5 ways to keep resolutions

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Do you take advantage of the ‘fresh start’ effect and set goals or intentions at the beginning of every year? Are you convinced that this year will be different and you will definitely make them happen? You start off brilliantly, but by mid January your enthusiasm begins to wane, and by February you’ve realised it’s never going to happen! You link back in to your old habits, safe within your comfort zone, maybe a little frustrated?

Why don’t we stick to our goals?

There are many valid reasons why we don’t stick to the changes that we want to make in our lives : a failure to prioritise, procrastination, burnout, lack of resources, time, consistency, confidence, motivation discipline.  You name it.

Do you want it to be different for 2019?  What if 2019 was the year that you not only created intentions, but stuck to them and achieved your goals?  What would that mean to you? How would that make you feel?

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Without being a magical formula, these 5 small habits can make a difference in 2019!

1. Start with the end in mind…

(…as Stephen Covey said!). It has been proven that a clear vision helps us to stay on track and creates the energy we need to stay focused. Set aside some time to visualize how you want to feel this year?  What you want to achieve? What you might regret if you don’t do it?

Take a holistic view and include all aspects of your life – work, family, health etc. They are usually interconnected. For example, you can set a number of goals that you want to achieve in your career, but these are may only be possible if you remain fit and healthy, and have your family around to support you.

2. Do not try to be a superhero

Ever started a new year imagining all the great stuff you will do, only to find yourself a couple of weeks later feeling discouraged and maybe even a little guilty for failing in your objectives?

Limit the number of goals you set yourself.  Focus your efforts on a few goals, break them down in to smaller steps, and be as specific as possible about your desired outcome. Starting small is proven to lead to greater success when trying to create a new habit.

A good tiny behaviour is easier to achieve because it creates small wins. Small wins lead to a feeling of success, which becomes self -fulfilling. As Arianna Huffington on Thrive Global states it creates “ a mindset that we can build on for more wins.”

3. Aim high but not too high

The Stretch Model

The Stretch Model

If you only set yourselves goals within your comfort zone you will end up doing, what you have always done. You will not be challenged. If you set your goals too high, they will feel unreachable. You will become overwhelmed, and maybe even disillusioned.

Think elastic band – if you don’t put any tension in to an elastic band, it’s useless. If you overstretch it, it snaps. Try to keep yourself in the middle zone, often referred to as the ‘learning zone’. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but keep with it. Soon it will be your new ‘normal’

4. Enjoy the journey and review your progress

In order to stick with your intentions and achieve your ultimate goal, it’s important to take some joy from the journey.  Take time to celebrate your small successes along the way, not just when you reach the end, otherwise you might not make it!

Writing down your goals and keeping track of them enables you to see how far you’ve have come and will help you to stay motivated with your focus set in the right direction. Write your goals down in a journal, make them in to this year’s screensaver on your computer, print them out and frame them above your bed. Do whatever works for you, but keep them visible.

5. Find some allies

When you share what you want to do differently for 2019 with others, you create your own support system. A group of people, or even just one person is useful to help you keep on track, to challenge you and to support you, as well as to celebrate your successes. Think who will be your allies? What support do you need? What support will they provide?

Making changes in our lives is never easy and its often uncomfortable, for a while at least. We start the year with good intentions and then life takes over and they get forgotten in the bottom of a drawer somewhere.  In 2019, I’m going to put these 5 small changes in to action and see how I get on. Why don’t you join me?


If you have any tips for making change stick that work for you, I’d love to hear them in the comments below.

If you are thinking about a change of career, starting or scaling up your business in 2019 and would like some support, please get in touch for an initial free 30 minute consultation. I’d love to talk to you and see if i can help you to make it happen