Stop Making Resolutions. Start Making Solutions!


Stop Making Resolutions. Start Making Solutions!

By Vincent Ivan Phipps


Alright! January 2020 is here. Will this be another year of empty promises, missed opportunities, and unfulfilled potentials? Wait. Are you thinking, “This is not how the typical rah-rah, New Year’s Resolutions articles are supposed to begin, right?” New Year’s Resolutions can give us a false sense of commitment. We want to do more. We want to be more. We want to have more. But we fail to make the sacrifices and decisions to earn more.

What is “more”? More joy, more health, more education, more money, more enhanced quality of life. More is whatever you tell yourself it is supposed to be. New Year’s Resolutions give us a psychological manifestation of recalibration. In other words, it is like we are rebooting our laptops or phones back to factory settings. Resolutions are like a painter grabbing a new canvas to begin their next masterpiece.

So, what about you? Are you falling into the trap of newness without changing your behavior?

  • Gym memberships generate 66 percent of their annual revenue from new members joining in January!
  • Banks anticipate that 38 percent of new accounts will be opened in January!
  • According to Psychology Today, guess which month has the most divorce filings, yep January!

What is it about this month, that just gets people fired up, then by late February, faded out? Here is the problem, we are missing the three fundamental attributes that it takes to transition a Resolution (an optimistic ideology) to a Solution (an accomplished tangible result). Here is what is needed to turn Resolutions into Solutions:

  1. Passion

    Behavioral science tells us we make decisions that lead us toward pleasure of keeps us away from pain. Whatever resolution you set, are you passionate about it? Don’t focus on the drudgery of exercise of losing weight and missing out on your favorite junk foods. Focus on how good you will feel knowing you are now wearing that swimsuit with confidence! Don’t be passive, be passionate!

  2. Plan

    Avoid setting ambiguous goals such, “I will be smarter with money” or “I will spend less.” This may sound good to say out loud, but it does not give the logical, action-oriented part of your brain any specific steps to take. Instead, incorporate quantifiable checkpoints for your resolutions such as, “I will save $100 a week.” Or “I will not buy coffee for a month until I pay off that credit card debt.”

  3. Persistence

    Resolutions that are worth having are worth the perspiration. Put some sweat equity behind your resolutions. Put dates on your calendar. Log reminders in your phone. Tape reminders on your mirrors and desks. Tell people who will encourage you. Ask friends to leave you text messages and voice mails. Post it on social media. Give yourself accountability dates. Do these actions and more to remain persistent on your Resolutions.

Also, stop waiting until January to make life changes. Heck, if you are serious, a change can happen when you set your mind on the Passion, the Plan, and the Persistence. Make this year, positively different. How? FOLLOW THROUGH.

Stop making resolutions and start making solutions!


Vincent Ivan Phipps, M.A., is an attitude amplifying keynote speaker, author and corporate communication coach. As owner of Communication VIP Training and Coaching, the company’s passion specializes improving communication, conflict resolution, leadership and presentation skills for companies, conferences, and industry leaders. The National Speakers Association distinguished Vincent with the industry’s highest earned honor, called the CSP, Certified Speaking Professional. Vincent is also recognized in the top 1 percent of the world's best professional speakers and trainers. He is a frequent speaker at ABA's Marketplace.


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