New Years Resolutions are a time when many people set a new goal for themselves, using the fresh start of the year to kick off fresh goals.  As coaches, we work with Clients setting goals in every executive coaching engagement, so we thought we’d share here some tips for sticking with your goals since so many people seem to fall off of their resolutions right about….  Now!

Here are five keys to sticking with your resolution long term so that next year you’ll be able to look back in victory!

  1. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Keep the long view in mind; be patient.  Think about what the goal will mean to you long term, not just how it will feel immediately.  Recognize that in a marathon, there are stages: the beginning may be awkward and you may not feel you know what you’re doing.  You may stumble or have the equivalent of sore muscles.  Adjust your expectations to be about sticking around, not getting it all right right off the bat.
  2. Have a positive attitude. In line with keeping the long view in mind, remember that your approach to the project will determine your experience of your life for months to come: if you’re constantly criticizing and berating yourself, your life becomes unpleasant and it’s easier to give up the goal.  Instead, give yourself credit for your actions, how small, encourage yourself, pick yourself up with compassion.  A positive approach helps shift your brain.
  3. Have a plan. As executive coaches we constantly remind our clients about SMART goals.  Get super-familiar with this goal format and make your resolutions into SMART goals.  Saying your want to “lose weight” is not as powerful, practical, or achievable as saying “I will lose 8 pounds by my September 15th birthday this year.”
  4. Keep at it. You WILL fail, falter, stumble, fall down, hesitate, doubt, get discouraged.  That’s human and expected when reaching for something new.  If you expect it to be easy and never doubt yourself or the goal, you won’t deal as well when these natural obstacles emerge.  Instead, decide ahead of time how you’ll handle it when they DO come up, because they will.  Get a buddy, write yourself a note ahead of time, stash some inspiring videos: plan for ways to keep your head up during those times and ride them out.
  5. Keep your humor. You set a goal for a reason – it’s something that will make your life better.  SO if you approach it with negativity and angst, even if you reach the goal, you may not have had an overall good experience.  You have to live with yourself during the process of achieving this goal, so make it fun: be someone you’d want to hang out with during the process.  Keep your humor and wits about you; you’ll feel better about yourself and the goal long term and be more likely to keep at it.

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For other tips of projects and goal-setting and achieving, contact us for your complimentary coaching consult to start 2018 off right!