As I sit sipping my latte in one of my favourite cafe’s in Bangkok and watching the people and the world adjust to a New Year, one of my fellow coffee lovers casually asks me what my New Year’s Resolutions was?

Writing new year's resolutions

The light bulb moment for today, that’s what I will write my first blog of 2017 about, I had been giving it some thought as I usually do in which ever cafe I am taking up temporary residence.

We all do it, make New Year’s Resolutions, it’s almost as important as Auld Lang Sign, it just happens a few hours later.

But for most people you can pretty much guarantee that by the time the last of the revellers give up the party for their beds, then most New Year’s Resolutions will have bit the dust too.

So why is that, well often the resolutions themselves just aren’t realistic, too big or with no chance of success.

There are however some simple tools to ensure that your New Year’s Resolutions are something that actually does change your life the way you hoped it would when you uttered the words full of enthusiasm.

So what else other than enthusiasm will you need to make these New Year’s Resolutions different to all the others that have slipped to obscurity.

The answer is to make your resolution SMART.

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

If you follow the SMART goal model and make your New Year’s Resolutions each of the above, then it will be a success and gift you the required change.

Here’s an example of how to use the SMART goal model.

Lets say you want to lose weight, one of common New Year’s Resolutions, so by using each of the five SMART  acronyms lets break down the goal.

Specific – How much weight? It’s no use saying you want to lose 3 stones and then finding it such a mammoth task that you lose the will to go on.

Measurable – Weigh yourself before you begin and at not too frequent intervals so you can actually measure your progress.

Achievable – As I mentioned earlier, being too ambitious can often lead to disappointment, so instead of a 3 stone target, why not start with a one stone target, achieving that is much more achievable and you will grow in confidence once achieving your first target, which will spur you on to the bigger goal.

Realistic – If you don’t have time for exercise at the gym and you can’t cut out chocolate and burgers, then realistic goals need to be made. There is no really successful diet, what works is life changes, so think about what you can realistically change in your life and routines and don’t make goals which you know aren’t do-able.

Timely – Instead of your resolution lacking direction, try adapting the goal to ‘I want to lose one stone in 6 months, by giving yourself a time frame, it will help you to make the necessary steps to get you to your goal.

This therapeutic tool works with any goal, resolution or plan, so use it for your New Year’s Resolutions and see how much easier it is with a structure in place.

If you need help with any life change and you’re struggling to make it happen, then I have other therapeutic tools which can help, drop me a line from my website.

Best wishes for 2017 – Paul Parkin.