Forget About Resolutions. Make A Plan.

What are your resolutions for next year?  Are you going to be more responsible?  Get back in shape?  Save more money?  Read more books?

You’ve been told that you won’t end up happy and fulfilled twelve months from now unless you put some resolutions down on paper.

But that’s only part of the story.

Making the resolution doesn’t earn you much besides a great “elevator pitch”.  You don’t make more money or have fewer problems simply because you decide in your head that that’s the way it should be.

Your resolution is just wishful thinking.  Good ideas and hopeful fantasies.

And there is nothing wrong with big dreams and wild goals.  But wanting more for yourself doesn’t mean your life will ever change.

You need to have a plan.

And you need to get serious about the details:

  1. Your plan needs to include deadlines and milestones.
  2. You need to take into account “backup options”.
  3. You should include a reward for completing progress.
  4. You might need to involve other people in helping you with your plan.

Think of it like how a world-class chef builds, a recipe.

You need raw ingredients. You need a process for combining the ingredients. You need to apply heat. You need to sample the finished product for quality and texture. And finally, you need to make sure the plating looks perfect. Presentation matters.

Think of all the things that turn a recipe sideways. The wrong cooking time, consistency, or handling process can dramatically alter the success of the final product.

And why is it that you can follow the exact recipe that the chef created and end up with a product that tastes horribly inferior to what the chef intended?

Maybe it’s because the plan means more to the professional.

He doesn’t make resolutions.

Just plans.

  • http://twitter.com/PeterSterlacci Peter Sterlacci

    Great post Dan. Resolutions are basically a silly cultural ritual that we engage in each and every year, and for what purpose? How many people actually keep their resolutions, right? Yes, having a plan is spot on and one that is a living and growing creature that adapts and morphs as things come your way throughout the year. Have a Happy New Year!

    • http://www.DanWaldschmidt.com/ Dan Waldschmidt

      My resolution for this year is to build a better plan… :-)


  • http://www.RebootAuthentic.com/ Gary Korisko

    Resolutions are a good thing – but waiting until New Years never made any sense to me. If I define something in my life or work that needs to be tweaked and improved, why wait until January? If I realize the problem on April 11, then April 11 is my day to start, right?

    Great point about the plan, Dan. You nailed exactly why most people’s resolutions don’t work: They’re not accompanied by a solid plan. They just admit that something isn’t right – and then pretend to address it.

    That’s why I’m not too worried about having plenty of room to breathe again at my gym by February!

    • http://www.DanWaldschmidt.com/ Dan Waldschmidt

      You are right about that, Gary. Having a plan is the key to doing something that is amazing….


  • Pingback: How to Keep Your New Year's Resolutions | The Small Business Storyteller

  • Leanne Hoagland-Smith

    The real gem in a plan is the act of planning. I love Pres. Dwight Eisenhower’s quote “Plans are worthless; planning is everything.”

    • http://www.DanWaldschmidt.com/ Dan Waldschmidt

      Well said…. I knew that you would be clued in on this. You are Queen of Planning.


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