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OPINION: Why I don’t make New Year’s resolutions

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Whilst I have every respect for anyone wanting to make changes in their life, I’ve never joined in with the annual declaration of resolve for the next year, which mostly seems to involve ‘giving something up’.

What we focus on grows, so focussing on what we don’t want can lead to our minds becoming obsessed with that thing, whether it is fast food, smoking or our dissatisfaction with our fitness levels. New Year’s Resolutions therefore rarely stand the test of time, with Strava finding that around 80% of people have failed to keep to their resolutions within just two weeks of setting them.

Depressingly, the second Friday in January has become known as “quitters day” for this reason.

So here’s a great question; “What would happen if I started to improve my life today? Every day of the year?” Each one of us fundamentally knows how we want our life to be, and it usually involves feeling better about ourselves and our environment, feeling more connected, feeling safe and secure.

A better question still, “What is stopping me from making changes right now?”

Inevitably, what’s stopping me is me and the lousy habits I repeat, or the good habits I have yet to incorporate into my daily life.

One great habit set for me is to surround myself with people who are working on themselves and setting goals, to have accountability and to be focussed on my desired outcomes.

Clarity is essential to the process, so taking time (and that’s one thing I have plenty of this week) to assess where I am in each area of my life, getting crystal clear on my values and coming up with some new goals, then thinking about what action I can take to move myself closer to my goals is definitely going to be more effective than just deciding to ‘give up’ one thing.

Momentum comes from this clarity and from the action I put in, not vice versa. So I have to actually put the work in to find my enthusiasm for change. In other words, my motivation is a result of my action, not the other way around.

Motivation is not going to get me off the sofa, my motivation will come from getting off the sofa and doing whatever it is I need to do to make the changes I want in my life, gradually and incrementally. Most people who fail to achieve their goals do so from setting themselves unrealistic targets and give up as a result of setting themselves up to fail. So easy does it….but do it. Your new life awaits you.

Clare Honeyfield is an award-winning business owner, success coach and published author working with women who want to improve their lives and grow their ethical business, putting people and planet first. Clare helps women entrepreneurs to get focus, get direction and get success.

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