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Successful Resolutions Aren't Made in January

business communication Jan 04, 2021

Everything starts over in January. The year, your earnings statements, health care benefits, and often your resolve at making big improvements. It makes sense. A brand new calendar, not just a new page in the calendar, feels like a clean slate and a very definitive time to commit to new habits, goals and resolutions.

Except it might not be right the right time for you.

It certainly isn’t for the Seahawks players I cover. There’s time for resolutions, new habits and goals in the offseason, but not now. 

After 20 years in locker rooms as a sports broadcaster and sideline reporter I’ve learned not to make New Year’s resolutions because the most successful people I know (the athletes I cover) don’t for two very good reasons.


  1. Your busy season isn’t the time to develop a new skill (or add more to your plate.) Maybe January is a slow month for you, maybe things don’t pick up until March or June. If that’s the case, go ahead and learn a new language, take an accounting course, get back to practicing the piano every day. If, however, January is hectic, busy and stressful, hit pause on all those big plans. You should be tweaking or adjusting during your busy seasons and adding to your skillsets during down times. Athletes know what they can fix immediately and what requires more intense work during their offseason. You should do the same.

 

  1. Routines that work shouldn't be changed or overhauled. Schedules and routines are everything during a sports season. Teams like the Seahawks go out of their way to make sure the schedule stays the same day-to-day and week-to-week. It’s rare the schedule gets shifted by more than 15 minutes at a time. Even during a pandemic there’s a focus on maintaining the same routine. If you change a routine that’s already working, you’re setting yourself up to fail. If you are adjusting your schedule to reach a new goal, let’s say adding meditation to your morning routine, adjust your schedule by the smallest increments possible to still see results.

If you haven’t had success with New Year’s resolutions in January consider choosing a different point in the year to set new goals. It doesn’t have to line up with what everyone else is doing. Take a page from inside an NFL locker room if you really want to be successful in goal setting this year.

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