Finding Bliss: New Year, New You!

resolution.jpgHere are 5 tips to help you stick to your New Year’s resolutions – or, a practical guide to achieving your goals no matter what life throws at you.

New Year’s resolutions are promises we make (and often break!) to improve our lives. Is this the year you vow to write that screenplay, start a business, run a marathon or finally learn to play piano?

Whatever it is you want to do, you have to expect that you will need to get over a few hurdles to make it happen. For example, as those of us who have dropped projects know, lack of money, weariness and disinterest can get in the way of our best intentions.

But the good news is that you don’t need to be bursting with energy, or to be particularly brilliant, passionate or gutsy to stay on track. And even better, you can do whatever it is you want even if you don’t have a bulging bank account, friends in high places, or endless free time.

All you need is the follow-through factor: a realistic approach to breaking down whatever obstacle life throws at you into a very manageable problem that you can easily solve or maneuver around. When you’ve got the follow-through factor, everything becomes possible. Without it, resolutions are just wishful thinking.

Here are tips on how to tackle the five most common obstacles that can get in your way of your resolutions. Your future is looking better already.

Waning passion:
Want to know the number one reason people abandon their resolutions? Because they fall out of love. Like a disappointing third date, the initial spark you felt for your big idea can grow cold, fast. But those who follow-through confirm that nobody feels the passion for their goal 24/7. Expect that some days you’ll like the thing you want to do, and on other days you won’t be all that keen on it. Stick with it anyway. Nobody and no project is perfect. But if you stay faithful to your idea, your interest in your will grow, not diminish.

Lack of money: Let’s face it, on the list of frightening things to do in a lifetime, investing hard-earned cash in yourself falls between swimming with sharks and stand-up comedy. But even scarier is the notion that you’ll never do what you want. All dreams come with a price tag, but so does inaction. You can find courage to write a cheque by reminding yourself that you don’t have to foot the entire bill for your project all at once. Just fund it one small step at a time. And look for non-essential items you can sacrifice to pay for your ambition. You don’t have to give up anything forever, just for now as a way to help you attain the future you want.

No time:
Typically, we give our time to anyone who asks for it, except ourselves. We put everyone else’s needs ahead of our own so by the time we finally make it to the front of the line, the train has left the station, leaving us in its dust. So put your resolutions first, and you’ll discover a funny thing happens to those around you. They’ll find a way to adjust to your schedule, even if they have to flex some initiative of their own to do it. And think of your appointments with yourself as a series of non-negotiable can’t-be-missed dentist appointments. When you’ve got to be somewhere, you find the time to get there.

No energy to spare:
Believe it or not, we have a reserve energy tank. To access extra juice, just take a tiny micro-step towards your goal. Even the littlest action will revitalize you. No matter how weary you are, it’s less draining to do something, no matter how small, than to be weighted down by the guilt of inaction.

Not knowing how to proceed: When you don’t have a clue, all you have to do is ask the question that launched a thousand successful resolutions: What do I need to find out first? That’s all you need to know to figure out which foot to put in front of the other.

– by Gene C. Hayden, author of The Follow-Through Factor

Gene Hayden is a creative strategist and professional business coach. Her book,
The Follow-Through Factor, offers practical strategies that work with your realities, not against them, to get you where you want to go. It teaches you how to win the tug-of-war against demands, doubts, and circumstances that can prevent you from reaching your goals.