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How to not quit your New Year’s resolutions by February

How to not quit your new year's resolutions by Frebruary

As we embark on the new year, it is common to take stock of where we are and where we want to go. For many of us, making (and, let’s be honest, breaking!) new year’s resolutions is standard practice. Year after year, on January 1, we solemnly declare our sincerest intentions to do hard things we believe will improve our lives, and by the first week of February approximately 80% of those resolutions are defunct.  Frustrated by being one of the 80% who give up on their resolutions by February, this year I tried something different. Rather than falling into the trap of identifying some vague but arguably noble goals, such as getting fitter, healthier, more generous, perhaps learning a new language, I stopped and reflected on the year just gone. I then used that reflection to deliberately and intentionally design my resolutions for 2020.

The result was a set of highly personal, meaningful, actionable, and highly motivating resolutions that I am actually excited about. Although it is early days, I am feeling confident that I am well placed to graduate from the ranks of the 80% who quit to the 20% who go the distance this year.  

Although it is no longer January 1, the year ahead is still a relatively blank canvas, which means there’s plenty of time to design a year that you truly desire. To do so, I encourage you to try this exercise:

1. Reflect on the year just gone.
Complete these sentences:
In 2019,

  • my biggest challenge was…
  • my greatest lesson was…
  • the thing that I was most proud of was…
  • the thing that I was most grateful for was…

These statements provide a framework which enable you to celebrate the wins and appreciate the lessons of 2019. This process of celebrating and appreciating will provide important clues for attaining clarity about what you really want to focus on in 2020.

2. Set your intentions for the year ahead.
The next step is to identify your intentions for 2020, by completing these sentences:
In 2020, I want to…

  • be…
  • feel…
  • learn…
  • create…
  • experience…
  • contribute…
  • do…
  • achieve…  

The idea is to set your intentions for being before doing, because when you are intentional about how you are being, you are more likely to create the conditions in which you can attain each of your other intentions.

3. Choose your word for 2020.
The third and final step is to choose your word for 2020. This word will become your guidepost which will help ensure the decisions you make about where to spend your time, energy, resources and emotions align with your intentions for the year.

Having reflected on 2019 and identified your intentions for 2020, choose a word which captures your chosen theme for the year ahead. The best way to do this is to see if there is a common thread emerging from your reflections and your intentions. E.g., did your greatest lesson from 2019 inform your intentions for 2020? If so, what word best captures that aspiration?  

Once you have completed those three steps, you are ready to go out and make 2020 the year where you defy the odds and stick to your resolutions. Rather than throwing in the towel in February, you will be well on your way to smashing your goals. 

​If you would appreciate some support in attaining clarity around your resolutions or developing strategies to achieve them, please feel free to send me an email here: [email protected] or schedule a free discovery call here: astuteconsultingservicesappointment.as.me/.

​I’d love to support you to make 2020 your best year yet!

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