Effective Planning For 2012: Why New Year Resolutions Fail And What To Do Instead

How do you plan effectively for the New year?

Happy New Year!


I’m so glad to have made it into 2012 and gladder that you also made it. At the start of a New Year like this, people are always in such high spirit having far reaching expectations for their life and business. As a result, many start the New Year with a list of to-dos for vital areas of their life or business.


This list of to-dos popularly known as New Year Resolutions is created in the same high spirit that naturally accompanies the New Year.  Little wonder they barely help you achieve much!


Why New Year Resolutions Fail

The reason is this; New Year Resolutions are usually created with too much optimism that often makes the list overrated with unrealistic goals. Sooner or later, when the high spirit of the New Year begins to wear out, optimism begins to give way to reality. This is when you begin to lose faith in your overrated list of to-dos having realized that there’s just so much you can realistically accomplish.


The funny thing though is this; this wouldn’t still stop you from going over this process all over again in 2013. Why? Because the popular thing is often naturally easier to do than the unusual. Since everyone else is creating New Year Resolutions, it becomes quite easy for you to keep reinventing the wheel without evaluating its effectiveness.


In this unusual article, I will be sharing with you the unusual alternative to the popular New Year resolutions. Let’s begin!


Effective Planning For 2012: The Unusual Approach

Forget about New Year Resolutions, it’s just a list of to-dos that never gets done. Here’s the smart way to go; thoughtfully pick 3 words that will guide your thoughts, plans and actions throughout the Year. Then create daily, weekly and monthly goals for each of these 3 words and go to work.


These 3 words will serve as the underlying theme or framework that will influence your thoughts, decisions and actions in 2012. I first learnt of this idea in 2010 from Chris Brogan who since 2006 has given up on the ineffective idea of New Year Resolutions. I gave it a shot last year and found it very effective.


Why was it so effective?

Simplicity breeds focus.


As humans, we do better and are more accountable with a few things than with a lot of things. Streamlining the regular complex list of to-dos known as New Year Resolutions into a strategic 3 word theme helps to sharpen your focus.


The year will naturally bring its own share of challenges which you have to contend with. The fewer items you have on your to-do-list the better for you. When your thoughts, plans and actions are drawn from a list comprising of only 3 words, you will think better, plan better and act better. Why? Because you see clearer. Simplicity breeds focus.


My 3 Words For 2012

For practical sake, I will share with you my own 3 words for 2012 which are; Produce. Promote. Prosper.



This year, I will increase the quantity as well as the quality of creative work. Like I did mention in the email messages I sent out to naijapreneur subscribers, one of my primary focus this year is to help you achieve more results in your business.


Meaning, I have to step up my game making sure that I create more unusual stuffs besides articles that will better equip you to build SIGNIFICANT businesses that profit from purpose by changing the world!


This is why I am introducing a new category of unusual information on naijapreneur tagged; “Unusual Entrepreneur Interviews” where I’ll be profiling unusual entrepreneurs from across the world in an interview series.


All along, I have built this site sharing my personal lessons and ideas I have acquired in my journey as an entrepreneur. This year, I want to take it a step further by bringing you up close and personal with other unusual entrepreneurs out there changing the world and profiting from purpose.


They will share their unusual journey into the world of business and also reveal their unusual approach to business. You will learn from their experience just as you’ve learnt from mine since the inception of naijapreneur.


Besides this, I would be creating a physical platform where unusual entrepreneurs can meet up regularly to share best practices. This can be in the form of seminars, workshops, talk shows etc.


And lastly, I want to produce more creative work such as unusual web design, social media consulting, strategic business support and corporate training for my clients.



My promotion goal for the year revolves around two key objectives; packaging and collaboration. This year, I want to get the word out about my company and our cause of helping people, businesses and lives to be SIGNIFICANT –different [extraordinarily unique] and making a difference [extraordinarily useful].


By this, I mean I want to enhance my company’s brand with the publication of a book [packaging] and by collaborating with major complementary partners like traditional media houses [radio, TV, Magazines and Newspapers] in promoting our cause.


Meaning that this year, I will deliberately go out of my way to equip myself with marketing tools that will enable me expand my professional network both locally and globally!



Like I have always been known for; money is a byproduct of fulfilling purpose [adding value with your life]. In the same vein, this year, I want to profit more from purpose by seeking out more unusual ways to make the world a better place.


Rather than a goal, I see this 3rd word, prosper more like an outcome of my dedication to executing the first 2 words of produce and promote. However, there’s a little twist to this which I will like to mention. This year, I want to bring my products and services to the attention of the rare few who value the kind of unusual value my company offers.


