“Start saving more money.” “Lose 20 pounds.” “Get a new job.” We’ve all made New Year’s resolutions…and we’ve all broken them – or, at the very least, we’ve put them off. In fact, approximately 80 per cent of resolutions fail by THIS WEEK (the second week of February), according to U.S. News & World Report. Here, we discuss instead of resolutions, using intentions to create change.

Don’t procrastinate – intend

Some may paint putting off the pursuit of their resolutions positively as “goal setting,” but in many cases, it’s just procrastination. Every day that we postpone taking action is 24 hours that we will never get back. Take a moment to review your resolutions or goals for the next 30 days, the next six months and the next year.

Next, reframe each one as an intention. The very word connotes power. The power of intention is a focused mind. When directing our brainpower toward specific actions to achieve the desired result, our mind is positioned to perform at its maximum capacity. Using intentions to create change is powerful.

Using intention

  • If you want to drop 20 pounds in 2021, don’t make a resolution to “lose weight.” Be much more specific with how you’ll lose weight and put numbers behind your goal. Write down, “Eat 1,500 calories per day to lose one pound per week. When my goal weight is reached, eat 2,000 calories per day to maintain my weight” (per dietary guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and USDA). If you wait five weeks to get started, you forfeit progress equaling 25% of your goal.

The same concept can be applied to business, investing, education, and even our family life:

  • To convert your resolution of “get a new job” into an intention.  Write, “Find a new job that meets all of my required criteria by sending out at least two resumes every day. Follow up on replies showing interest within 24 hours.” Delaying your focused job search could cost you compensation and, more importantly, happiness!
  • Instead of “spend more time with my family.” Write, “spend at least an hour of quality time with my family every weekday and at least six hours on weekends.” If you wait four weeks before implementing this intention, you may have missed out on 44 hours of quality time with your family.

The point is: Priorities and procrastination are incompatible. Leverage to your advantage your most valuable resource: your time. If you want something badly enough, don’t wait…start now. Especially if you’ve already started to drift from your resolutions, what can you do today to put your action plan in motion?

Resolutions lack power

Our New Year’s resolutions lack the power needed to create change when we approach them with wishful thinking when we don’t put thought into a plan for how to achieve them when we hope to get around to them “soon.”

Stop being someone who has the same New Year’s resolutions every year. Be part of the eight per cent of resolution-makers who achieve their goals, according to a study by the University of Scranton. You absolutely can find success by reframing your resolutions as intentions before another day passes.

Leigh Ann Errico founded LAeRRICO & partners in 2007. An organizational psychologist, executive and team coach, advisor, and consultant, she focuses on increasing workplace productivity and employee well-being, Executive Development, Individual and Team Coaching, and Leadership Strategy Consulting. Adult Stages of Development, based on research from Harvard and Dr. Suzanne Cook-Greuter, is the cornerstone of her practice.

Leigh Ann has specialized in successfully managing Human Capital for more than 20 years. She recently drove transformation as VP of HR with global pharmaceutical company Daiichi Sankyo. Earlier she served as VP of HR for Schering Plough (now Merck).

Leigh Ann has achieved numerous certifications: 

Leadership Coaching Certification Program at Georgetown University
Health & Wellness Coaching Certification Program at Georgetown University (March 2021 completion anticipated)
Corentus Team Coaching Certification Program
Certified to administer The Emotional and Social Competency Inventory (ESCI) for Emotional Intelligence with the Hay Group
Certified to administer the Team Conversational Norms Diagnostic Instrument
Studied under a Master Somatic Coach to harness the powers of Sensation, Breath, Voice, Mood and Center

Leigh Ann holds two Master’s degrees from Fairleigh Dickinson University: Organizational Behavior Psychology and Corporate Communications. Her BA in English and Human Resources Management is from Salve Regina University.