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Do your resolutions set you up to succeed?

Here it is the beginning of another new year, and even though we would like to think life is back to normal, we are still dealing with an upside-down world. Covid hasn't left us alone, the economy is getting better, but you and I know we are still struggling to get through each day.

We have more reasons than ever to make New Year's resolutions, and we make them with honesty and intent to change our lives. But too often, we find ourselves slipping and sliding off the path of good intentions. Why does this happen? What can we do to keep moving forward?


Resolutions are often made based on what we see around us or what we think we need to change. We are trying to change because society or someone else says we should. The only changes we can hope to make are those we choose for ourselves.

Accept that none of us are perfect and embrace the imperfections that don't bother you. Look instead to changing things that result in increased happiness and satisfaction.

Your changes - your choice.


Resolutions are often vague and poorly defined. Goals that are specific and clear are the ones we find successful. Think about how Google Maps works (or whichever one you use). If you want to get to the Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park, you need more than directions to the northwest corner of Wyoming or somewhere around Montana. It takes specific, concrete, and clear goals to get you where you want to go.

Your resolutions/goals need to be specific and clear, measurable, achievable, relevant (to you), and have a timeline that allows enough time for you to succeed. (Yes, I am talking about SMART goals).

Know where you want to go before you try and get there.


Resolutions frequently are about things we don't want to do instead of what progress we want to make. A goal that says you will only smoke three cigarettes a day is more likely to result in success than one that says you will not smoke as much. A goal that says I will lower my cholesterol works when you include positive action, such as adding three more servings of vegetables per week.

Successful resolutions are written about what you will do and not what you won't do. Learn to think in terms of forward momentum and positive progress.

Success is about what you can do. And you can do more than you think.


Resolutions are often made in private and kept to ourselves for fear others might see us fail. Involving someone else in your goals lends accountability to your efforts. Our success rate climbs when we have a solid partner to work through the tough spots. Involve a friend, family member, partner (and yes) a life coach to ensure a successful outcome.

You do not have to do the difficult things alone. There is no weakness in asking for help.

After all, life is a group effort.


It just takes time, help, and frequently, the ability to laugh at yourself. So, go ahead and make those resolutions. Be intelligent regarding your plan and reasonable in your expectations. Reach further than what is easy and accept that failure means you are learning. Try again and again. You will get there.


Angela Nevin, Diversity Life Coach

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