With 2013 quickly approaching, how many resolutions will you imagine compiling for your business over this next month? And exactly how many of them will have fallen off the radar by February 1st? Resolutions have a low success rate, and there’s a good reason for that, they are nothing but ideas.  Refurbish your resolutions so they won’t fail – turn them into actionable goals!

Here are 5 reasons why your company’s resolutions may fail unless you turn them into goals:

1) Resolutions are usually not written down

Resolutions tend to be objectives in our head and we usually don’t write them down, or share them with others. But, there is a huge benefit to gain by writing down a goal.  A study conducted by Gail Matthews, Ph.D., at the Dominican University, found that when we write down a goal, our chance of achieving it goes up by about 50%!

Try turning that idea in your head into a written goal.

2) Resolutions do not have “key activities” tied to them (no action plan)

Resolutions may arise from a sudden motivation, possibly brought on by the beginning of the New Year, and the feeling of having a “fresh start.”  But motivation is difficult to maintain. It is much easier and, as the research shows, far more effective to simply follow a written action plan consisting of “Key Activities”.

For example, have you heard of the story of the three frogs on the log? There were three frogs sitting on a log. One resolved to jump off. How many were left sitting on the log? The answer is three. To decide to jump off is very different than actually taking the leap.

Your likelihood of success is much greater if you implement “Key Activities,” rather than if you simply intend to accomplish a New Year’s Resolution.

Goals are meant to be achieved; all you have to do is work on your key activities.

3) Resolutions aren’t closely linked to our organization’s most important values

New Year’s Resolutions can be a great way to come up with new ideas to grow our businesses. However, they tend to be quick, in the moment decisions, based on something we intend to improve.

For example, in a moment of sudden excitement you decide that your company should increase prices to immediately impact cash flow. However, if your business’s core values include always providing high value to the customer, this resolution would be in conflict with an important value.

It is extremely important to be aware of a few of your company’s most important values. These key values always need to be reflected in your efforts, your decisions, and your business plan.

If you are looking to make important improvements to your business, be sure to have written goals and key activities that are tied to your organization’s values.

4) Resolutions tend to put the burden of change on YOU

Do you really need one more commitment, task or issue? If a resolution resides in YOUR head, then of course, the responsibility falls on YOU as well! You already have enough on your plate.

With a written goal, the accountability can be assigned to one or many of your employees. Your job as the owner or leader of your company may simply be to keep track of the progress others have made. Are they implementing their key activities?

Accomplish your business growth and manage others by introducing and advancing a disciplined goal process that you work on as a team.

5) Resolutions often lack a set timeframe

Resolutions tend to float and have no urgency. This is a major reason why they are so easy to push aside or to forget. I am a much bigger fan of setting clear business goals for the New Year that have specific deadlines.

Don’t just resolve to accomplish something great in 2013.You now have the tools to transform a resolution into something actionable, a goal!

Are you ready to work with your team to identify the right goals for your business, get into action, and enjoy your successes?

Leave us a comment and share how you and your business turned resolutions into goals. Have a Happy New Year! It’s going to be a great one!

Ed Kelly, is the founder of Summit Journey Coaching, Goal Achievement & Success Coach, and proud entrepreneur.