1. Make specific goals. In business speak, goals should be SMART, ie specific, measurable, agreed, realistic and time framed. Trying to reach a vague goal is like trying to hit a moving target or wrestle a jelly. So instead of saying ‘I will lose weight’, go for something like “I will lose 5 lb by the 1st February 2002”. Last year, my resolution was to get fitter. I made this more specific by saying my goal was “To run the 5k Race for Life without stopping”.
2. Write it down – taking your resolution out of your head and on to the page is the next step in making it a reality. Writing out potential action plans and due dates makes the goal even more powerful. Get some Post-its and stick your goals in places you’ll see them every day. When you set a time frame, write it down in your diary (following the example above, write what your weight will be when you’ve lost 5lb on 1st February page)
3. Get someone to keep track. Make yourself as accountable to as many people as you can. Tell everyone you know what you’re going to do. People who love you will want to support you. Hire a life coach to help you keep on track and focused. A life coach will help you to keep on track when the going gets tough because they’re trained in helping people like you achieve their goals. For more info on coaching check out
4. Book a reward. Celebrate your achievements and reward yourself for the action you take, rather than focusing on all you still have to do. Every effort deserves a pat on the back. Book something great like a facial or a massage or a night out for you to look forward to after your 1st month of effort. In doing so you’ll be sending a big message to your subconscious that you are going to succeed.
5. Imagine life if you didn’t stick to your resolutions. Think ahead to this time next year and imagine what your life would be like if you didn’t change at all. What if you were still like this in 5 years time? Pretty scary, eh? Now think about how life could be if you made the changes you want to. The difference between these two pictures will be a big motivation.
6. Really think about the resolutions and why you’re making them. We’ve all woken up with a hangover on the 1st January and vowed never to drink, smoke, eat or snog unsuitable men ever again. Are you making your resolutions for your own reasons or for other people’s? You’ve more chance of succeeding with 3 changes you really want to make than with 10 you’re not that bothered about. If you’re not really excited about your resolutions why are you making them?
7. Think about previous resolutions – why did you keep them, what stopped you? Review your goals regularly throughout the year – give yourself permission to change your resolutions based on changing circumstances
8. Do not attempt to reinvent yourself totally in one week – gradual changes are more likely to stick. You did not get this way overnight, you will not change in a day either. Aim for 1 small change a week. For example, it’s unrealistic to think that you’ll go from being a gym hater to attending 3 times a week. So start small with maybe once a week doing an activity you find exciting.
9. Prioritise – if you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
10. Take action as soon as possible to achieve your goal. Think of what the easiest step would be to achieve your goal and just do it.
Joanne Mallon is a life and career coach. She specialises in helping people fulfill their potential, especially media and creative workers. For more information and a free motivation newsletter, visit [http://www.JoanneMallon.com] or contact
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