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Has this New Year started out like all the rest?  No matter where you turn, you hear the same drum beat on TV, social media, magazine articles, and blogs telling you to make a New Year’s Resolution.  

We are told to “Turn over a new leaf” or make lifestyle changes that will improve our lives for the better. 

Now, don’t get me wrong – I am all for self-improvement.   Making changes that help you become healthier, stronger, and happier is a good thing!

The problem I see with New Year’s Resolutions is HOW people approach them. 

Did you know that only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s Resolutions? 

Which means that over 90% of people FAIL at accomplishing their goal! 

Yikes!  Not a great outcome. 

Here’s one problem with New Year’s Resolutions. People set unrealistic or overly ambitious goals such as losing a bunch of weight in a short period of time, drastically changing the way they eat overnight, or promising to give up a bad habit they have been doing for years and have been unable to change.

A second problem is that people set vague goals that are not specific in what they want to accomplish. 

For example, to just say “I’m going to workout more in 2019” is an ineffective goal.

A more effective goal would be “For the next 90 days, I will go to the gym 3 times a week taking Zumba, yoga and spin classes.”

In my opinion, there is another, more pervasive problem with New Year’s Resolutions.  People approach them with the wrong mindset.  Then they blame themselves when they fail to live up to them.

So, I am here to say…there is another way.

Making yet another New Year’s Resolution isn’t the answer to creating (and maintaining) a life that you love.

I want to challenge you to CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK (about making changes in your life) ONCE-AND-FOR-ALL. 

Quick fixes and haphazard approaches are doomed for failure.       

So before you jump on the New Year’s Resolution Train, consider these three questions:

1. What personal or professional change do you want to make this year?

2. Why is this change important to you?

3.  What has prevented you in the past from accomplishing this goal?

Knowing the answers to questions like these will help you discover what you truly want to achieve and your level of motivation for making the changes you desire.

If something is really IMPORTANT to you, it must become a priority and ultimately you will want to focus more of your time and attention to attaining your goal. 

On the flip side, if something is NOT important to you, it will not become a priority and over time you will lose focus and interest in it.

So, what I am suggesting is that New Year’s Resolutions are really not that important to us.     

Most of us are on auto-pilot when we set our New Year’s Resolutions.  We quickly pick something (anything) that we think we should change about ourselves or our lives. With little reflection we spring into action attempting to get it done, but find that our efforts soon fizzle within a few weeks’ time.

What if I asked you to choose something that you wanted to change in your life that you REALLY cared about?  Something that is a TOP PRIORITY.  Something that you have strong feelings about. 

Would that make a difference?    

I bet it would! 

So this year, I suggest you forget about your New Year’s Resolution and instead make a 2019 GAME PLAN.  

I encourage you to create a plan for the year that includes goals based on your TOP PRIORITIES and the actions you will take to meet them.  

Before you jump into action.  Please do a little soul-searching.  Spend some time reflecting. 

Where are you now?  Where do you want to go?

Get really clear on one or two things that you want to change.  They don’t need to be big goals, but they need to be S.M.A.R.T. Goals

S= Specific – Detailed enough for step-by-step descriptions

M= Measurable – You can clearly track your progress

A= Achievable – Realistic, not pie in the sky; actually can be done

R= Results Oriented – Progress is visable

T= Time Bound – There is a deadline

As you map out your goals, ask yourself:  how will attaining my goals change my life for the better?

If your answer excites you then you know you are on the right track.  If it falls flat, go back to the drawing board.  You need a more compelling goal.

© 2019 Jolie Steers.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.