As a company, this year, we will only expend our best efforts on projects with high Return On Investment [ROI]. Meaning, we will only work with clients who can pay us what our worth. This will require a hard decision of politely saying NO to all those who don’t recognize and are unwilling to pay the premium fee our unusual solutions deserve!



Besides choosing these 3 words, the most important aspect of this unusual approach to planning for 2012 is this; execution. It doesn’t matter what you’ve got on paper or up your head, what matters is the results achieved at the end of the day.


So, it becomes very crucial that you develop a daily, weekly and monthly goals or activities for each of the 3 words chosen for the year. For example; I have shared with you my 3 words for 2012 and the major objectives for each. The next line of action would be to think up daily, weekly and monthly goals or activities that will bring me closer to the fulfillment of each word.


Here’s what I mean.


For example, if your 1st Word is CREATE, this year, ask yourself what do I want to create? How much do I want to create? Why do I want to create? That becomes your creation goal for the year. From that, you break it down to monthly creation goals, from monthly to weekly from weekly to daily.


Like me, my first word is PRODUCE, just like Create. Here are my production goals for the year;

– Publish A book on business and entrepreneurship
– Consult for atleast 24 companies
– Develop atleast 50 Unusual web sites for individuals and businesses


Then, I break them down to monthly, weekly and daily goals like this;


-Write 4 articles to be used in the book
-Strategically Contact 10 companies introducing my business


-Write 1 article for the book
-Strategically contact a minimum of 2 companies


-Research for materials and interviews to use for my book
-Network with other entrepreneurs online and offline to market my consulting services
-Research for companies that don’t have an unusual website or needs an upgrade for their existing one


You get the idea now?


You start with a yearly goal for each of the 3 words and you begin to break down the goals from there into monthly, weekly and daily goals/activities that will eventually accomplish the yearly goal.


Your Turn

What has been your experience with the popular New Year Resolutions idea? Do you find it effective or ineffective?

How do you see this unusual approach to planning a New Year? What will be your 3 words for 2012?


Share your thoughts, views and comments below. I really would love to read about your 3 words for 2012. For more ideas on how to come up with yours, click here to see more examples from other unusual entrepreneurs out there!


And don’t forget to share this unusual article with others; you can do this by using the floating icons by the left side of this page. Thank you for your time. This is wishing you a purposeful and profitable New Year!



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  1. says

    Yearly goals have been difficult to track (and fulfill). I prefer monthly / two-month goals. That way, there is a sense of urgency and we would start working on a task sooner than otherwise. But of course, to achieve monthly goals, its important to chart weekly and daily goals and track your progress continuously.

    • says

      Happy New Year Raj,

      Thanks for the retweet and this insightful comment. It’s precisely because of the points you mentioned that yearly goals are difficult to track that makes the 3 word approach such a winner.

      I appreciate your time, thanks for stopping by.

  2. Patricia@lavenderuses says

    Hi Tito

    I have not been around much for months as I have been building a new site and revamping my blog.

    Love your focus. You have set out clearly what you want to achieve in 2012 and it appears to be do-able.

    For me, I want to be focused (on building my business) and as I at last have found the products I have been looking for especially for the US market, look to grow my business and move it forward in 2012.

    I also have 2 more sites I want to build that are of interest to me too. However, will see how the other sites are doing before I take on more site building!

    And I guess I come under your “unusual” category; firstly with my small niche blog and being very targeted with my products (mainly organic lavender products).

    All the best Tito for 2012. Thanks for sharing.

    Patricia Perth Australia

    • says

      Great to have you back Pat!

      Been quite a while really, I was just hoping you didn’t give in. So glad to hear you were away working on some other SIGNIFICANT project. That’s good news.

      Happy New Year and seems like you have started on a right path. It’s good you found a product to offer to the US market, now all your social medial marketing efforts can begin to yield results.

      Once again Pat, welcome back. It’s so good having you join us here!

      Much appreciated.

  3. David says

    I also prefer a monthly goal,in this way it is possible for me to accomplished my goal every month.Then another set of goal for the following month.I don’t feel in pressure if I set my goal in monthly.

  4. Joseph says

    Providing 3 words for goals and developing a weekly, daily and monthly plan to achieve each of these goals sounds more realistic than just having new years resolution. Goals are not that easy to achieve. I like your tactic since it doesn’t only looks simple but also looks effective.

  5. Donna says

    Now I know why New Year resolutions aren’t that effective. Change and having a goal needs to be planned out and one doesn’t get it immediately. I like it that we get to break it down in months, days and weeks.


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