Are Your New Year’s Resolutions Still Relevant?

Everyone I know (including me) makes New Year’s resolutions on January 1. But research shows that nearly 80% of all new-year’s resolutions are broken by January 31.

Many of my executive coaching clients are committed to making 2013 their best year yet, and are committed to doing the hard work to make it happen. I believe they’ll succeed and here’s why:

  • They’re clarifying and focusing on what’s within their control, as opposed to focusing on things they don’t control, such as the economy or what their boss does.
  • They’re highlighting the positive outcomes change will bring as opposed to looking at what they’ll be giving up, such as moving towards good health versus losing weight.
  • They’re chunking down their plans rather than over-committing, and they’re taking daily actions, even if they’re small, to make things happen.
  • They’re creating accountability either by talking with me as their coach or by choosing an “accountability partner” (someone they’ve shared their resolutions with) or they’re keeping a log where they record and check their progress regularly.

To set yourself up for success and happiness all year long, it’s important to approach your resolutions from a balanced perspective. Check out my December 21 blog, “Have Your Done Your Personal Year-end Review?“, for ideas about reviewing what worked well for you last year and establishing “focus areas” rather than hard and fast goals that you either achieve or don’t.  Remember, the idea of New Year’s resolutions is not to set strict, unrealistic goals for yourself, but rather to move purposefully in a direction of your choosing.

Your resolutions won’t matter if you conveniently forget them. Find a way to keep them in front of you. I post my resolution list on the bulletin board right behind my desk. I can’t help but see it several times a day.  My intention for the year — and so far I’ve stuck with it — is to look at my list first thing each day and choose one action step to take that day that helps move me forward in achieving my goals.

Finally, be patient with yourself — it takes about 3 weeks to create a new habit — and short- and long-term gains count!

Let me know what goals you’re working on this year and please share your ideas for sticking with your resolutions.

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