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Agile Coaches' Corner shares practical concepts in an approachable way. It is for agile practitioners and business leaders seeking expert advice on improving the way they work to achieve their desired outcomes. If you have a topic you'd like discussed, email it to, or tweet it with #agilethoughtpodcast.

Dec 27, 2019

With just days before the new year, your host, Dan Neumann, figured it’d be the perfect time to discuss New Year’s resolutions! Many people set New Year’s resolutions, but the problem is: they don’t keep them. Some research even says that only 8% of people actually achieve the goal they’ve set out for. Many of these goals don’t even reach a two-week shelf life before many people give up.


But why is this? In today’s podcast, Dan Neumann sets out to find the answer! He takes a look at what’s inherently flawed about this concept of New Year’s resolutions, gives his insights on how you can make your New Year’s resolution more likely to stick, and even shares some of the goals and resolutions related to the podcast itself!


Key Takeaways

What is inherently flawed about the concept of New Year’s resolutions?

It’s too long of a goal; you’re setting a goal for the next 365 days!

January 1st is actually a pretty arbitrary start date

A lot of people don’t plan for what to do in a situation that challenges their New Year’s resolution (a lack of planning can majorly impact your ability to follow-through)

How to get your New Year’s resolution to stick:

Set a shorter duration; it doesn’t have to be for the next year

If two-week sprints work well for you, you could work similarly on this cadence

Differentiate between a resolution vs. setting a goal

Use the S.M.A.R.T goal framework (S= Specific, M= Measurable, A= Achievable, R= Relevant, T= Time-bound)

Set your new goals on a better starting date that makes more sense for you (such as on a Monday or the start of a new month)

Brainstorm some ways to set milestones for yourself

Plan for what you’re going to do when you run into a challenging situation

Find an accountability partner

Each week, each ‘sprint,’ or each month, reflect on how to become more effective and adjust accordingly (similarly to the last principle in the Agile Manifesto)


Mentioned in this Episode:

“This is the Day You’re Most Likely to Let Your New Year Fitness Goals Slip,” by Runner’s World

S.M.A.R.T Goals

The Agile Manifesto


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