3 Simple Tips to Make your 2020 New Year’s Resolutions Stick

Have you embarked on a New Year’s Resolution in 2020?

You’re not alone.

45% of Americans are likely to make a resolution this year and half of those resolutions are focused on self-improvement.

The biggest problem with New Year’s Resolutions is that the vast majority of people never achieve them. Statistics show that 1 out of 4 people will drop out after just one week of trying.

So, what’s the problem?

In general, we talk more than we act. Yes, I said it. We overcommit and underperform.

I’ve always loved this quote (the author is unknown): “People with good intentions make promises. But people with good character keep them.”

“People with good intentions make promises. But people with good character keep them.” - Unknown Click To Tweet

So, how do we become a keeper of promises?

It’s simple, do the opposite. We need to undercommit and overperform!

Follow these three simple rules:

  1. Set realistic goals. Be brutally honest about the effort it will take. Don’t be afraid to set easier goals in the beginning, especially if you are going to be making a big change.
  2. Fully commit. Once those goals are in place, fully commit to achieving those goals. Make a promise to yourself that you intend to keep.
  3. Just do it. Take daily action to meet your goal.

It sounds easy but let’s be honest, there’s a limit to effort and willpower.

Shear determination, effort, and willpower will only get you so far.

To make a real change to your lifestyle, you need to develop habits and patterns. You need to create daily activities and routines that make it easy for you to meet your goals.

The other thing to consider is, let’s be honest, you are going to fail.

You’re going to slip up. You’re going to cheat. You’re going to go back to your old habits. This is where most people give up.

The simple trick to not giving up is to remember Step 3 above, just do it.

If you fail one day or even one week, don’t worry or beat yourself up. Start fresh the next day and just keep going. Don’t wait another year before you start again.

Remember the promise you made to yourself.

And, remember these words from the great Winston Churchill, “Never, ever ever ever ever give up.

“Never, ever ever ever ever give up.” - Winston Churchill Click To Tweet

This is your year. Let me know how I can help you achieve your goals.

Engage with me on Twitter and let me know what changes you are making this year.

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If one of your resolutions is to read more, might I suggest my bestselling book, “I Have the Watch” where I share my experiences in leading people over the last 30 years?

After the Christmas rush, we have 51 signed copies back in stock. Click here for more details.

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What happens when we stop expecting people to be perfect?

As you are coming out of your Christmas food-induced coma, I thought I would share an important concept that will help you as you prepare for 2020.

One of the complaints I often hear from leaders is that leading people is difficult.

I’ll admit, there is some truth to this.

It’s actually the most common reason why so many people avoid going into management – They don’t want to deal with all the ‘people problems.’

There’s an old joke that says that the only way to get rid of all your people problems is to get rid of all your people.

While that’s technically true, you wouldn’t get anything done either.

The truth is, if you don’t like people, you really shouldn’t go into leadership.

Leadership is a people business.

Leadership is a people business. Click To Tweet

Our plans – all the things that we want to do – can only be accomplished with the help of other people.

All our ideas are dead without people to bring them to life.

But here’s the thing – People are messy!

And, yes – Dealing with people can sometimes be difficult.

But, you know what? You’re not perfect either (and neither am I).

If we’re honest, we all have things that make us imperfect as leaders. In fact, there’s really no such thing as perfect employees or a perfect boss.

If we really want to get things done, we need to stop expecting our people to be perfect.

If we really want to get things done, we need to stop expecting our people to be perfect. Click To Tweet

We need to look past their flaws and learn to appreciate each person as an individual.

People come in all shapes and sizes as well as all different kinds of backgrounds. They’re all going to react differently to your leadership style.

So, the sooner we get over the fact that everyone is unique and no one is perfect, the sooner we embrace the chaos that is “real people,” the quicker we can work together to get things done.

Which, by the way, is the role of a leader.

So my message for you today is simple – Embrace the chaos, love your people despite their flaws, and go get things done.

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And here’s a simple way you can love your people. Give them a gift of leadership as they prepare for the new year.

