Did your New Year resolutions include developing your leadership skills? Now that January’s almost over, can you honestly say you’ve taken the necessary steps to achieve them? If not, it’s still not too late—as a leader, you continuously strive to get better, no matter the time of year.

But just as important as setting resolutions, is understanding the reasons why you fail.

3 Reasons Why Your Resolutions Fail

1. Often it’s because you don’t fully appreciate how difficult it is to change your behaviors. Allow for, and accept, temporary setbacks (they will happen!). Abandon the success versus failure dichotomy; pick yourself up and try again, continuously.

2. Another common mistake is making lofty, but vague resolutions that don’t include specific behavioral changes, such as: “I want to be a better leader?” “I want to stop procrastinating,” or the infamous, “I want to lose 20 pounds.” Well, what exactly does that mean and what behaviors do you need to change to get there? Resolutions like these are hard to measure; therefore, it’s impossible to know if you’re making progress.

3. There’s no accountability. Stop making excuses or minimizing your responsibility for your lack of follow through. While you are in charge of your accountability, it is also highly beneficial to find support to help you clarify and take ownership of your daily actions.

3 Simple Ways to Achieve Your Resolutions

Step 1: Establish your goals and needed behavior modifications

“I’m becoming a better leader by actively listening to others and talking less in meetings.” The more specific you can make your goals, the more likely you are to succeed. Furthermore, behavior-based “goals” (i.e., habits) can be easier to stick to because they tend to be long-term changes. For example, how many times have you reached your goal of losing 20 pounds, only to gain it back? Instead, reframe your goals into the behaviors that support your goal.

Step 2: Daily action, follow up, and measurement

Find the daily opportunities where you can take action. At the end of the day, ask yourself if you followed through and what were the results? What actions did you take or not take? What can you do differently or better tomorrow?

Step 3: Get social support

Find support with other like-minded people on the road to personal and professional development. Social activities like discussions where you can share your insights, personal experience and opinions, and ask questions can profoundly improve your results. When you share your personal goals and struggles, it can help you to stay accountable.

That’s why we built sageCrowd!—a new social learning network designed to make learning and adopting new concepts and skills faster and easier than ever.

We’ve teamed up with Marshall Goldsmith, one of the top leadership thinkers in the world, who is dedicated to helping people become more successful in their lives. And now we’re bringing you the best of his teachings. Let us help you gain an edge and take your success to the next level. Sign up today to be entered into our contest to win an iPad mini, 6-months free subscription, and 5 books from the Marshall Goldsmith Collection.  

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