10 Successful Entrepreneurs on Keeping Their New Year Resolutions

January 1, 2017

12:45 pm

The new year can bring a lot of pressure to better yourself. Many people take to making New Year resolutions in hopes of committing to their goals with more gusto than ever before. But, writing them down is the easy part; sticking to them is something else entirely. And if you want to have any hope of losing weight, writing more, or finding that capital you need, you're going to need a few tips to keep these resolutions.

We asked ten successful entrepreneurs what their secret is to keeping your New Year Resolutions. Check out their answers below and get the year started on the right foot.

Be Extremely Detailed

You need to be extremely specific to keep your resolutions. Instead of writing, “Build a personal brand,” you should write: “I want to be on four panels and publish 12 articles.” Then document the actions and milestones required. For this example, you'd write, “Define panel goals with PR firm” and “Write an article per month.” You can never be too detailed with resolutions!

– Andrew Thomas of SkyBell

Create a Wager

Put up $100 or $1,000. Most people don't like losing money and will stick to their resolution if it's going to otherwise cost them. If money isn't a good one, choose something else. You have to have something on the line.

– Adam Steele of The Magistrate

Make It a Community Effort

Many people in the office are probably going to have New Year’s resolutions. I like to ask people what theirs were on the first day back after the New Year and encourage them to share it with others. Letting people know what your resolutions are makes it easier to stay honest. Also, it’s a disarming way of maybe finding out what your employees want out of life and their job.

– Matt Doyle of Excel Builders

Stay Authentic

After I make a list of resolutions I'd like to stick to, I look over it and ask myself whether I actually care about any of them. Society pressures us into making New Year's resolutions about certain aspects of life (usually diet and exercise). But what if I have other priorities? If I can only make resolutions around one or two things that truly matter to me then I'll actually stick to them.

– Dave Nevogt of HubStaff

Don’t Wait Until the New Year

It’s almost impossible to change conditioned behavior by making resolutions on arbitrary dates. Think how many resolutions you’ve made and broken in your life. The key to long-lasting change is a habit of constant optimization — if something’s not working, change it. Be mindful about your productivity system and your life generally, and make the necessary changes as you spot problems.

– Vik Patel of Nexcess

Write Them Down

Write your goals down and re-write them monthly (or better yet weekly). This will not only help you stay on track but will help you better define how you achieve those resolutions.

– Ashley Mady of BrandBerry

Set Them One Month Early

The trouble with New Year's resolutions is that everyone attempts to pursue and fulfill them each January. And in doing so, no resolutions feel particularly special or worthwhile. So I'd suggest starting a resolution a month early. It's a more difficult time, but you have to be much more intentional, creating a lasting habit, rather than a month-long hobby.

– Matt Alexander of Edition Collection

Make Sure You're Accountable

I share my resolutions with business partners, friends and my fiancé. Then I set small milestones at specific times For example: “I will lose 30 pounds by December 2016, and in order to achieve this, I will lose two pounds per week until I reach my goal.” Be specific and also set designated check-in times with your accountability partners.

– Adam Root of Tricent Capital

Set SMART Goals

Set goals that are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely). If your goal is to get into shape, set a target (distance to run, weight, heart rate, etc.), create a workout routine and measure results on a regular basis. SMART goals require better planning. If you plan up front, you’ll find harder to slack and your goal will be in sight in no time.

– Andrew Kucheriavy of Intechnic

Prioritize, Pay Attention and Be Disciplined

I have a set of tools that seem to elude most people these days: priorities, attention and discipline. Life is full of advantages and disadvantages, and for the most part, you’re in control. If you focus on doing only what matters and you are reasonably disciplined about your priorities, you should be able to keep those resolutions.

– Alfredo Atanacio Cader of

Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. YEC members generate billions of dollars in revenue and have created tens of thousands of jobs.

Photo: Flickr / Raul Lieberwirth

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Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. YEC members generate billions of dollars in revenue and have created tens of thousands of jobs.