The Key to Making New Year's Resolutions Stick on the First or Any Day of the Year


Here we are again at the start of a new year. Whether or not you have taken the time to think in depth about your goals and aspirations for the next 12 months, a new chapter is starting for everyone. What do you want to accomplish in 2017? What are you satisfied with in your life right now, and what changes do you want to see take place before we reach this point again next year?

Of course, the go-to practice for the New Year is to create resolutions. The thing that I love about New Years resolutions is that they are a built-in opportunity for taking back your power and starting to create you own life again versus letting life happen to you. In other words, by creating a resolution you are empowered to get out and go after what you really want, whether it be financial freedom, the relationship of your dreams, a healthy and energetic body, or more presence and joy in life.

However, the thing that I loathe about New Years resolutions is that they don't really contain any of the power. They can't work magic. It still ultimately comes down to making a choice to start living your dreams instead of wishing for your life to change. Whenever we choose to start living it is our choice, and for some it may simply be easier to rely on an outside factor like the annual tradition of making resolutions when everyone else is doing it too. Whether or not you depend on this practice or on hard deadlines that you have to meet, (your book draft, PhD dissertation, etc.) it all boils down to making the choice to do so.

Sometimes, the hardest part can be creating resolutions that will set you up for success instead of failure. So many people make resolutions and completely forget about them one week later. Be sure to create resolutions that are founded upon what you want and WHY you want it. When you are forming a resolution, (1) dialogue with yourself about what you want versus what you don't want. Then, (2) ask yourself why you want and don't want these things. Next, (3) choose smart goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. For example, don't randomly declare that you will lose 20 pounds in January, find your soul mate by June, or run your own successful business by December 31, 2017. Get very clear on the why, the how, and the way that you will track weight loss, encounters with potential mates, or progress toward becoming your own boss. And lastly, (4) create an accountability structure that is sufficient to your level of resistance to NOT take on the goal. Build a structure that will allow you to keep acting in service of your goals long after your feelings of excitement, motivation, and enthusiasm have subsided.

Imagine all the possibilities you would create in your life right now if you simply chose today instead of choosing to continue waiting and wishing. How would your life change immediately?

Catherine A. Wood is the Founder and Head Coach of Unbounded Potential, a personal coaching firm dedicated to helping high performance individuals who are committed to making a big impact in the world. A visionary, entrepreneur and world traveler, clients have referred to her as a guardian angel for their dreams. You can learn more about Catherine and what she offers by visiting her Online, on Instagram, on Facebook, or by signing up for her newsletter and grabbing her Unbounded Potential manifesto.