Welcome to a new decade and to January, the namesake month of Janus, the Roman god of doorways, beginnings, and endings. Janus is often depicted as having two heads, facing opposite directions: one head looks back at the past, while the other looks forward to the future, a fitting symbol as New Year’s is the traditional time for people to reflect on changes they want to make for the coming year.

But as we’re not big fans on looking backwards, we put our predictive leading-indicator engagement and loyalty metrics to work to identify the top-10, authentic, likely-to-be-successful resolutions for 2011, keeping in mind that just like meaningful brand research, folks saying something and actually doing something are two very, very different things. This year’s list looks like this:

1. Get yourself organized
2. Do things that make you happy
3. Learn something new
4. Exercise more
5. Watch your diet
6. Find a new job
7. Better manage your finances
8. Spend more time with your family
9. Quit smoking
10. Quit drinking

People who actually make resolutions are ten times more likely to change than those with the same goals, but who don’t actively make a resolution. Yes, resolutions are more easily made than kept, but people are able to maintain their resolve pretty well. More than 75% are able to maintain their resolutions past the first week, 64% are still going strong after a month, and nearly half the people who have made a resolution are able to maintain them for more then 6 months. It’s a sign that people can successfully change their behavior, a lesson for us all.

In business, New Year's has always been a time for planning for positive change too, so as you contemplate how to enhance your brand’s performance for the coming year, we’d like to suggest one more resolution: Divest yourself of mid-20th Century, lagging, legacy measures that look backwards and incorporate real leading-indicatory loyalty and engagement metrics into your 2011 marketing toolbox. They’re predictive of the preferences, expectations, and behaviors of 21st Century consumers, and can virtually ensure brand profitability.

Of course, a new year is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us. We look forward to joining you!

All best wishes for 2011.