As the year ends, many people are gearing up to make sweeping changes in their lives in the form of New Year’s Resolutions. While most start with good intentions, life can quickly get in the way.

By the start of February, new habits have fallen apart, and the old have resurfaced.

Here are five tips to improve the chances of sticking to your New Year’s Resolutions.

1- Plan for growth
In life, as in business, when you fail to grow, you lose your passion. Instead of only planning for a material increase – such as a bigger house, more money, or fancier vacations – think bigger. Think internally. Reinvent yourself regularly. You want to avoid greeting the same person in the mirror five years down the line. You want to see someone who has evolved past former boundaries.

2- Find a common thread
With the fresh start of a new year, it can be tempting to create a laundry list of things you want to fix and change. Remember, moderation is key. Instead of committing to ten different areas you want to improve, try finding a common personality trait or skill that you can modify to hit multiple areas.
For example, if you want to save money, lose weight, be more organized and be more politically active, one big thing you can work on overall is self-discipline. By becoming a more disciplined person, you can expect to see improved results across multiple areas of your life. You’ll feel less overwhelmed, more focused, and will have far higher chances of sticking to your goals.

3- Expect setbacks but keep going
Many who fail to reach their goals do so because they give up too quickly. If you’ve got big goals or want a significant change, the path likely won’t be easy. You’ll have setbacks, disappointments and may need to alter your plans a time or two as well. It’s essential to expect delays such as boredom, frustration and temptation, but to dust yourself off and keep going anyway. When you want to give up, remember you’ll miss both the gold at the end of the rainbow and all the other treats along the way.

4- Challenge your obstacles
What excuses or obstacles do you think have stood in the way of you achieving the results you desire? Do you say you lack the time or resources to make things happen? Do you believe others are smarter, more creative, or more talented? Challenge yourself to be honest about the obstacles in front of you. Name them and make a concerted effort to push beyond.
For example, if you think you don’t have enough time to write the book you’ve been dreaming of for what seems like forever, choose differently. Choose to push past the perceived obstacle of not enough time and aim for a minimum target of 500 words per day, every day. Even if they are 500 crappy words, they will still add up. By the end of the year, you’ll likely have a book that makes you proud.

5- Push past fear
Finally, acknowledge that there’s a chance you’re giving too much credit to the wrong perceived obstacles when fear is what’s standing between you and your dreams.
Are you avoiding writing your book because you don’t have time? Or if you dig deeper, is it that you’re afraid it won’t be any good?
Are you having a difficult time losing weight because you don’t have time or desire to go to the gym? Or is it that you’re afraid of having to adopt a monotonous diet – never getting to enjoy your favorite treats again?

The distance between your current station and your goal is likely due to more than one factor. However, you stand higher chances of success if you acknowledge all obstacles and face them head-on. Fear included.


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