So with 2017 well under way, I’m sure you have set some New Year’s resolutions of things you want to achieve this coming year. Whether that be losing some of that holiday season weight, getting fitter or just being overall healthier, a new year brings a fresh start and is a good time to set goals. New year, new you right? However, for how many years have you set those exact same goals with the intention of achieving them throughout the year but they soon become forgotten…lost amongst all your other unachieved dreams? Well you are not alone. I’m sure each and every one of us has, at some point, set intentions and not followed through with them.

So how DO we achieve our goals and create that new and better version of yourself?

First we must understand the mistakes we have made in the past and resolve them, otherwise we will most likely remain trapped in the never-ending cycle of setting goals then forgetting about them a month later.

The first mistake often made is focusing solely on the endpoint of where you want to be in a years time, but not actually having a plan on how to get there. Say you want to get fitter for example, and you have this vision of you running a marathon 12 months from now but you don’t having a training plan for it, you probably aren’t going to be able to complete the marathon.

So how do you fix this?

Break your end goal into lots of smaller steps that you can achieve on a daily or weekly basis. By doing this you really engage in the process of your ultimate goal and when you take a step back, the end goal doesn’t seem so daunting anymore. So even if your goal is to get fitter and be able to run a marathon, that doesn’t mean you have to wake up at the crack of dawn, put on your sneakers and go out for a 10 km run. No. Rather your stepping stones could be to be active everyday, whether that be taking your dog for a 10 minute walk, doing some yoga or going for that 10 km run, you are still making progress.

As the saying goes “if you can’t run, then walk. If you cant walk, then crawl.” The point is to NEVER give up and ALWAYS keep moving forward.

Next mistake that I have personally found makes all the difference is relying exclusively on motivation to get you through those 12 months of hard work. Don’t get me wrong, it is great to be motivated but how long will that motivation last? A week? A month? You see, the thing is with motivation is that it is so easy to become UNmotivated. It’s raining outside? Oh damn…now you can’t go for your run. You slept in and missed the time you usually get to the gym? Oh I’ll just go tomorrow. And over time these excuses just accumulate and by the end of the year all you have to show for your ‘hard work’ is a jar full of justifications as to why you couldn’t make things work.

Resolution?

Be PASSIONATE, not motivated. Let your passion to achieve your goals and become the best you drive your ability to make things happen. When you’re passionate about something and want it bad enough, justifications, or rather excuses don’t hold the same weight that they usually would. When you are passionate, you are determined. And when you are determined, nothing stands in your way. Not the weather. Not the time. Not your mind. Nothing. THAT is how you get things done. Take accountability for your actions. There is no time like the present to start working towards success, am I right? So start NOW. Motivation gets you started but passion is what keeps you going.

Finally, don’t get discouraged if you aren’t seeing results immediately. Change takes time, patience and A LOT of work. So take a breather every once in a while and look back at where you started. Whether you have been going for a week or 6 months, you will start to see changes and you WILL be so incredibly proud of yourself and grateful that you started when you did. Reflection is our most powerful tool and when we use it, it enriches our lives dramatically. Reflect. Be grateful. Continue to pursue your dreams despite what others may tell you. What have you got to lose?

So new year new you? Definitely.