Although I am in the business of reinvention and personal development, I am not a big fan of the conventional thinking regarding New Years resolutions! Most resolutions fail and I always want my clients to have the biggest chance of success. So here are some gripes I have about New Years resolutions and some thoughts on how to improve your success rate!

  1. There is an arbitrary date to change. There is the expectation that after 1/1 everything will be different . In my experience individuals must get ready for change and prepare for it. You need a very specific game plan. Consider asking yourself these questions. Are you ready for

    the change? How can you become more ready? What would be the easiest step, the next easiest?

  2. Resolutions are framed as stopping something rather than creating something or moving toward something. For example, say you want to lose weight. Instead of focusing on the number, consider framing the goal as what things will you be able to do when you lose weight, that you are not doing now? How will you feel when you can move more freely or engage in different activities? It helps to visualize where you want to be and how you will you know you are there. What will be different when you achieve your goal ? How will you feel? I find it helps to create a vision board with photos , lyrics etc. that gives you a touchstone
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    you lose sight of where you are headed!

  3. The resolution is about perfect execution of the plan which is a set up for failure. It is more useful to focus on small steps towards progress. I always tell my clients that their mantra moving forward is “it’s better than nothing” or “it’s
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    good enough”! I like to use the analogy of someone who finds themselves in a 10 foot hole. Some folks will think they can make one big leap out of it and be done with it. These folks end up falling back down over and over to point of exhaustion and giving up. Others will figure out they need to take small, incremental steps carved out of the sides and climb out. Although they may fall back from time to time they are able to resume their efforts and eventually get out.

The main point with resolutions is that getting started is what counts and

rewarding yourself for those small victories. Most importantly is to imagine the alternative. How will you feel one year from now when you start taking the small steps today that will get you to your dream compared to how you will feel if you don’t?

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