In a world that appears to be heavily divided at times, it’s comforting to know that regardless of your race, religion, or political views, we’re most likely all going to fail together on our 2019 commitments before Valentine’s Day even hits. Not exactly the storybook ending you hoped for, but the harsh reality nonetheless.

All the data consistently points to the fact that roughly 90% or more of us won’t make it past the next spin class, kale salad, or money saved before we fall flat on our 2019 resolutions.

The new year brings so many things to our life such as a renewed sense of self, a new outlook on life, an aspirational list of goals and the undeniable, yet deniable reality that you won’t succeed once again filling your life with more regrets than rewards.

I’m not surprised and neither should you, especially if you read my article earlier this year titled, Your Biggest Challenge In 2018 Is Yourself.

The amount of research, brain science, and habit-forming articles is enough to make anyone (including myself) give up. There are over 100 million articles telling you what to do, what not do, what to do more of and what to give up entirely.

Here’s one undisputed reality: As humans, we all crave or desire something.

Whether you call it a commitment, promise, oath, vow or intention there are a few sobering truths I’ve learned as a coach (and as someone who failed in my past commitments) that you should consider before sharing your 2019 bucket list with the world.


Thinking of others is both selfless and noble, but when it comes to creating a goal, you must make sure you put yourself front and center. You can (and if applicable) give back to others, but no matter what you do – be clear on what’s in it for you. Call it the “why” or “passion” or whatever you choose but just make sure it’s inspiring enough to get you through each day until you reach your goal.


It’s not the size of the bucket that counts, but rather what you fill it with that matters. Consider quality versus quantity. People love to see the new year as a time to shed old ways of being and adopting a new mindset accompanied with new behaviors. That sounds great in theory, but reality says differently. Create smaller bit size goals versus one huge gigantic goal that’s an “all or nothing” test of your will. It’s too much pressure and you don’t need it. Manage your expectations or they will manage you.


The biggest obstacle we face when creating goals is not WHAT but rather the HOW. How will you achieve your new-found vision? The answer lies in taking the time to plot out a clear and manageable roadmap to get you there. If you don’t know where you are headed, how will you know when you arrived? Your only competition is yourself, so give yourself every opportunity to succeed.


We can all thank George T. Doran for without him, the SMART acronym wouldn’t exist and neither would so many of our greatest achievements. His work in laying out a clear and concise formula on how to set goals has been adopted for decades now and the reason is simple, it works. Like all things deemed great, I would caution people to explore other means when it comes to setting goals. The “goal” is to have a goal that will help you, not hurt you to move forward.


No one has ever achieved their greatest accomplishments entirely on their own, so why should you? Creating accountability partners is the difference between envisioning the finish line and crossing it. For many, it requires a level of humility to recognize that it takes a village, while others openly raise their hand and ask for help. There’s no shame in requesting support from others, as long as you make sure the people you are asking are capable both emotionally, mentally, and physically able to give you what you need.

Final thoughts:

You can start late, look different, be uncertain and still succeed. To Learn more about the concepts discussed here and how to stick to your goals in 2019, Sign up for my new course “Following Through: The Impact On Your Business & Relationships” and start the year off right.

The floor is yours: What’s your key to success in keeping your commitments?

With Leadership,

Joshua Miller

Joshua Miller is a creative leader and impactful executive coach.

His career spans both the advertising world and the world of leadership. In advertising, he was the creative lead, responsible for the campaign strategy for Fortune 100 brands. Today, he is an innovator. He’s supporting the executive development and change management for many of the same companies.

Joshua studied at Syracuse University, NYU and Stanford. He combines that background with his deep knowledge of organizational behavior, performance and change management. He focuses on the analysis, design, development, delivery, and evaluation of scalable and global talent development solutions programs.

Joshua is a Master Certified Coach. He trained with the International Coaching Federation and CTI (The Coaches Training Institute).