Questions are very powerful. In Before You Abandon Those Resolutions, Read This suggests that New Year’s resolutions phrased as questions are more effective (“How can I eat less fat?” is much better than I will lose weight). Try it
And this post from Seth Godin points out that sometimes the question isn’t about the question.
Franklin Covey studied people’s top 10 New Year’s resolutions:
1. Improve financial situation
2. Lose weight
3. Develop a healthy habit (eg, healthy eating, exercise)
4. Change employment
5. Develop a regular savings plan
6. Break an unhealthy habit (eg, smoking, alcohol, overeating)
7. Spend more time with family and friends
9. Get organised
10. Develop a new skill or talent
Which of these top ten goals do you have? How are you going in getting there?
Here’s what’s interesting about this: the study showed 2010 goals compared to 2009 goals (I couldn’t find any data from them on 2011). While the order changed a little there was very little change in the top 10.
So we know what we want. It just gets hard to do it alone.
We all need a coach!!
when people are trying to motivate themselves to do something, questions actually work better than statements or commands. In other words, asking “Will I do X?” or “How might I do X?” is more motivating than declaring “I will do X!”
So if you want to make a beautiful question and then plan it, try How do you plan for the new year? from Michael Bungay Stanier. He offers 5 approaches to planning for the new year.
And here’s Dan Pink on the best way to make a resolution (fired by regrets and if only’s )