in the SAUCE.   Now, the only one of these goals that is specific and therefore measurable is the first one, the personal goal.  It will be necessary for the sub goals in each of these three areas to be specific and measurable. 

For goals to be attainable requires that they have identifiable actions.  In the area of my general personal goal that includes: Attending Weekly Weight Watchers Meetings.  In the Family area, that includes: Attending the Birthday Celebrations of our Three Grandchildren.  In the area of professional, that includes: Marketing SAUCE to Past Clients in the First Quarter of 2017.  For each of these, a monthly goal will be set, as well as weekly goals.  With this structure, it will be possible to not just establish goals and actions, but also to monitor progress, and revise goals as appropriate. 

What has just been discussed is only one possible process for Goals Attainment, which is what’s important.  It is one thing to set goals, even specific and measurable ones, it is quite another thing to monitor progress.  The most important part of the process, however, is goals attainment.  We do not want this to be a writing exercise.  We want to achieve our goals.

Enough about me and my goals.  What are your 2017 goals?  What structure have you chosen to improve the possibility that you will attain your goals?

I could say more about this now, but I would risk eyes glazing over and total loss of interest!  On the other hand, I may write more about this in upcoming posts in January, hoping in doing so I will help others keep the focus on this subject that can become tiring.  It is too easy for the excitement of New Year’s Resolutions to fade away before the end of January. 

Hopefully there is enough information in this post for those who are serious about their commitments to get started. 

Do not let this early 2017 focus be a New Year’s fad. Our lives are too important.          


About Patti Fralix

Patti Fralix inspires positive change in work, life, and family through Speaking, Consulting, and Coaching in three specialty areas: Leadership, Managing Differences, and Customer Service. Her leadership firm, The Fralix Group, Inc., has been helping clients achieve practical and tangible results for twenty-two years.
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