New Year’s resolutions: How the planning is the key to success.

Date: 11th December 2022 Category: Latest News
New Year’s resolutions: How the planning is the key to success.

Making New Year’s resolutions is very much a tradition. We make them with the best intentions, however, there is a chasm in the number of resolutions we make and those where the intended outcome matches our goals. We work on them for a period, but, with time, our efforts wane. Then, we give up; usually because we do not see the changes quickly enough. To be more successful, perhaps we need a different approach.

Some people make them quietly to themselves, others journal, and others put them on their vision board. No matter how you make them and with the intent of achieving them, for many, there is that voice in the back of their mind “Yeah, whatever, you make them every year, and they never come off.”

It is almost as if people are only making them because it is habitual, or those around them are making them. The why and what are not necessarily important parts, the how is the difference between achieving them or not. We continue to fall into that ‘do the same things, and you will get the same results’. It is not the ‘what’ of the resolutions that are the issue, it may be how they are approached that is probably the issue.

They are made with only the end game in mind, which is important. We need to know where we are now, where we want to be, and to be realistic. Summiting Everest in six months' time may not be a realistic time frame. Very rarely do we think about how we will know when we have achieved it, what it will look, sound, and feel like. The more specific and the more thought that's put into them will add more value and emotion to the outcomes. Remember we are driven mainly by our emotions.


Only thinking about the end game is how we mark our success. Yes, we put the effort and work in at first, and we are motivated, then over time, our motivation reduces because we start to feel that we are not getting as close to them as much as we want. Most of the resolutions we make have a shelf life of three months. Then we give up and feel that we've failed.

Say our resolution is to summit Everest, that’s the goal, and that is brilliant, however, only thinking about reaching the summit is too big a task. There is nothing wrong with having an eye on the prize. This is where the how comes into play. How are you going to get there? What do you need to do? Break the resolution down, and make it into smaller manageable steps.


Breaking it down and making mini goals gives the feeling that they are more achievable, that there are stages on the way you can reach and keep that motivation alive, and more importantly, that you can take the win of getting one step closer, building that self-confidence and belief “I can really do this”.

Let’s stick with summiting Everest. What are the steps and stages of achieving that?

Work backwards:

  • How do I actually do it? Where can I get advice and support to help me make it happen? It’s not like you grab your big coat and gloves, jump on a plane and have a stroll to the top.
  • How much is it going to cost? Is that realistic? Considering your current income, how long will it take to save that, are there other ways I can fund it?
  • When can I do it? “I’ll do it next year between xy July dates, as everyone else has already booked their holidays at work.” The times of year that people can do the climb are pre-monsoon (February to April) and post-monsoon (September to December), so July isn’t realistic.
  • What training do I need to do? What level of fitness is needed? Again, doing a couch to 5k won’t cut it. Training in low temperatures and at high altitudes is a must.

I think you get the idea. Finding out specific details, booking your place, starting to save (every £1000 is a mini goal within a mini goal), and starting to train are all mini goals. Now, formalising the individual steps is what you put into your journal, vision board, etc.

Make yourself accountable to somebody. Someone that is there to support you, but also to push you and kick your arse when needed. Personally, family and friends are not the best choices. If you are doing the climb with someone else, make yourselves accountable to each other (OK, family and friends may be OK in this instance).

I have just used the example of Everest here but, whatever your resolution is - no matter how big or small - approaching it in this manner will dramatically increase the chances of you achieving it. Maybe start with a small one first, go through the process, and figure out what does and what doesn’t work for you. Find your own lane. Following self-help books can help, but they are not the only way. You will already have an idea of what motivates and drives you. Use them rather than having to learn totally new skills and tools.

And by the way, you have got this, you can do it.


If you feel that there are issues such as alcohol, drugs, or poor mental health that are impacting areas of your life and you want to explore what options are available to you, please get in touch. One thing you’ll never get from me is judgment. I simply want to support you through your journey and find solutions that work for you. It starts with a phone call, don’t worry about where to start, we start where we start and take it from there.