Struggling with your New Year’s Resolutions?


A question I am often asked is: “I never seem to follow through on my New Year’s resolutions! What can I do?”

The number one reason most people don’t stick to their new year’s resolutions is that they set unrealistic goals.

It’s called the “False Hope Syndrome” where a person’s unrealistic expectations about the likely speed, amount, ease and consequences of changing their behaviour.

So, if you want to stick to your goals in 2020, then consider setting yourself “SMAC” Goals and monitor your progress, checking in on them every thirty or ninety days.

SMAC is an acronym for; Specific, Measurable, Achievable and Compatible.

Goals need to be specific because with clarity we have power. The better we know something, the more confident we are with it, that’s why the goals we set, need to be specific in nature. I will save £1000 into Premium Bonds from my income, or I will work out three days a week after work on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

We need to be able to measure them, usually at this time of year it’s on the scales, or with the bank balance, but measuring them allows us to quantify the achievement of them. Saying I will save some money, or lose some weight is neither specific nor measurable and not motivating.

We want our goals to be realistic because setting ourselves up for failure is not going to help anyone. Momentum builds confidence and confidence builds success. If you’re new to this, set very achievable shorter-term goals, to build your confidence and then develop these.

Ensuring your goals are compatible is the most important to me. It’s essential we set goals which are compatible with how we see ourselves and how we want to ultimately live our life, our ‘true north’. You will be infinitely happier and more successful in life if you act and live in alignment with your values. If your goals are compatible with your values you will be in what’s known as ‘the flow state’, where your actions are more effortless, and life is a little more natural.

Going for a promotion at work because others think you should, or setting goals which others tell you to, is unlikely to bring you happiness, and ultimately, we’re all seeking more happiness.

Once you have set your new year’s resolutions, check in on your progress after a period of time, say 30 or 90 days, depending on the work involved. Schedule time with yourself in your diary and make 2020 the year you did resolve to make a change, after all, it’s the roaring 20’s!