New Year’s Resolutions That Stick!


Do you dread or avoid new year’s resolutions because you can’t keep them? Resolutions are a great way to help you achieve your goals, but there are a few tricks to making them work:

  • Before writing your resolutions, do an end-of-year review. Be honest with yourself. Did you set goals/resolutions at the beginning of the year? Whether or not you achieved them, did you work consistently and relentlessly towards them? If not, what got in the way? What went well? What didn’t go so well? Doing this review will give you direction as you decide what are important goals for the coming year.

  • Pick 1 or 2 (no more) important goals. These could be life goals or a goal you want to achieve in the next 6 months. Write that goal down – yes, write it down (your subconscious believes it more when you do this).

  • Make sure your goal is specific and measurable. Instead of “lose weight”, write “lose 15 pounds in the next 8 months”. Then examine how you intend to do this and set yourself sub-goals (specific activities) such as “reduce carbs by 50%” “walk half an hour 4 times/week”. Instead of “grow my business”, really examine what that means and chunk it down to sub-goals (specific activities), e.g. “go to 3 networking events per month”, “send out one referral request per week”, etc.

  • Is the goal realistic? If not, you won’t commit to it.

  • Remember I said that writing things down makes it real for your sub-conscious? It also acts to keep you motivated. Start a journal (it can even be a small notebook) to record progress towards your goal. When I decided to lose 25 pounds before my wedding, I recorded my weekly weight and measurements. I could see the progress I was making, which kept me motivated, and I achieved my goal.

Here’s a different angle from a blog post I wrote last year:

Using WIN*, or “What’s Important Now”, is a way to get the best from your resolution(s). Here are some examples:

  • Let’s say you resolve to feel less rushed in the morning. What’s the one thing that, if you improve on, will have a positive effect on everything else? That’s your WIN. Your WIN might be to wake up 10 minutes earlier; to pick out clothes the night before for you and your kids; or to reduce the noise (and stress) level by turning off the radio and TV in the background.

  • Or, say you resolve to be more productive in your business or your job. Your WIN might be to sort your papers every Friday; to create a weekly schedule (e.g.: Mon – admin; Tues – marketing; Wed – client touches); or to work in set chunks of time (25-45 mins) to increase your ability to focus.

Isn’t WIN a fabulous acronym for the start of the new year?

*WIN is a fundamental principle of “Essentialism,” by Greg McKeown.