How can you avoid New Year’s resolution deja vu?

How can you avoid New Year’s resolution deja vu?


It’s that time of year again - the time of year where the media tells all of us that we need to get fit and lose weight. Specials on gym memberships and Weight Watchers memberships; new dieting fads; and the ever-popular already skinny and fit people bragging about how much weight they’ve managed to lose and keep off.   Am I the only one experiencing a bit of deja vu? Weren’t we supposed to lose all of this weight last year? And the years before?


As a triathlete, I find myself experiencing the beginning-of-the-year gym rush each year. After the month of January, the treadmills at the gym are magically open, the pool is clear and the locker rooms are quiet. Why? Because those people who decided this was their year to get fit realized how hard it is and how much time it takes. The motivation is the hardest part, because realistically, we all have an extra 30 minutes we could be spending on a treadmill instead of watching TV, surfing the Internet, or socializing with friends.


I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions because I sometimes feel like they set me up for disappointment. I do, however, believe in constantly, no matter what time of year, setting realistic short-term goals that will undoubtedly help my reach my long-term goals.   Obviously you’ll have your own personal goals for 2014, but how can you set realistic New Year’s resolutions for your organization that won’t give you deja vu when it’s time for 2015?

1. Be realistic.

If you set your sights on the unreachable, it’ll be difficult to pave a path to get there. Make sure your long-term goals have a series of short-term goals to support them.

2. Don’t worry if you haven’t reached your goal by the end of 2014.

I’ve often found that as I begin my journey toward achieving a goal that there are little “surprises” that happen that can deter the track. Embrace those “surprises” and keep on keeping on.

3. Celebrate your smallest victories.

If your long-term goal is to increase your contributions by 25 percent, celebrate the fact that you got a really great donor email sent. Celebrating the victories, no matter the size, will help motivate you to reach your next short-term goal.

4. Let your goals be flexible.

When I think about where the world was when I began my career nearly five years ago, there was no way I could have anticipated where my career would go. Technology, public policy and public demands are everchanging. And your goals should be able to move right along with the changes.

5. Don’t throw out your old goals.

Just because it’s a new year doesn’t mean you should reset or throw out the progress you’ve already made. As the old saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

I’d like to wish each of you a very happy, healthy, safe and prosperous 2014.