Made any New Year resolutions this month?  By any chance were they the same ones you set last year, because they were the ones you didn’t quite reach the year before?  Are you wasting your time with New Year resolutions and are they just pipe dreams that won’t make it past February?

If you are consistently not achieving your goals, maybe you need to review the process and put an injection of realism into it.  Perhaps even more importantly, put a bit of consistent hard work into making steady progress towards the goal.  Take a look at this list of why people sometimes loose their way on sticking to New Year resolutions and some things you can do about it.  Do any of these strike a chord with you?

1. Resolutions are unrealistic.  There is no quick fix for a situation that has existed for a long time.  Be realistic and set smaller goals that take you in the right direction.  Once you reach the smaller goal, rinse and repeat.  Most people OVER estimate what they can achieve in a year, but UNDER estimate what they can achieve in 5 – 10 years.  Make that (seemingly) unrealistic goal a long term one.

2. You won’t pay the price.  It’s easy to set the goal.  It is a lot harder to stick to the path towards it and make sacrifices along the way.  Are you willing to pay the price?  Also, are you prepared to fail? Seem counter-intuative, but some people would rather give up trying than risk failing.  Don’t give up.

3. They aren’t your resolutions.  Make sure the goal is truly one that YOU have emotional buy-in to and is not just “what others would expect you to do”.  Worse, it’s someone else’s resolution that has be forced upon you.

4. There is no action plan.  Goals won’t achieve themselves.  You need to put a specific action plan in place that will make micro steps towards the longer term goal.  Activity goals are often more helpful than outcome goals.  For example, rather than making a resolution to loose 5kg in weight, make a resolution to cut your sugar intake in half and exercise 3 times per week.  Then stick at it, week in, week out and don’t give up.

5. There is no accountability.  It’s easy to give up on goal setting when they are just in your head and no one will know if you don’t make it or stop taking actions to move you forward.  As a minimum, write your goals down and review them daily.  Consider sharing them with someone close and someone who will hold you accountable for taking the necessary actions to keep you moving forward.

So, how did you do comparing your New Year resolutions against this list?   Hopefully there are some tips in there to help you stick to your resolutions this year and be in a better place a year from now.  Remember; don’t give up.  You might surprise yourself!

Andy Burrows  –  The Trades Coach.