Do you make New Year’s resolutions and find something always gets in the way? Procrastination, old habits or the busyness of life? Here are some tips for tackling your new year resolutions with a new mindset.

Recently, I reflected with some clients and asked a few questions as they stressed over “having to” lose weight, run faster, get promoted, or do more.


Questions to ask yourself?

  • Do these goals reflect your values?
  • Do these goals give you a sense of meaning and purpose?
  • Would achieving these goals enrich your life?
  • Would you behave more in line with the person you want to be if you achieved these goals?
  • Do you feel a sense of vitality around these goals?
  • Do you feel passionate enough to stand up and fight for these goals?
  • Does your heart yearn to fulfill these goals?


If you answered yes to most of these questions then you’re on your way to achieving your new year resolutions. If you answered no, like many of us, you’ve probably been caught up by our goal orientated society’s non-stop media push for more…. more everything… and been goal setting around what society, advertising, our boss or others tell us we want. Using values to underpin our goals means we can enjoy the journey towards our goals, even if we have to fine-tune the goal along the way.

Setting SMART goals

Meaningful resolutions use values

Are you passionate about your goals?

You’re probably familiar with the goal setting acronym SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. Here’s the SMART goal acronym with a helpful twist:

Specific – A non-specific goal is to “lose weight” but a specific goal is to “lose 5 kilos over 6 months”.

Meaningful – Your goals should be guided by your personal values rather than pleasing others. What is a match for your values?

Adaptive – Your goals should move you towards a meaningful life rather than away.

Realistic – Your goals should take into account your skills and resources.

Time-bound – Your goals should be grounded within a time frame.


Making resolutions happen

Once you’ve decided on your goals or resolutions it’s time to make an action plan with easy to manage, measureable steps. Quantify your goals with numbers such as dates and amounts.

Next, it’s worthwhile considering:

Making it happen

Increasing your chance of success

  • What are the benefits?
  • What are the obstacles? How will you manage them?
  • How can you show your commitment to the goal? Personally or publically?
  • How can you reward yourself for achieving each small step along the way? It can be as simple as saying “well done”.
  • Can you quiet your inner critic and use positive self-talk?
  • Can you practice self-compassion when a step is missed? Self-compassion is vital to getting back on track and accomplishing your resolutions.


As you progress along the path to achieving your new year resolutions I hope you can enjoy the journey and make next year a year that truly enriches your life.


“Commitment isn’t about being perfect, always following through, or never going astray. Commitment means that when you (inevitably) stumble or get off track, you pick yourself up, find your bearings, and carry on in the direction you want to go.”
― Russ Harris


This blog was inspired by content from Russ Harris’s (2012) book The Reality Slap, London: Constable & Robinson.