Winning Words

This is the year of our unbreakable resolutions


With the New Year come New Year’s resolutions. Making resolutions and sharing them with others can be motivating and fun. I mean who among us doesn’t want to make some kind of change or improvement in our faith, family time, connection with friends, our fitness, or our finances?

Others of us prefer not to get wrapped up in any kind of New Year’s resolutions. And I find that those of us who steer clear of making any resolutions generally do so for a couple of reasons. The first may have to do with a history or track record of not sticking to it or not following through long enough to experience any change or discernible improvement. The second is that we don’t view them as resolutions, and instead we see them as new goals.

Resolutions alone are never resolute, are they? Not unless we make them unbreakable resolutions, founded upon our commitment to change. It’s when we are so convicted in the change we want to see or growth we would like to experience that our resolutions and goals become unbreakable. Sometimes our resolutions sound so good as we first conceive them, and even speak them out loud to others. However, if we know in our hearts and minds that they are tentative at best, we quickly try and figure out how we can walk back our thoughts and verbal commitments before anyone starts holding us accountable for living up to what we said we would do.

I have found that working with individuals, small businesses, and large multi-national organizations, that in almost every case the person or the company used one or more of these same four words; improve, increase, expand, or reduce.

Sometimes it’s a desire to improve skills such as organizational, time management, communication, sales, leadership, or some other area of personal or professional development that will help us to achieve top performance in ourselves and others on our team.

For many of us, we would like to increase the amount of time that we read, exercise, and spend time in prayer or meditation. We would also like to increase our earnings, savings, and investments that will align with our financial goals. Some of us are determined to increase our giving in support of the causes that are most important to us. And there are plenty of businesses who set goals to increase revenue, margins, employee and customer relationships, and community involvement.

Setting a goal or making a resolution to expand could include expanding our personal and professional networks. We may want to expand our thinking while considering other points of view. And expanding our learning through the types of books we read and other information we consume will always have a lasting and positive impact on our lives, and usually on the lives of those around us.

The word “reduce” comes up often as we think about goals and our New Year’s resolutions. We may want to reduce our weight, reduce the amount of time on our phones or devices, reduce the amount of alcohol we consume, or reduce the number of bad habits we allow ourselves to live with. Maybe we simply want to reduce one bad habit and replace it with a good habit.

What if we could also be resolute in our commitment to reducing the number of times we find ourselves playing the blame game, getting angry, being unkind, unforgiving, and unloving? And then be equally as committed and resolved to improving, increasing, and expanding our capacity to understand others, offer kindness, and live with more love and forgiveness. What would we feel like 12 months from now as we look back on how making that kind of unbreakable resolution impacted all our relationships?

How about you? Is there a history of incomplete goals or abandoned resolutions? Is this the year to make the commitment to stand firm in your desire to make a change or improvement? I would love to hear your story at and when we finally live up to our unbreakable resolutions, it really will be a better than good year.

Michael Norton is the grateful CEO of, a personal and professional coach, and a consultant, trainer, encourager and motivator to businesses of all sizes.

Michael Norton


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