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How's That New Year's Resolution Coming?

January is almost over so I thought I'd check in with you and see how you're coming with that resolution you made a few weeks ago. You remember it, don't you?

Unless you've already perfected it and are ready to move on to the next project, you may find yourself somewhere on the path pictured in the chart above. It's from Austin Kleon, author of an excellent book titled, Steal Like an Artist. It's made the rounds on the internet for a few years so you may have already seen it. It always makes me laugh. It's a pretty good description of someone who gets discouraged when the project turns out to be harder than expected. I admit to sometimes feeling discouraged by a challenge but more often than not my interest wanes because I'm ready to move on to the next idea. Either way, whether from discouragement or boredom, the project doesn't get done and I have to push back against the urge to quit.

What about you? Is the goal no longer important? If so, forget it. Move on. But if it still matters, what's keeping you from staying with it?

If you need to refocus, three simple questions may help you get back on track.

  1. What gets in the way? More specifically, what KEEPS getting in the way?

  2. What helps? Be persistent with this question. Don't stop with the first two or three great answers.

  3. Who could help? Be careful with this answer. You'll want to look for someone who can be a resource and not someone to rescue you.

If your goal is really worthwhile why wait until next January 1st to try again? You may discover another ending to the life of your project.

Since we're all familiar with the phrase, "hope is not a strategy," let me offer some encouraging statistics. In a study released in 2014, professors Francine Lafontaine and Kathryn Shaw found that "Of the first-time entrepreneurs whose businesses closed quickly, the overwhelming majority-71 percent-didn't bother to try again. But the tenacious 29 percent who did were more likely to be successful the second, third, and even tenth time around. Somewhat paradoxically, their success rate increased with their number of past failures."

So, it's your choice. Plus, the statistics are in your favor and it's only January. I bet you still have time to reengage with an important goal and resolution. I'd love to hear how it's going.

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