30-Day Commitments: The Sexier Alternative to New Year’s Resolutions

If you’re in the majority, you made some sort of New Year’s resolution. According to this Infographic, 62% of Americans do, but unfortunately less than half maintain those commitments beyond 6 months.

I’ve finally reached a point in my life where I’ve stopped making New Year resolutions.

Why? Because I don’t like to start something I can’t win – and I’ve never crossed the finish line victorious after 365 days of success with a new habit.

Each year, I’ve had good intentions to lose weight, eat better, get more organized and create more margin in my life for spending time doing the things that I love. But so far, those things have not happened consistently for any length of time.

Sure, I’ll be moderately successful for a few days or weeks, but soon the enormity of committing to a life change for such a long time – 365 days – makes the activity seem a bit overwhelming. Once a day gets skipped, the slope becomes very slippery and the likelihood that I’ll slide backwards down the hill of success increases exponentially.

So this year, I’ve decided to try something different. I’m going to make 30-day commitments in three areas of my life – personal, health and business.

Why 30 days? It’s a shorter distance to the goal line. It’s doable and not overwhelming. Plus, I’ll be able to try at least 36 new things in 2014 that I may not have done otherwise!

Part of my inspiration for this idea is this popular and short (3:27 minutes) TED talk  from Google Engineer Matt Cutts on trying something new for 30 days. (email subscribers click here to view)

I like it. I can do this.

Here are my three 30-Day Commitments for January 2014:

Personal – I will get out of bed by 7am every day for 30 days (even weekends)
Health – I will do some form of exercise every day for 30 days straight (no rest days)
Business – I will create and post content (good stuff) on my blog 5 days per week in January 2014

Want to join me in committing to something for 30 days instead of 365?

I’d love to encourage you in your journey. Leave a comment and share with me your commitment(s)!

Finding My Focus: One Word For 2014

Like many of you, I’ve spent quite a bit of time over the last few weeks preparing to finish the year strong and dive enthusiastically into the new year.

One outcome of these efforts has been choosing one word to guide and focus my 2014 efforts to educate, equip and empower effective people leaders.

What follows is an excerpt from the December 2013 Unbridled Talent LLC newsletter where I shared my catalyst for this concept, as well as the word I’ve chosen for 2014. Enjoy!

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Recently, I had a conversation with a good friend about the power of choosing one word as a guide and focus point for the year.

The word that he had chosen for 2013 was “Attitude”. As we chatted, he described how focusing on a positive and healthy attitude in all aspects of his life this past year – work, family and personal – had been a life-changing experience for him.

The results are noticeable. 2013 will be a record year for him personally and for his business – and he continues to grow stronger as a son, husband, father and community member.

I didn’t choose a word at the beginning of 2013, but looking back it would have been “Stretch”.

I stretched myself by committing time and resources to business coaching and working with outside partners to identify the areas where I can add the most value to my clients.

I stretched my business by completing a record number of speaking, coaching and consulting engagements and also added a new team member – the lovely and talented virtual assistant Katy Trotta.

All of that stretching in 2013 wasn’t always easy – in fact, sometimes it hurt – but stretching was necessary in order to grow. That growth will enable us to serve our clients even better in 2014!

Following my friend’s lead, I’m going to choose a focus word for 2014 – “Inspire”.

Why “Inspire”?

It’s my goal to educate, encourage and equip the clients that I work with and the people that I meet. To paraphrase a line borrowed from Oprah – I want to help others to be the best version of themselves as Leaders, friends and family members.

Will you join me in choosing a focus word for 2014? What will it be?

Share it with me in the Comments section!

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Unbridled Talent LLC is a consulting and advisory firm providing services to clients in the areas of leadership development, executive communication skills and talent strategy. Jennifer McClure offers keynotes, workshops and training that inspire and teach business leaders to be more effective in their careers and as leaders of their organization’s most valuable resource – people. Contact us to schedule an event or to discuss our strategic consulting and advisory services.