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Our intentions may be great however the reality is that many people fail to live into their goals and often end up worse off at the end of the year than they were at the beginning of the year.

According to research conducted, and published, by Statistics Brain, most people are destined to fail. Consider the following:

  •  45 % of Americans usually make New Year’s Resolutions.
  •  8% actually succeed.
  •  39% never succeed.
  •  75% make it through one week.
  • 46% last six months.
  • 39% of people in their twenties succeed.
  • 14% of people over fifty succeed.

Some things to garner from the research:

  •  92% of people will not fully succeed.
  • The older we get, the less likely it is that we will succeed.
  • People start strong and finish weak.

All of this being said, it has been my observation, in working with thousands of people, that in order for permanent change to occur we require the following three necessary shifts:

1. A Strong Emotion, Either Positive or Negative, Attached to the Goal.

For example, if a person is getting married and has a vision of walking down the aisle a size or two lighter, and constantly visualize how their soulmate is going to lovingly gaze at their newfound buff physique, then the likelihood increases.

If this same person has a strong aversion to how people may respond if they have rolls hanging over their Spanx, or pants for that matter, and envisions people talking behind their back, they are also more likely to succeed.

Either way – the emotion must be strong; we are moving away from pain or we are moving away from pleasure. If there is not a strong emotion, we will not achieve the goal!

2. A Clearing

One of the reasons that people fail to achieve their resolutions is that they lack a clearing to obtain what they want.

A clearing, in this case, is time allocated in the schedule to pursue the goal.

People often attempt to achieve a resolution without changing their day-to-day schedule and thus, fail to make progress.

If we want to have a better body, we require time to workout.

If we want to make more money, we must allocate time to work on our resume, develop a business idea, or generate more clients, and repeat customers, in an existing business.

Often, creating a clearing requires eschewing another activity in order to provide the time we need.

It may mean not watching television or giving up some volunteer activities.

Time is finite and it is the one universal commodity we share.

People who achieve their goals carve out the time required to get it done.

3. A Willingness to Change

This may be the toughest one.

Without a willingness to change, we will never fully realize our resolutions.

To live into a new body, have more money, or be more organized means that we must change something, or several things.

Change, for many, is the culprit of sabotage because it feels so uncomfortable.

We are inherently wired to avoid danger and change can feel dangerous.

The clients, and students, that I have mentored to achieve their goals have generally made small changes at first so it wasn’t overwhelming.

Instead of saying something like, ‘I am going to dedicate eight hours per day into this new venture,’ we start with one hour and we get focused on productivity, as opposed to busy work, so we can squeeze every result possible out of that hour.

Occasionally, I work with someone who has, what I refer to as, a monkey on their back.

They have a situation where it has now become critical that they achieve a result.

For example, they may have had a medical scare and must lose weight or their partner was laid off and now they must create more income.

In cases like this, it becomes necessary to make significant changes in order to get the appropriate result.

I let the client, or student, know that this is going to be challenging up front and the only way they are going to be successful is to be willing to be very uncomfortable for long periods of time.

At the end of the day, I believe that we all want to improve in some way, shape, or form and that when we stop setting goals for ourselves, even small ones, we literally start dying.

Whatever your objective is, my wish for you is that you achieve it this year!

Susan Sly is a best-selling author, speaker, trainer and entrepreneur.  She specializes in helping individuals, and organizations, become more productive.  She resides in Scottsdale, Arizona with her husband, Chris.  Susan is the mother of five children and loves her life! To connect with Susan, visit



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