10 tips for setting achievable New Year’s resolutions

10 tips for setting achievable New Year’s resolutions

Learning how to set realistic goals, and defining the steps that we need to achieve them, can be a valuable skill. Setting goals, and reaching, or even surpassing them, allows us to create, by design, the lifestyle and career that we want for ourselves. It provides a way to have greater control over the amount of success that we experience in all areas of our life.

Reaching your goals takes work. Here are 10 practical ways to stay energised and motivated to keep working towards your goals all year round.

First of all reflect

Successful sports people and their coaches know you can’t move forward until you know exactly where you are in the game. That’s why they spend so much time reviewing their game plan and performance before they prepare for the next match. It should be no different for any of us who have a goal in mind.

The process of self-assessment is a vital part of defining your way forward. It’s a process which builds skills you’re going to use all your life. It reinforces the mindset which tells you that you can improve, learn more and develop new skills. In other words, it reminds you that you can change; you’re not limited by your current situation or abilities. It also builds up your resilience because you learn to reflect on strategies and techniques you’ve used in the past and choose how to apply them to your new challenges or directions.


If you haven’t worked out where you want to go, you won’t get there.

I can’t emphasise enough the importance of setting goals. If you haven’t done it, set aside some time to think about where you want to head. Write it down. Describe your perfect future. Brainstorm with yourself – don’t set limits. Just write it all down.  Research has shown that you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals simply by writing them down.

Once you have written them down, it’s time to work on your game plan.

  • What do you need to do to get started on your new path?
  • What skills do you need?
  • What experience?
  • What support?

And, importantly, where will you get these things? Remember you’re designing a strategy and it probably won’t take you instantly to your goal. It’s a process – a journey. Be patient. You are planning the best way to position yourself to take a step closer to your goals.

Set realistic expectations

When setting goals, it’s important to keep realistic expectations, especially if your goals will require months or years of effort and hard work to achieve. The best goals are those that prompt us to grow.

They cause us to reach just outside of our comfort zone and skill level. They require some effort to achieve but are neither too difficult or easy to accomplish.

When setting medium range and long-term goals, keep your motivation high by breaking larger goals into smaller ones. This allows you to more easily measure your progress and take corrective action if you need to along the way.

Define your why

When defining your goal, it’s important for you to understand your true reason for setting the goal in the first place. Important questions to ask yourself are why does this goal matter to you?

What do you hope to accomplish? What is the true, “higher” purpose that you are working towards by setting this goal?

Defining your why and keeping it at the forefront of your mind, will help to strengthen your resolve as you push towards your goal.

Be accountable

Another way to strengthen your resolve and make it easier to achieve your goals is to recruit an accountability partner. Enlist the help of a close friend, mentor or coach with which you can share your struggles and wins.

Simply having someone to listen to you is invaluable for remaining motivated over the long term. An accountability partner can offer you unbiased insight and advice, but most importantly they will encourage you and spur you on when your energy levels fall and your motivation begins to flag.

Hold monthly success meetings with yourself

One way to remain enthusiastic about your goal is to hold yourself accountable on a regular basis. Hold regular monthly meetings with yourself to review your performance.

Reflect on the progress that you’ve made towards accomplishing your goals during the past month. Have you had any big wins? Or Setbacks?

What could you have done differently to make more progress? Is there anything that you’ve learned in the past month that will help you as you move forward?

As you wrap up your monthly review, don’t forget to set yourself up for success for the next month.  What actions do you need to do, moving forward, to achieve your goal? Focus your attention and effort on those smaller goals to help you remain motivated and advance your cause forward.


If you’ve ever watched nature shows on TV, you’ve probably seen how persistent an animal can be when hunting another. It’s amazing how strong a motivator hunger is. If you’re hungry for your goal, you’ll fight for it. Persistence needs discipline, and discipline is a habit. Set up routines to remind you to keep your eyes on your goal or track your progress. Persistence is about not quitting. Those habits will help you keep going.


Nothing goes 100% to plan no matter how carefully you prepare. It’s important to be adaptable so you can change tack when you need to. People who can’t adapt will be left stranded with nowhere to go. There are many roads to your goal. Be prepared to take a different route if circumstances change.


Take advantage of your natural energy cycles to help you reach peak performance. Pay attention to the way your body and mind performs during the day. There will be peaks and troughs in your energy levels.

For example, are you a morning person? Then plan your important tasks for early in the day. When you identify your best times, you can take maximum advantage of your energy levels. Working ‘in the flow’ is much easier than fighting it.


Successful people have the capacity to bounce back after a setback. They know it’s a temporary thing and won’t have lasting consequences. No matter how bad they feel at the time, they understand the feeling will pass. Instead, they look for the learning they can pull from the situation and give it a positive result.

You may need to remind yourself to look for the positive in your setbacks, but the more you do it, the stronger your resilience will become.

Are you ready to take the next step towards success? Get these attitudes and behaviours in place and off you go.

If you need some help with your planning take advantage of my free online coaching program to Set Yourself up For Success.

Athena Coaching

Linda Murray is a successful businesswoman, coach, strategist and mentor, speaker and trainer. Linda’s talent is teaching women to increase their commercial success while using their authentic feminine approach. She mixes her personal experience in business, her strong academic background and her observations of hundreds of businesses to show businesswomen and female executives how to enjoy greater commercial outcomes and accelerated individual success. Linda has coached countless clients to greater success through improved business strategies, increased profits, leadership development, increased team engagement and greater personal satisfaction and commercial confidence. Linda balances the extremes required in business. She has the unique ability to focus on both the big picture and the details; the numbers and the people; the sales and the administration; the left-brain and the right-brain. Linda has a track record in assisting women in business and female executives to identify the commercially profitable big picture strategy and then create an achievable action plan to implement it. Linda built her first successful business in her early 20s, growing her business to a team of 25 bookkeepers and financial controllers. Linda’s business model modernised the bookkeeping industry dramatically – by constantly challenging the traditional models of client management and service delivery. After experiencing the results that business coaching delivered in her business, Linda became passionate about coaching. Linda sold her financial business to start Athena Coaching, where her clients enjoy the benefit of her proven commercial experience combined with state of the art coaching support and her exceptional academic background. Linda has a Masters of Business Coaching, a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology and Philosophy), is an Accredited Professional Coach and Certified NLP Practitioner.


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