If you order a copy of my Amazon best-selling book, “I Have the Watch: Becoming a Leader Worth Following” before December 31st at 11:59 pm EST, I’ll ship an additional signed copy to anyone you want as a gift from YOU to THEM.

Just indicate their names, e-mail, and mailing addresses in the order notes.

Here’s the order link jonsrennie.com/ihavethewatchbook.

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What can a Christmas Movie about an Elf Teach us about Leadership?

Full confession. At one business I led, I used to dress up as Buddy the Elf (Yes. Yellow tights and all!) to deliver candy to all my employees during the Holidays.

That’s how much I love the movie Elf.

I actually have a Buddy the Elf coffee mug that I use at work every year from Thanksgiving to Christmas. In fact, I’m drinking from it right now!

I’m not the only one who loves this movie either. In the 16 years since its release, Elf has become a classic “must watch” holiday movie. Most people can quote at least one line from this hilarious Christmas comedy.

As I watched Elf again this year, I realize there were many powerful leadership messages in the story. Here’s some that I noticed:

Sometimes people just don’t fit in. Buddy the Elf was a human raised by elves. As such, he didn’t really fit into either world. As a leader, there are times when we have great employees who just don’t fit into an assignment or a department. We need to identify these people and put them in roles where they are a better fit.

Employees need to discover things on their own. Buddy the Elf learned his birth father, who he had never met, was on the “naughty list.” He went on a quest to find him to learn more about himself. Often times, employees need to do the same thing. They need to try new activities and be given stretch assignments to learn what they love. As leaders, we need to give people the freedom to discover what their true passions are.

People will always amaze you. When Buddy the Elf decides to decorate the toy department at Gimbels for Santa’s visit, everyone is shocked at his abilities. People will amaze you as well. Give them the chance to show you what they can do. As George Patton said, let them surprise you with their results.

Just smile. An employee once told me, I was her favorite boss. When I asked why, she explained that I always said, “thank you” and I smiled a lot. As a leader, we set the tone. If we’re upbeat and happy, our employees will sense that. Even when you’re having a rough day, remember to smile.

“I just like to smile; smiling’s my favorite.” Buddy the Elf Click To Tweet

Don’t pick a snowball fight with someone from the North Pole. Buddy the Elf befriends his half-brother when he shows off his unusual talents in a snowball fight. Leaders need to recognize when to fight and when to back down. Not every fight needs to be won. Pick your battles, whether it’s with employees, co-workers, or even customers. Always remember that discretion is often the better part of valor.

Sometimes we need to apologize.  When things didn’t initially work out with Buddy’s new-found family, he leaves an apology letter. Apologizing is often the hardest but most important thing we do as leaders. If we make a mistake, admit it and apologize. People know it’s hard to admit when you are wrong or hurt someone which makes a sincere apology even more powerful.

“I’m sorry I ruined your lives and crammed 11 cookies into the VCR.” Buddy the Elf Click To Tweet

Employees can spot a fake. Buddy the Elf quickly spotted the fake Santa and our employees will spot fakes as well. If you are not being genuine, authentic, and truthful, your employees will know. They can tell when you are not being real with them. Don’t think you can fake it around your team.

“You stink. You smell like beef and cheese! You don’t smell like Santa.” Buddy the Elf Click To Tweet

You need people to believe in your vision to bring it to life. Buddy the Elf knew people had to believe in Santa to make the reindeer fly. It’s the same thing with our visions. To bring our plans to life, we need people to understand and believe in them. Do your employees understand your vision? Do they believe in it? If not, it’s never going to get off the ground.

“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” Buddy the Elf Click To Tweet

Christmas season is a great time to gather and watch our favorite holiday movies. As you sit through Elf this year, think about the leadership messages.

Look for those employees who are not fitting in, find ways to let employees discover things on their own, give your people room to amaze you, find time to smile, choose your battles carefully, apologize, be authentic, and give your people something to believe in.

If we do these things, we will be more successful as leaders and, maybe, be as happy as Buddy the Elf himself.

Give the gift of leadership this Christmas by giving the leaders and future leaders a copy of my bestselling book, I Have The Watch.

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