EDITORIAL FEATURE Why Most New Year’s Resolutions Never Happen... By Howard Partridge M any people make New Year’s Resolutions at the beginning of a new year. Even if you didn’t call it a New Year’s Resolution, you probably decided to make some changes this year. So we’re well into 2016 and most may agree that their resolutions didn’t stick. Level 2: Willing To Change The second level is where most people get stuck. Once they get started on the goal, the skill, or the habit, they immediately realize that implementation is going to be much harder than they thought. They get resistance from others, they face some fears, and the big bad habits immediately return. to be. Level 5 is when your habits and values have changed. Your life and destiny are determined by your values. You do what you value and you value what you do. Therefore, your habits control you. The Character Level is where you’ve successfully shed the old habit and replaced it with a new one. With more “down time” than usual during the holidays, business owners have a chance to reflect on the past year and do some thinking and planning. Unfortunately, once they get back into the daily grind, the new ideas are usually forgotten about. It’s the same reason the gym is jammed in January, but by the end of February, it’s a ghost town. At the very least, it’s back to those that are actually committed. Humans change mostly through desperation or inspiration. The problem with desperation is that as soon as you get back into the comfort zone, you’ll relax again. At some point, inspiration must kick in. You have such a strong vision that you’ll crawl across broken glass to make it happen. How do you know you’ve reached this level? Only time will tell. You might think you’re in the Character Level but you’ve just been in the Commitment Level for a long time. Several years ago, I became desperately aware that I was unhealthy and out of shape. I became desperate and willing to change so I focused on a new plan with a certified nutritionist and a personal trainer. I lost 50 pounds and I was super fit! And that’s the difference. Most people never reach the commitment stage. In my third book called “Think and Be Phenomenal – The 5 Levels of Being Phenomenally Successful”, I shared why most people don’t reach their goals… The Five Levels of Being Phenomenal In many cases, a true goal is not really set. It’s just a wish. But if you have a clear goal in mind, you must understand what happens to you as you reach for a new goal, attempt to develop a new skill, or create a new habit. Everyone goes through the five levels when they attempt to reach a goal, change a habit, or learn a new skill. The problem is they don’t realize that it is a process. Level 1: Self-Awareness First, you become aware of a new idea or a new skill you want to develop. You become aware that change is needed. You get a new vision and desire is created. This is a great start! Level 3: Intense Focus Once you’ve made the decision to change, you’ll enter into a period of intense focus to begin building the new habit. But you’re only halfway there. The groundbreaking, research-based book “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg, points out that it takes as much as 245 days to build a new habit depending on the habit and how much emotion is tied to it. Gary Keller’s best-selling book “The One Thing” reveals the average is 66 days. Stay consistent for 66 days. Level 4: Commitment At some point during the consistency of Level 3, you become committed to the new lifestyle, habit, or routine. You’re seeing some concrete results. Your confidence is increasing because of it. This newfound confidence may even turn into inspiration which will carry you a long way. But commitment is not the end. It’s just the level you must get to in order to enter Level 5. Level 5: Character Level 5 is when you have truly become the person you want 20 SMALL BUSINESS TODAY MAGAZINE [ MARCH 2016 ] I had a new lifestyle, or so I thought. After five years of being super fit, I got bored with my trainer and my nutritionist. I thought I could go it alone. I began to slide and before I knew it much of the weight had come back. This taught me a valuable lesson: Even if we know about The 5 Levels, we are still vulnerable if we don’t have support, encouragement, and accountability. Everyone should have a coach, and even better, a coaching community. SBT Howard Partridge, President of Phenomenal Products, Inc. and International Business Coach, is the author of 7 Secrets of a Phenomenal L.I.F.E. and 5 Secrets of a Phenomenal Business. Get a Free CD that reveals the 5 Secrets of a Phenomenal Business by visiting his website at www.HowardPartridge.com/SBT.