I’ve seen a bit of reporting in the media lately about New Year Resolutions and I thought I would check in with my own on-line community to get some evidence of what’s really going on.

So I surveyed over 700 of my LinkedIn contacts about New Year Resolutions. With a 40% response rate (which I was thrilled with) I wasn’t surprised by the results, and they seem to be aligned with what’s being reported as well.

The questions I asked were:

(1) Do you set new year resolutions and

(2) If you have (not necessarily this year) and didn’t achieve it, Why?

The results were that 55% of people who responded said they Did Not set new year resolutions and 45% of people said they did.

Of the 55% of those who responded that they ‘Did Not’ set new year resolutions, the top 2 reasons were (1) Don’t believe in them because I am a more strategic/continuous goal setter, and (2) Scared if I did, I wouldn’t achieve it anyway.

Of the 45% of respondents who responded that they ‘Did’ set new year resolutions and didn’t achieve them, the reason they didn’t achieve them were (1) Other priorities got in the way, (2) Lost motivation and focus and (3) Wasn’t really that important to them.

New Year or not, setting intentional aspirational goals matter if you want to at least feel like you’re taking control of your present and future. Not that you can control your future, but at least you can work toward creating opportunities that will help you to live a happy, flourishing and prosperous life.

Regardless of whether you have or haven’t set new year resolutions, whether you’ve achieved goals in the past or haven’t, what can’t be denied is this… The only goals you will never achieve are the ones that you don’t set.

Let me be clear on this though. What I’m not saying is that you can achieve any goal you set. That’s not reality. What I am saying, unless you set a goal (and I’m not necessarily talking about BIG and OUTRAGEOUS goals), you simply amble through life taking what comes… and there’s certainly nothing wrong with choosing to do that. This isn’t about right and wrong. It’s about choice.

My six step BASICS of Intentional Goal Setting system is this

  • Build intentional aspirational goals
  • Affirm value in pursuing the goal
  • Set a plan to achieve the goal
  • Invest personal growth in the goal
  • Complete actions to achieve the goal
  • Study and evaluate your results and learning

You’ll notice the first word in each step forms the acronym BASICS – and while the steps are basic and easy to follow, implementation takes intentional courage, commitment and action.

If you’d like to learn more about this, there is a chapter dedicated to Intentional Aspirational Goals in my book Intentionomics.