The Last New Year’s Resolution of 2017

We’ve landed in 2017, next stop 2025.

Man-oh-man time flies.  Last week one of my colleagues complimented me on an article he had just discovered on the topic of Moore and Metcalfe. Feels like only yesterday when I was evangelizing that topic about the acceleration factors of technology. This morning I searched out the article he found. It was published in Electronic Design in 2012 (still a good read by the way).

2012 feels like just a few blinks ago.

That got me thinking of another conversation last week with some techies on the topic of new years resolutions and goals.

Turns out I’ve got a couple strong opinions on that topic.

First, the success rate of achieving new years resolutions is abysmal. Do a quick search and you’ll find all kinds of depressing stats and endless, misguided self-help articles. I just noted one published by Forbes quoting an expert who evangelized proper goal setting and “SMART” goals and similar drivel as the solution to improving the hit rate of keeping New Year’s resolutions.

Now, I’m not against goals, and “SMART” goals are much better than their counterparts. But, the difference between success and failure is about commitment. It’s the difference between “trying” for something and actually making it happen.

How about an example?

One third of all personal resolutions are about weight and fitness.  Over 90% of them fail.  A 12-month gym membership and a grocery cart of vegetables isn’t commitment. Are you seriously going to get out of bed at 5AM in February to work out? Going to stop at the gym on the way home from a late night at the office instead of grabbing pizza and beer?

Even less successful are the 40% of resolutions about money and wealth.

Nothing wrong with those goals. But it’s how you commit that makes all the difference. If you’re just going to “try” then you’re going to be one of the statistics.Last week one of my co-workers was looking at his breakfast plate and said “the chicken certainly participated, but the pig was committed”. That may not be an original comment, but it certainly highlights the difference between those who try and those who do.

Want to succeed? Then commit. Change your paradigm. You want to improve your fitness and wealth, guaranteed? Sell your car. If that’s one step too far for you, just loan it to that sketchy brother-in-law.

The second issue I have with New Year’s resolutions is that they’re most always based on history, or at best a present view of a situation. Relevant for sure, but our world is changing too fast to be thinking in 12 month cycles. Lots can and will change in that time horizon so don’t make your goals or commitments so rigid that they don’t allow for many course corrections along the way.Course corrections aren’t cheating!

Goals are easy but, commitments sometimes not so much.

A commitment of mine is to make improvements in our evolving world by applying technology to real world problems and opportunities. While I spend most of my waking hours in this pursuit, I also have many conversations with myself debating the nuances between goals and commitment and where I stand in my own quest.

In 2017, I’m committed to making it easier than ever for each of you to apply today’s technologies to the problems and opportunities you face in your business.

If that’s interesting to you and aligns with your goals and commitments, then stay tuned. Better yet, drop me a note or give me a call. Goals like this require partners and teams with a mix of backgrounds, experience and expertise.

Years fly by – let’s not miss any opportunities to make 2017 another great one!


Mike Fahrion

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