Maybe you saw the Allstate commercials over the holidays with “Mayhem”. You know the ones where the guy rolls off the top of the SUV tied up like a Christmas Tree and creates an accident. Or he’s in the back of the pick-up and throws the grill out of the back onto the busy highway. On Jan 1, Allstate started a new campaign with “Mayhem”. If you watched any football on Jan. 1, you probably saw the character Mayhem as a road flare. There was another one with him on the roof as a lightning rod talking to the kid standing on the lawn. The new campaign is “Resolutions are made to be broken.”. The new campaign is all about safety tips to prevent insurance claims. The new campaign is ingenious, memorable, and entertaining.
Well, they couldn’t be more right with their new campaign. Resolutions are made to be broken. Resolutions don’t have time frames, accomplish dates, consequences, or rewards. They are not mandatory, and they aren’t motivating. They don’t cause someone to put forth more effort to achieve. They are typically short-lived, and meaningless after a few weeks. And they are often confused with goals.
Here’s a live example. Over the holidays I got the chance to spend some time with a friend of the family who was asked about her New Year’s resolutions. “Make more art,” was her response. She is a very accomplished artist and has been in galleries from Portland to California. Because I do what I do, I couldn’t help myself from trying to help. So, I ask a few questions.
“How many more pieces do you want to make?” Her response was, “I don’t know. I just know I want to make more pieces to get in more galleries.” Then I asked, “how much time have you set aside each week to create more art?” Again, “I don’t know,” was the answer. Then I asked, “What happens if you don’t create as much art as you wanted?”. The puzzled look told me everything I needed to know. We spent the next 30 minutes talking about how to turn her resolutions into real goals.
Here are some links to our 4 part Goals Series. If your goals are fuzzy, maybe the series will help.
What do you think the difference is between goals and resolutions?