The Fresh Start

The beginning of a new year brings with it the allure of a fresh start – a new beginning – another chance to make this the year you start living the life you truly want.

But resolutions often fail before hitting Easter, or sometimes even Valentine’s Day. So what happens in those first few weeks of the year that takes all the wind out of our sails?

The answer is simple – we get swept up in the excitement about the prospect of change, set big goals for ourselves, but don’t necessarily have a plan about HOW we are going to achieve this. That excitement fuels our motivation initially, but it’s not enough to truly make the changes we envisioned long term.

For real change to take place YOU need to change.

Whether it is your habits, your views, your approach or a combination of it all, but for lasting change YOU need to be willing to change and build a clear plan to really go after that resolution you were so excited about at the beginning of the year.

So how do we make resolutions stick?

Here are some concrete tips to help you turn those resolutions into reality this year.

1. Find the Real Why

Start with understanding the real motivation behind your goal. Take the time to really articulate what is driving you, because when the initial excitement wears off and only the hard graft is left you’ll need to know WHY you wanted this in the first place.

2. Make it Specific & Measurable

The more specific you can be the better, because it allows you to know when you’re on track and when you’re not. And giving yourself the option to be able to measure your progress makes all the difference. ‘I’m going to exercise 150 minutes a week.’ is a lot more specific and measurable than saying ‘I’m going to exercise more.’. So set yourself up for success by being clear.

3. Keep it Realistic & Achievable

Setting incredibly lofty goals is not a bad thing, but you need to keep an eye on what is realistic in the timeframe you choose, because there is nothing more demotivating than knowing that you’re going to fail before you even really started. Break down those lofty goals into achievable milestones and give yourself a fighting chance.

4. Pick a Timeframe

There’s nothing like a looming deadline to inspire action and a common problem with resolutions and goals is that most of the time they are not time dependent. There is no urgency to change if you just want to achieve something ‘this year’, but there is one when you say ‘I’m going to run 5km by 1 June.’. Creating that sense of urgency helps break that initial inertia and helps you get the change process started.

5. Make Sure it’s in Your Control

You can only control your own actions, thoughts and feelings. You can’t control anyone else’s. So make sure to phrase your resolutions, so that they are in your control. ‘I’m going to get investment funding.’ is setting yourself up for potential disappointment, but ‘I’m going to improve my business performance by doing x, y and z in order to be a more lucrative investment.’ is something you can control and will put you in a much better position to succeed.

6. Have an Accountability Partner

Having a trusted friend, partner, or a professional coach can really help you stay on track, especially when the excuses start rolling in and the motivation wanes. Having someone be on the journey with you, supporting you, is one of the biggest tools to success, because they won’t allow you to let yourself down and grinning and bearing it alone is a really tough road to take.

7. Keep it Positive

Phrase resolutions in the positive because you want to keep the focus on what you want to achieve and have in your life instead of what you want to remove, stop doing or cut out. Our minds are weird and wonderful places and by keeping the focus on the positive, we align our subconscious to focus on the positives of what you want instead of on the self-critical negatives.

8. Be Kind to Yourself

Making a significant change in your life is hard and having setbacks is part of the whole journey. So don’t aim to be perfect, be prepared for setbacks, but stay committed to trying. Change doesn’t happen overnight or in 21 days likes some popular beliefs go – it is a constant new path that you’re forging that gets more and more well-travelled as you build the life you want. So be kind to yourself when you experience setbacks, but stay committed to the life you want.

So if this year you are serious about the resolutions or goals you have set for yourself, then give yourself the best chance to truly achieve it!

And remember that setting a new goal or resolution is not limited to the beginning of a new year – you can start your change process any day – all you need is to be ready to do so.


Here’s to making this year the one where we truly go after the lives we want!