New Year's Resolutions May Require Heavy Lifting

January 9, 2019
Risk Management

It's a New Year. That time when the gym gets packed due to all the fitness resolutions that people make. As I was working out this morning, this new (and likely temporary) population around me got me thinking about how arbitrary our resolutions can be. 

I remember reading that only about 8% of all New Year’s resolutions are kept. While I can’t vouch for the validity of that statistic, I can say that what I witness at my gym seems to support the data. Every year, like clockwork, the number of "resolution-ists" dwindle so that come February 1, all things are back to normal and gym-life goes on as usual for the 5:00 am regulars.   

Why are so many New Year's resolutions unsuccessful?    

While I don’t have a scientific answer, something dawned on me while meeting with top managers at a client, recently. The group was discussing the future of their safety program and what their expectations were, when it occurred to me... they are making resolutions, just like the "resolution-ists" at my gym, and are likely to have the same disappointing results. The common factor in making these resolutions, I believe - is in the arbitrary decision to make a change.    

How, and maybe the better question is, why does January 1st (or any other date) inspire meaningful change in our lives or business?   

When we look closer, it’s an unreasonable proposition, and perhaps nothing more than an excuse to finish out the current year behaving in the same manner as we have been, believing we will resolve to change everything for the better on the magical date of January 1.  

Successful fitness programs don’t start on a specific calendar date, they start when the person wanting to change makes a personal commitment to it. The same is true for an organization attempting to change the way they operate. The commitment to the goal (change) must happen first. Only then can the work required to reach the goal be accomplished. The executive team must be fully committed to the effort upfront in order to bring about the transformation they desire.    

One of the world’s most successful bodybuilders, Ronnie Coleman, once said “Everybody wants to be a bodybuilder, but don’t nobody wanna lift no heavy weights.”   

As February 1st approaches and I watch the number of gym-goers shrink to the usual 5:00 am gang, I think about those management teams who say they are resolving to perform better, but whose actions prove they haven’t committed to the heavy lifting.    

Here's to making the necessary commitment in 2019. Happy New Year.  

Josh Densberger

Josh began his career as a Firefighter for the Orange County Fire Rescue Department in Florida. He taught the principles of fire science and safety at Seminole State College. He held the position of Corporate Safety Director at Waste Pro, and is currently Corporate Safety Manager at MSE Group. Josh earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from The University of Wyoming and a Master’s degree in Fire and Emergency Management from Oklahoma State University.

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