We all know people who get to the New Year and say to themselves, “Right… time to lose weight… I shall make this my New Years Resolution.” and whilst they have the best of intentions at that moment, they find themselves (3 days later) in a string vest eating leftover Christmas pudding and mince pies!

If you want to avoid falling into the common New Years Resolution trap then here’s how…

Common Resolutions

When thinking about setting goals at the New Year most people simply set very general goals.

For example,

I want to lose weight
I want to get fit
I want to stop smoking
I want to drink less (or drink more… who knows?)
I want to earn more money

The list goes on…

So what’s the problem?
Well, in my experience these general goals tend to be a perceived answer to a deeper need.

Let me explain…

I worked with someone recently who said, I want to lose weight”… (Now firstly, that’s easy… I could simply chop off a limb and that would be 14ib’s gone instantly, however, I suspected that they didn’t have that in mind.)

You see, not only did I want them to begin to set a more specific targetable goal (How much weight? How are you going to do that? Over what time period? Etc) but I wanted them to think about their core motivation… their deeper need. So I asked them the following question…

“What would it mean to you if you had lost the weight you wanted?”

They stopped for a moment and replied; “It would mean that I could feel better about my body and myself”.

Now stop and think about this for a second.

If this person goes away and decides to crash diet, starve themselves and over-exert themselves in the gym in a post new year motivational surge then guess what happens by the time day 3 comes along? Yep… you guessed right… this previously inactive overeater finds themselves, physically sore from working out, headaches from sugar withdrawals, low energy levels, and reduced amounts of serotonin (your brain’s happy chemical). This not someone who is going to get to day 3 and feel better about their body! They have set themselves up to fail. Why? Perhaps they hadn’t considered their core motivation… their deeper need.

Instead, they could plan how to achieve a realistic and targetable goal whilst keeping in mind the core reason behind why they are wanting to do it.

Another Example

I met another man who told me his goal was to be a millionaire. Now I like the sound of that too but I asked him the key question, “What would it mean to you if you were a millionaire?” He replied, “It would mean I would feel worthy, that I mattered. I would feel free!”

Bingo! The truth is, deep down what this person really wants are simply the things that he perceives money will buy him. A sense of freedom and worth!

Now, I have no objections to people setting goals like this but guess what? I know many people who are not millionaires by any means but who do live with a sense of worth and a feeling of freedom.

So if you want to stack the odds in your favour of achieving your ultimate New Year’s Resolution… get in touch with your core motivation!


Write down your New Years resolution!

Now answer the following questions:

How can I make this achievable?
What steps do I need to take?
How will I know when I have got there?
What will I do once I have achieved it?

Now ask yourself the question to uncover your core motivation:

“What would it mean to me if I achieved it?”

Now ask yourself… Are there any other activities or things that I can do to help me to stay focused on this core motivation?
(For example, if my core motivation / deeper need is to feel good about my body could I buy some new clothes? Refresh my hairstyle? Do powerful visualisation techniques? Ask my partner to tell me what they like about me?…etc)

Remember, having goals is great so long as you are enjoying the journey!

12 Top Psychological Ideas To Improve Your Life


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