We, humans, are quite odd creatures. Year in, year out, just like clockwork we get this urge to reinvent ourselves.

Some, consciously decide what they want to pay attention this year to specific priorities, while others consciously make the decision to not make any resolutions for the year, as they obviously have been disappointed not met previous attempts of achieving their stated goals.

For some reason, we love the idea of a new beginning. A New Year is just like a checkpoint in a game, and it makes us think that things can be different now.

We love the idea of improvement, and this motivates us, but most people are not ready to change what really counts, and question WHO IT IS that they need to be in order to achieve these new goals and priorities. Often in looking at who we need to be requires us to look at our habits, (particularly bad habits) and limiting beliefs, that often accounts for the high failure rate.

The surprising fact is that just 8% of people achieve their New Years Resolutions by the end of the year. Moreover the interesting part is that most of these resolutions tend to be identical from the previous year. Only the last digit of the year changes.

Here are the four reasons why people DO NOT follow on their New Year Resolutions:

1. Operating on a short-term mindset (wanting results as soon as possible)

2. Not having a strategy or action plan on how to achieve them

3. Focusing on too many things we want to change or achieve

4. Thinking of New Year Resolutions as things WE DO, not things WE ARE

So how do we fix it? - Now, that is the right question.



Below are five things that will help you approach New Year Resolutions from a different angle, make sure your set them in a right way and follow


To make sure you have the right priorities for the year ahead, first, you should take a look on how did the previous year go. Reflect back on everything you have experienced, achieved and discovered so that you can create a perfect closure.

Here are the several points you should reflect upon.

General reflection about the year - If you had to describe these previous 12 months, in a sentence, what would that sentence be?

Significant events - Ask yourself, what one event, big or small, that happened is something that you will still talk about in 5 years?

Biggest accomplishment - What single achievement are you most proud of? Moreover, why?

Challenges you encountered - What were the challenges you have faced, both in personal, and professional life?

Learning lessons - What are the most important lessons you have learned in 2017? Not only that but how did you grow? How did it make you wiser?

People - Who were your go-to people that you could always rely on?

Most common mental state this year - What was it? Excitement? Curiosity? Enthusiasm? What triggered them? 

Me on the 1st of January 2017 vs. me right now - How would you describe yourself now, compared to the beginning of last year?

Gratitude - What, or who, are you most grateful for?


Every year of our life offers the same opportunity.

The first step is to gain clarity on WHO do you want to be. This way every action you take, will not be something YOU DO, but something YOU ARE.

  • WHO is it that I need to be - in order to achieve the goals and success I want in the New Year?
  •  What limiting beliefs do I need to let go of and replace with more resourceful and powerful ones?
  • What Attributes, Standards, Beliefs and Expectations does someone have who is already achieving success where you want to. How can I specifically implement these into my life and or business right now?

Finish this sentence: By the end of 2018, I am............


Once you have an idea WHO you need to be this year and what attributes you need to take on, you should define a theme for the year.

This will serve you as a focus and a guiding star.

Often focusing on a big picture for the year will help you set the smaller goals, that all fit within the focus and theme for the year.

Some examples for themes could be:

  • Overall Happiness and being more Positive (this often has flow on effects, affecting every area of your life)
  • Health (reach optimal body state)
  • Financial Independence (become fully financially independent without debts)
  • Take Action Towards My Passion (start a project based on my passion and skills)
  • Financial Freedom (continue to build my business and reach financial freedom)

Once you move on to the next year and its theme, the habits you have established in the previous year will become part of who you are, and your task is just to be consistent with them, and add the new theme.

To define your theme, ask yourself following:

What should be the theme of 2018 that will bring me closer to the person I want to become?


"The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are." J.P. Morgan

Once you have clarity on the theme for the year ahead, next step is to set a couple of keystone goals for the year that represents the core of your theme. A key principle of success of achieving goals is to start with the end in mind, then work backwards. Once we can articulate the end goal it will provide much clarity on the journey and the pathway needed to take.

After the goal is articulated we can reverse engineer and then look at defining and setting the specific actions needed (which will form your strategy) in order for you to accomplish this goal within a time frame. The more specific the actions you put down the more achievable the goal is.

Your goals should always be set within the S.M.A.R.T. format.


Specific; A specific goal is outcome specific, articulated with detail.

  • WHOWho is involved?
  • WHATWhat do I want to accomplish?
  • WHEREIdentify a location.
  • WHENEstablish a time frame.
  • WHICHIdentify requirements and constraints.
  • WHYSpecific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.

Measurable: Establish criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. (ie numbers, figures, benchmarks – how you will be feeling).

When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs you on to continued effort required to reach your goal.

Attainable: Your goals must not be too big, but big enough that will stretch and challenge you. When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true..

Realistic: To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective or something that you are willing and able to work towards .

Timely: A goal should be grounded within a time frame for the outcome to be achieved. With no time frame tied to it there's no sense of urgency. (ie. I want to loose 10kgs by 1 May).


"There's a six-word formula for success: Think things through, then follow through." Eddie Rickenbacker

Here you will find specific principles you should have in mind; that will help you follow through your New Year Resolutions.

CONSISTANCY - Making small continual improvement every day will be compounded over time, and give you desirable results. That is why you should focus on the day that’s ahead of you, and improve just 1%.

There will be days where your circumstances will not allow you to commit to your goals, but you can still do just a small step to ensure that you remain consistent.

SUPPORT SYSTEM and ACCOUNTABILITY - To set yourself up for success look at what other resources are available to you. Getting a Coach or Mentor can help you  initially articulate your goals and set up with you the strategy and actions needed in order for you to achieving your goals. They will provide support, inspiration, motivation and champion along the way. A coach is there also to challenge and stretch you in doing a few things that you may not have done before. They are also someone who will make sure you are accountable to for your goals.

EVALUATE AND ADAPT - Stopping every once in a while to evaluate and measure, will help you see whether or not you are on the right track.

Ideally, you would want to do this once a week, to see progress towards your goals.

CELEBRATE SUCCESSES - We live in a dynamic environment, and because things move rapidly, we often forget to stop to see what have we are accomplished. That is why its important to celebrate your successes between milestones as well as progress towards a goal. This always helps with motivation.

NO FAILURE ONLY FEEDBACK - There is always bound to be ˜bumps in the road" and things that don't work along the way. Use these opportunities as an opportunity to ask:

Why didn't it work? What can I do differently next time?



No matter where you are right now with your New Year Resolutions. Whether or not you are still on track, or you feel like you failed, it does not matter.

As the quote by Dr.Roberta Andling says:

"January 1 signifies a new beginning. However, each day allows for a new beginning, and hence it is a reset."

So today you can decide to start over again, and now you have a strategy that will help you set yourself for success.

Focus on the present, and what you can do today to get closer to the person you want to become, and the goals you want to achieve.


Natalie Waters is a Development and Success Coach and a Human Behavioural Profiler. 

For a free Strategy session with Natalie get in contact today: 

Email: natalie@elevatecioaching.com.au


Ph: 0466 531 988


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