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Maintaining Resolutions in 2018

By: Rebecca Masic, Account Executive

We are now into the second month of the 2018, and by this point well-intentioned New Year resolutions are either still going strong, starting to wear down or have completely fallen by the wayside altogether. This is a time when gyms prosper from great intentions, however, a quick google reflects that approximately 80+ percent of people fail at staying the course of intended resolutions by the second week of February.

As association professionals, we often look towards a new year as a chance to refresh old practices, push new creative initiatives or realign our goals. But like most, our goals – or resolutions – can easily take a back seat as we work through the necessities of day-to-day tasks. We start out with great intentions but as the confetti and celebrations of the New Year fades, with it do does our inspiration, which prompted our resolutions in the first place.

“Take action!  An inch of movement will bring you closer to your goals than a mile of intention.” – Dr. Steve Maraboli

Though the statistics provide an overwhelmingly high failure rate, refraining from a resolution is not the solution. People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions, according to  It is not surprising that weight loss ranks at the top for resolutions, with life/self-improvements locking in second place.  However, when delving deeper into the “types” of resolutions, self-improvement (not weight related) or education related resolutions are topping the charts with 44.3 percent. As an association professional, be careful not to get stuck in the realm of ‘good enough’. Your members may be happy and your meetings may be growing, but even standing still in a good place will eventually land you behind the curve as others are moving forward. We must always be setting new goals and taking steps towards those goals.

“Learning without reflection is a waste. Reflection without learning is dangerous.” – Confucius

One could argue that self-improvement cannot occur without self-reflection.  Therefore, keep in mind that self-reflecting is the ability to exercise introspection – learning more about fundamental nature, purpose and essence of yourself.  As we think about how to move our associations forward in 2018, here are a few questions to guide your introspection exercising.

What did we do well in 2017?  Are there areas we can improve upon?

What do we notice (positive or negatives)?

What motivated our members?  What drained our staff and volunteers?  What did we learn?

Honest introspection of these questions will shed light on needed changes in the association and out of those answers, you establish your goals moving forward.

“Living without self-awareness is like driving your car at night with the headlights off – technically, you can still drive, but you will eventually have a collision.”  – Joseph J. Luciani, PhD

A quality product of self-reflection is self-awareness.  While reflecting on experiences, areas of improvements and optimism, self-awareness will bear fruit for the observant.  Just as you would exercise your body, exercise self-awareness.  Continue to ask yourself the questions that will lead to self-improvement.  Stay the course and avoid a collision in 2018 by making a resolution to exercise introspection within your association. We often look to the New Year as the perfect opportunity to initiate change as if it possesses the kind of magic that sets everything right again. But improvement is a continuous practice, not tethered to the change on a calendar or the whims of inspiration.