30-Day Commitments: The Sexier Alternative to New Year’s Resolutions

If you’re in the majority, you made some sort of New Year’s resolution. According to this Infographic, 62% of Americans do, but unfortunately less than half maintain those commitments beyond 6 months.

I’ve finally reached a point in my life where I’ve stopped making New Year resolutions.

Why? Because I don’t like to start something I can’t win – and I’ve never crossed the finish line victorious after 365 days of success with a new habit.

Each year, I’ve had good intentions to lose weight, eat better, get more organized and create more margin in my life for spending time doing the things that I love. But so far, those things have not happened consistently for any length of time.

Sure, I’ll be moderately successful for a few days or weeks, but soon the enormity of committing to a life change for such a long time – 365 days – makes the activity seem a bit overwhelming. Once a day gets skipped, the slope becomes very slippery and the likelihood that I’ll slide backwards down the hill of success increases exponentially.

So this year, I’ve decided to try something different. I’m going to make 30-day commitments in three areas of my life – personal, health and business.

Why 30 days? It’s a shorter distance to the goal line. It’s doable and not overwhelming. Plus, I’ll be able to try at least 36 new things in 2014 that I may not have done otherwise!

Part of my inspiration for this idea is this popular and short (3:27 minutes) TED talk  from Google Engineer Matt Cutts on trying something new for 30 days. (email subscribers click here to view)

I like it. I can do this.

Here are my three 30-Day Commitments for January 2014:

Personal – I will get out of bed by 7am every day for 30 days (even weekends)
Health – I will do some form of exercise every day for 30 days straight (no rest days)
Business – I will create and post content (good stuff) on my blog 5 days per week in January 2014

Want to join me in committing to something for 30 days instead of 365?

I’d love to encourage you in your journey. Leave a comment and share with me your commitment(s)!

President & Chief Talent Strategist

Jennifer McClure is a Keynote Speaker, Talent Strategies Expert and Executive Coach who works with clients and companies in the areas of leadership development, communication and talent strategy. Jennifer McClure offers keynotes, workshops and training that inspire and empower business leaders to be more effective in their careers and as leaders of their organization’s most valuable resource – people.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

15 thoughts on “30-Day Commitments: The Sexier Alternative to New Year’s Resolutions

  1. this is just the type of inspiration i needed! thank you for sharing. i thought i was the only one out there unable to keep commitments to myself! how refreshing to have a new out look on making personal goals. i plan to keep it simple at first, maybe do an art journal for 30 days. After that the possibilities are endless.

  2. Jennifer: I completely agree. I’ve felt this way for years. I do need, and want to lose weight. I think this must be one of the most common resolutions. For people who really want to commit, I like the 30 approach. That makes sense. There are also a lot of free online resources. I’m glad you addressed this in your blog today. Thank you!

  3. Jennifer, I do set yearly goals but I agree with your article. It is better to approach goals weekly and monthly if you hope to achieve a yearly goal. I heard about the 30 day challenge from Matt Cutts’ post last year and have used them several times to build positive habits. Good article.

  4. This is a great idea to make the first bite of a new habit more managable.
    Another thing that could help is to remember that when you slip off schedule, you have two choices: beat yourself up and start again, or, start again.

    • I like your approach Steve. You’re absolutely right. Slipping up or “failing” doesn’t mean that progress hasn’t been made and can’t continue. We just need to refocus and move forward.

  5. Jennifer:

    Excellent advice to set short term goals and track them. Here are my commitments:
    1. Each day: take a photo of something/someone that/who remind me that my life is good
    2. Practice some form of weight bearing exercise every day
    3. Read your blog every day.

    PS: I suggest you follow up with a blog post in 30 days to tell people how you did and to ask them to share back their stories.

    • Thanks for sharing your goals Chris! I especially like #3. 🙂

      I’ll definitely be following up with a post in 30 days. I’ve already learned some things and will also be making some new commitments!

  6. Hi Jennifer,

    I love this post! It’s something that I try to do myself, both in business and personally. I find it’s so much more effective than setting longer goals that seem unmanageable. I’m currently doing Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred and I’m about to start a 30 day commitment to creating videos for my business. I’d love to hear about how you got on with your goals!

    Ruth

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