It’s that time of year when everyone decides on a series of resolutions to better their life.

You are going to go to the gym more often. Lose weight. Spend more time with the family. Get out of debt. Get a new job. Start a new educational endeavor. Stop swearing. Use that treadmill as more than an extra closet.

According to most statistics, you will stick with your resolution for less than two weeks.

One of the reasons for your failure to commit is simple: you recognize New Year’s for what it is, the simple changing of a calendar year. You get caught up in the hype to make a resolution, and you do so. 

There is no commitment involved. No desire. No self-preservation. 

When I talk with clients who boldly tell me the resolutions they are making for the new year, I do my best to set them up for success by determining the motivation behind the need for the resolution. 

If there is no motivation, there will only be a temporary change. We all know change is hard; it is much harder without the proper catalyst for change. 

I have clients typically tell me three New Year’s Resolutions, and I will address them here: 

1: Get out of debt.

There are two types of people who tell me this. There are those who realize they are struggling financially and yet say something like, “Yeah, we could probably make some financial changes.” And then others tell me, “I am sick and tired of living paycheck to paycheck and worrying about money.” 

You and I each know which one will start winning: the one with a desire. The one who is finally pissed off enough to make the changes necessary to start winning.

2: Lose weight.

See above. When I ask them how much weight they’d like to lose, the ones who reply with a specific and realistic number have a chance of reaching their goal. The ones who had a negative checkup with the doctor recently are hit-and-miss with their success. For some, the bad news serves as a wake-up call for change; for others, it is a temporary scare.

3: Work less/Spend more time with their family.

I love when clients tell me this, as it means I am finally getting through to them. If you want to start winning at work (and home), protect your calendar and be deliberate in where you give/spend your time. Say no to unnecessary meetings. Do so politely, but say no. Communicate effectively with your co-workers and focus on achieving your outcomes and deliverables. Quit surfing FaceBook and LinkedIn at the office unless you are paid to do so. 

There is a theme I hope you noticed with each of the three: those who decide to be intentional will win. Those who feel compelled to say they want to make any of the three resolutions listed above will have temporary success (at best). 

When you decide to change, be deliberate and set realistic and time-bound goals. Track your progress. Celebrate small victories. Most importantly, keep the faith and stay the course. You may fail on the first attempt, but that doesn’t mean you are destined to be forever broke, fat, or unhappy.