So many people set New Year’s Resolutions but fail to maintain their new way of life for more than a few weeks on average.


Well, too many people strive for big change in a short space of time.  In my book – What’s Next for Accountants I share in detail why that’s not a great strategy.  In short though, it’s too much.

People don’t like change and can’t maintain a big change for very long.

This is why fad diets don’t work.  It’s hell!  It’s just too much change in one go. It’s a big shock to the system. As is joining a gym and suddenly going 3 times per week.

I remember the first time I decided to come off of caffeine, I had a terrible headache for a week and gave up, I went back on the caffeine.  The next time I decided to come off it, I swapped one typical cup of coffee for a decaf version and each week swapped another, I weaned myself off of caffeine in a more successful manner.  Habit changed and no headache.

Couch to marathon?

Rather than deciding to get off the couch and run 20 miles per week it’s much better to plan and increment change so that you can adapt more easily. We know this because our body couldn’t possibly take that level of change in one go.  And yet we try and make other lifestyle changes that put mental, physical or habitual strain on us without a second thought.

Adapting to a healthier lifestyle might be better adopted by simply swapping one typical meal per week to a more healthy one.  Or having less chips on the plate and a little more salad. Perhaps a short walk once per week.  One bit at a time, one small change at a time.

Monthly resolutions, planned now.

Perhaps after a month, another meal per week could be exchanged for something more healthy.

This same principle applies to all of the goals we set whether it’s a personal goal or a business goal.

What one thing could you change each month that will begin to make your life better and in a more achievable and maintainable manner?  Take time to plan your year by having a month by month small resolution.

Measure and Track

It’s important to measure too.

If you’re looking to change something, what’s the outcome?  If it’s to lose weight that’s easier to measure than if it’s to start doing more social media activity. How do you know it’s successful?

Plan this out.  If it’s replacing one typical meal per week for a more healthy one then put a chart on the wall with all of the weeks on it and tick off each week that you replaced the meal.  That way you can visually see that you’re sticking to your new regime and will be aware as the week is progressing that you haven’t yet swapped that meal.

Get others involved

As a family – myself, my wife Jenny and my 10 and 9 year old kids – we’ve mapped out our goals for the year, broken them down in to measurable and trackable targets which will keep us each on track.  We had a fun goal setting session over a meal in the local Wetherspoons.

Statistically, people are much more likely to achieve their goals if they’re shared with others.  As a family we’re accountable to each other on our goals.  I feel compelled to set an example with my children now that we’ve all set goals together which means I’m much more likely to achieve them otherwise what message does that send to my kids?


Finally, it’s important to have a strong WHY for each change.  If you don’t fully subscribe to your goal then you won’t have the impetus to continue it.  Make that WHY clear and present.  Put your goals in a photo frame next to your bed so it’s the last thing you see each day and the first thing you see in the morning.  This will keep your goals in focus.

Action you can take.

Sit down with your family and come up with some targets for the end of 2018, then break them down in to incremental chunks, take ownership and commit as a family to each of your own goals.  Doing it as a family first will help you get your priorities in business right too.  If your family are wanting more of your time and you decide to commit to that then how will you develop your business to ensure that happens?

I wish you a prosperous, successful and very happy new year.

What resolutions have you set?  Personal or business related?  Give me a comment below.