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Positive Resolutions Lead To Positive Changes

Ramon Greenwood -- Have you made resolutions to accelerate your career in 2012? Experts say that making resolutions improve by a factor of 10 your odds of achieving positive changes.

If you haven't resolved to make specific changes in your life in the world of work and in your personal life during the new year you can expect to get the same results you experienced in 2011. Ask yourself: Will that be good enough to get you where you want to go?

Some people rely on such factors as hopes, wishes, or desires, but they are more apt to fail to achieve success than those who set out in writing specific plans and have a plan of action to advance their careers.

Despite this reality, fewer than half of those who make resolutions keep them for at least six months. Only about 19% stay true to their vows for two years.

People who think about making specific changes, but don't get around to actually codifying resolutions fail at a higher rate than others who make specific action plans to change their daily behavior, according to John Norcross, a psychology professor at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania.

Six tips to carry out your resolutions

Here are six tips that will help you to carry out your resolutions for 2012:

1. Think of your resolutions as a contract with yourself. Put the deal in writing.

2. Break down your resolutions into small, bite-size steps. Have a plan for specific actions to advance toward each goal. Rome was not conquered in a day.

3. Tell your friends about your resolutions. This will result in self-imposed pressure to not stop short of reaching your goals. After all, you don't want to be seen as failing. And, by the way, ask them for help.

4. Think back to what you did with your resolutions in past year. If you fell short, make sure you break the habits that were at fault.

5. Expect setbacks; they are inevitable. Take a deep breath. Get back on that horse that threw you off as quickly as possible.

6. Hold yourself accountable. Review your resolution on a regular basis against established measurements. Don't let perfect be the enemy of good. Be ready to change or add to you resolutions if you see an opportunity improve them.

"Getting 'psyched up' is helpful for creating motivation before January 1; but after the New Year comes, it's perspiration time," declares Dr. Norcross.

Remember this admonition from a wiseman whom I cited in the last issue of The Career Accelerator: "Good resolutions are a pleasant crop to sow. The seeds spring up readily, and the blossoms open so soon with such a brave show. But when the time for flowers has passed, what as to the fruit?"

To get Ramon Greenwood’s common sense advice on how to achieve your career goals go to Common Sense At Work Blog. His recently published ebook, How To Get The Pay Raise You've Earned, available for download from, sets out comprehensive guidelines that will help you work your way through the challenge of negotiating the sensitive issues of why you deserve a raise. It also provides tips for how to avoid shooting yourself in the foot when you get an answer. Case histories of how not to campaign for a raise are included. Ramon has written this timely ebook based on a wide-ranging career, including serving as senior vice president of American Express; a professional of a number of companies; entrepreneur; author; and career coach. He is currently The Career Coach at Common Sense At Work. For further information, contact Ramon Greenwood at

© 2012 Ramon Greenwood

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