Making New Year’s resolutions that stick

February 27, 2012

Goals, Holidays, Success

Setting a goal without formulating a plan is merely wishful thinking.

by Ada Porat — 

Effective New Year’s resolutions do not just happen — they require thoughtfulness, planning and commitment. Here are a few tips to ensure that your resolution actually sticks past Valentine’s Day:

1. Create a plan — Setting a goal without formulating a plan is merely wishful thinking. In order for your resolution to have resolve, it must translate into clear steps that can be put into action. A good plan will tell you what to do next and which steps are required to complete the goal.

2. Start your plan now — If you are like many people, you will have a limited window of opportunity during the first few days of January to harness your motivation. After that, most people forget their resolutions completely. It is imperative that you begin creating your plan immediately, so you can start implementing it as soon as the New Year rolls around.

3. Write down your resolution and plan — Commit to your resolution and plan by recording it someplace, such as a notebook or journal. That way, you make it real and prepare your mind to support the process.

4. Think beyond New Year’s — Nothing big gets accomplished in one day. Resolutions are set in a day, but carried out with a hundred tiny steps that happen throughout the year. New Year’s resolutions should be nothing more than a starting point for the rest of your life. Develop a ritual or habit for revisiting your plan on a regular basis in order to evaluate your progress and to fine-tune the process.

5. Progress, not perfection — Recognize and reward yourself for partial successes at every step along the way. Just as a resolution is not accomplished the day it is stated, neither is it finished the day you reach your goal. Success lies in the many small steps along the way, as well as in the ongoing effect of maintaining your resolution. Acknowledge your small steps toward success along the way.

6. Remain flexible — Expect that your plan can and will change. Life has a way of throwing the unexpected at us, and flexibility is required to complete anything but the simplest goal. Sometimes the goal itself will even change.


Ada Porat is an energy kinesiologist and life coach who facilitates personal development through integration of body, mind and spirit. 602-283-4628 or

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 28, Number 6, Dec 2009/Jan 2010.

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