People love to talk about new ideas. In fact, every January 1st people all over the world sit down and write out “resolutions,” things they are going to change or improve in the new year, and most companies do exactly the same thing. The problem with this exercise is it has no meaning. Everyone has the same strategy. Personal resolutions are to improve health, earn more money, and spend more time relaxing. Work resolutions are to improve company moral, find ways to increase sales and profits, provide excellent customer service, and find new markets.

Spending time on strategic planning is a waste of time. This is equally true for people and businesses. The real focus should be on why last year’s plan was not followed? The answer to that question is interesting. The reason you did not achieve the goals you set is this—ideas alone cannot change behavior. We are who we are, and when the ice cream calls or we need to make the numbers, determination weakens and old habits of behavior emerge.

To effectively plan for the new year, start by asking, “What do we have the courage to stick with this year?” Reduce the number of goals both personally and professionally. Set only those so that can be achieved.