I’ve been hearing recently that very few people actually follow through on their New Year’s Resolutions. After giving this some thought, it’s my feeling there are a couple of reasons why this is true.  The first is that people make their resolutions, which is great, but they don’t create a plan to carry them out. Unfortunately this causes them to fail. It becomes overwhelming and instead of taking a few baby steps and building momentum – they end up doing nothing at all. It’s easy to give up when you don’t have a plan to get there.

This brings me to the second reason; most people have such huge aspirations that they become overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. Again, they end up not doing anything.  I have a great example of this. On New Year’s Day I went to the local Starbuck’s to get coffee. I overheard one of the barista’s say she was upset that she fell asleep early on New Year’ Eve because it was her last night ever to eat unhealthy and she didn’t take advantage of it! I felt sorry for her because when people say they will never do something again, they are pretty much setting themselves up for failure. She would likely end up eating something bad – feel guilty about it – and then end up eating even more bad food then she would have in the first place!

While most people have the intention to succeed, the reality is they need a plan to help them reach their goals. We don’t need to figure out it all upfront, but at least enough to get started. Here are a few tips that will help YOU succeed.

First, be realistic. If your goal is to eat healthy then map out a plan that will work for you. Cutting out ALL bad food likely won’t work. How about eating a salad for lunch 3 days a week, or researching tasty but healthy recipes that you will be motivated to eat? Set yourself up to succeed. If your expectations are too high, you are more likely to fail. You will feel overwhelmed and give up.

Second, breakdown your goal into manageable steps. What is the first step you can do to put you on track to achieving your goal? Then write down all subsequent steps needed. Be as specific as possible, so that you can be reasonable with the amount of time it will take to reach your goal. If you don’t know all of the steps right now, that’s okay. It’s actually more than okay. Part of making HUGE leaps is staying open to new ideas.

Third, schedule in all of the steps. Get out your calendar and assign a date to each task. This will help you be accountable to what you have decided to do. You will also have a concrete plan AND that will help you reduce stress and overwhelm – both of which can stop you in your tracks.

Fourth, get support. If you’re going to the gym, go with a friend or sign-up for a class.  For your business goals, find a mentor or a coach. I will always have a coach, and to be honest it’s a bit of a red flag if the person you want to hire doesn’t have their own. They should be invested in their own success if they expect you to invest in yours. We can always use a personal cheerleader to hold us accountable and motivate us to be the best we can be 🙂