I hate New Year’s resolutions.  The secret to keeping them is to not make them. There! It only took two sentences to solve that one! Ha! Keep reading… 

Why do we decide to live differently simply because the clock is striking midnight? On January 1st, we look back over the past year and inventory all our shortcomings.  We resolve to lose weight, get out of debt, eat healthy, quit smoking, save money, get a new job, work out, drink less, get organized. A long list of resolutions is a sure road to failure.

Here are 6 steps to replace setting resolutions that will actually allow you to make positive, lasting changes in your life.

1. Identify ONE thing – I always ask my clients “What is your highest and hottest hoop right now?” In other words, what needs your attention right now? What’s your biggest pain point? If it’s living healthier, choose that. If it’s getting out of debt, choose that.

2. Know your WHY – Why do you want to lose weight? Why do you want to get out of debt? Why do you want to save money or quit your job? If it’s a big enough reason, you’ll stick with it beyond January 2nd.  Oh… and write your WHY down and carry it with you.

3. CHUNK it down – How best to eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Define what you need to do on a consistent basis in order to make a change. Going to the gym on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 6am. Setting up an automatic transfer of $100 every 1st and 15th of the month. Writing a new blog post by 10am every day.

4. SCHEDULE it – Put the activity on your calendar and then actually do it. You’ve seen Stephen Covey’s Big Rocks analogy (if you haven’t, here it is…). Pretend these items are big rocks… don’t let the little rocks of life push around the things that are most important.

5. Make it a HABIT – The more you do something, the more it’ll be engrained into your life. Your goal is to make it become habit that you don’t think about it anymore.

6. Rinse and Repeat – Now go to your next highest and hottest hoop and do the same thing. 

The good news is that you don’t need to wait until January 1st to apply these steps. You can do it in the middle of July! Better yet, you can do it right now…