How to set sustainable new year’s resolutions

With 2014 just around the corner this is the time of year when people take stock of where they are, what they have achieved in 2013 and start looking forward to what they want to do in 2013.

This is often done on New Year’s eve, we are on the brink of the new year and set resolutions which many of us fail to keep or sustain. So how can you increase your chances of keeping your resolution?

  1. Be specific in with the resolution you set – If you want to get fit what does that mean to you? When do you want to achieve this by? For example getting fitter could mean being able to run 5km by 1st July 2014. This way you are clear what you are trying to achieve and have a way to measure your progress.
  2. Be realistic – it is important to set resolutions that stretch and move us forward in our lives. However beware of setting a resolution that is not realistic or achievable, failing to achieve an unrealistic resolution will negatively impact your confidence and self esteem. Stretch yourself but also be realistic!
  3. Be clear of the benefits – How is this goal going to benefit you this year, in the next 5 years or for the rest of your life? Getting fitter could give you more energy, help you sleep better, make you more effective at work, get you back to work, keep you healthier into your old age, prevent illness etc.
  4. Be clear of what it’s costing me of not doing it – What are the consequences of not keeping your resolution this year, in the next 5 years or for the rest of your life?? There could be quality of life or financial impacts for not achieving the goal. For example if I don’t get fit how will this impact my health and/or the quality of my life? How will this impact my ability to work and live my life in the way that I want to?
  5. Is it exciting or relevant? It may seem obvious but setting a resolution that excites you and is relevant to your life greatly increases your chances of success. Be honest with yourself, am I excited by this what the changes that this resolution will bring in my life?
  6. Identify the first easy step – there is nothing like achieving a quick win to keep you on track and motivated. Get that first step behind you and you will be excited about taking the net step. When setting a big goal identify the steps that will take you there so that you can measure your progress, build your confidence and increase your chance of succeeding!
  7. Be accountable to someone for your resolution – Do not underestimate the power of sharing your resolution with a friend or family member. Having someone to be accountable to in terms of your progress increases the chances of you taking the action that will help you achieve your resolution, keep you on track and increases the chances of your success.
  8. Review any potential saboteurs – be honest with yourself about what might stop you or get in the way. What personal resistance do you have to keeping this resolution? What beliefs do you have that might stop you from succeeding?
  9. Get a coach – If you have a resolution that is very important to you and you are struggling to get moving or take action then working with a coach can be very effective, empowering and greatly increases the chances of your success. A great coach will help you clearly define your goals, plan realistic and achievable actions that will take you towards it, keep you accountable and help you with the beliefs and issues that may be holding you back.