New Year’s Resolutions – 3 Tips for Successful Results

Here we go again. A new year and new resolutions. I am pretty sure that I haven’t stuck with a resolution, ever. So what makes this year different? The book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey changed my life. However, I did not choose this book. It was chosen for me. Let me explain.

Our school district adopted the Leader In Me for Schools initiative/program. All 7 elementary schools and the Middle School are “doing” Leader in Me. (I try to think of tactful, eloquent ways to say things but sometimes you just have to put it out there.) A better way to describe it is probably we are Leader in Me schools which means we live by the habits.

At first, I didn’t get it. I memorized the 7 habits. listed the 7 habits. posted the 7 habits. Everything I thought I should do to be a Leader In Me school, I did it. It wasn’t until I started using the highly effective practices handout that things started to click for me. There are actual practices to put in place to live out the 7 habits.

What does this have to do with New Year’s resolutions?

Goal-setting is a huge piece of implementing the Leader in Me in schools. Not generic goal-setting for example, “I’m going to blog more often.” Specific goal-setting with action steps, lead and lag measures. This year for setting goals we used steps from the book The 4 Disciplines of Execution. I highly recommend this book for any type of goal-setting personally, professionally or with your staff. My 3 tips come from this book.

Before we begin I have created a template for you to create your own New Year’s Resolution or goal. Click the button below to download your template to work from.

The 3 Tips for Successful New Year’s Resolutions:

  • Have a Wildly Important Goal (W.I.G.)
  • Identify lag measures
  • Identify lead measures

Below is an example. Not necessarily my goal. However, I do want to be a better blogger. This goal/resolution is going to be based exactly on the 4DX model from the book I mentioned above. If my example is not exactly correct, it will be close. Also, you may have noticed I use the terms goals and resolutions interchangeably in this post. We set goals all the time but New Year’s resolutions are only set once a year. Maybe if we call them “New Year’s Goals” we will be more successful.

W.I.G – Wildly Important Goal

Be a better blogger  – Blogging is very rewarding. The friendships and connections I made from blogging over the past 10-12 years are some of the most positive and influential relationships in my life. I want to continue to share and help other principals.

LAG Measure:

Positively influence 100 principals in 2020 by posting consistent blog content. – This had to be specific so that I could see if I was achieving my goal. Apparently, there are analytics tools out there than I could use to measure this at the end of each month and/or year.

LEAD Measure(s):

  • Write 30 min. a day or on Saturday or Sunday. – Currently, my children are involved in school athletics. There are games and/or practices 2, 3, or 4 times a week. It’s hard to be specific on this lead measure because I know I can’t physically write 30 min. Every day. I might have to write on the weekends.
  • Blog once a week and publish it to the blog on Monday. – This might be too much since I want to publish quality content. Quality over quantity.
  • Create 52 content ideas –  WHOA!!! If I blog once a week, there are 52 weeks in a year and I am not sure I have that much content.

How about you try?


Welcome to reality. I used to read books and think I have to do things exactly as presented in the book. Over the years I determined this is an unintended consequence of our education system. Somewhere along my educational journey, there must have been a negative experience in regards to doing everything exactly as you are told. Oh, wait? You know what I mean.

Resolution/Goal #1: Increase my energy level through exercise and healthy eating.

Does anyone know how to measure energy levels with specific numbers? The lead measures are listed below. Other than how I feel I have no idea how to measure this one for success.

  • Run/Walk on treadmill 4 times a week
  • Candy only 3 times a week (W, F, Sat. NOT every day:)

Resolution/Goal #2: Improve staff morale through celebrations

People! We have to start celebrating all the good in education and in our schools. This has been a goal of mine for 2 years but I haven’t followed through because it wasn’t scheduled. Now it’s on my calendar and it’s going to happen!

  • Monday early-out celebration routine
  • Friday celebration in the weekly memo

Finally, the next step in my new year’s resolution/goal-setting process is to create a compelling scoreboard to hold myself accountable. This scoreboard will need to be placed in a highly visible location. The book The 4 Disciplines of Execution lays this out for you with examples. There are even QR codes to scan and see how others have carried out goal setting in their lives.

What are your New Year’s Resolutions? Maybe we should all call them goals and never refer to them as resolutions again.

In case you missed it…..

New Year, New Blog! The Ultimate Blog Birthday Party

The Ultimate Guide to the Apple Watch for Principals