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Do you set effective New Year resolutions?

So, 2014 is just around the corner; are you ready for it?

Are you ready to step up to the plate and make this ‘your best year ever’?

I’m sure you went through a similar optimistic process last New Year’s eve and I’m sure that you managed to make some real changes this year.

Before I tell you about a couple of my own strategies for creating meaningful New Year resolutions (and yes, I DO believe this can be a useful exercise!) have a go at this.

Take a look back at 2013 and make a note – mentally or on paper – of what you HAVE achieved.

Forget about anything that might have gone wrong, or that you set out to do and then quit or failed.

What DID you achieve in 2013?

I’m sure that if you think about it hard enough, month by month, you’ll be able to come up with a pretty impressive list.

Let’s be clear on something: this won’t apply for everybody out there, but for everybody in HERE (i.e. my list of subscribers) I can just about guarantee that it will apply to you.

Because we’re not ‘normal’.

Sorry but we ain’t: just take a look around you at Mr & Mrs Average and see how you compare – you are waaaaay above average.

So take a moment and list all the good stuff that you’ve done because it’ll get you into a positive frame of mind for writing down what you want to achieve in 2014.

Done that?

Good, then it’s time for those resolutions.

Firstly, resolutions are NOT goals

A goal is something you want to achieve; it’s an end point you want to work towards.

A resolution on the other hand is a change you want to make to your behaviour – as in ‘I resolve to do XYZ’

It’s a bit like asking ‘what kind of person am I going to be in 2014?’

And when you ask that question, bear these 2 things in mind:

1) Be specific about the changes you want to make

‘Lose weight’ or ‘get healthy’ or ‘get fitter’ aren’t specific enough for you to actually do anything about them.

By all means endeavour to lose weight, get healthy and fit in 2014, but make sure you fill in the details otherwise nothing is going to happen (I’m sure you’ve experienced this before).

‘I’m going to start taking omega 3, drink more water & get to bed by 10:30pm at least 3 nights a week’ would be a pretty specific resolution to make.

Even teeny tiny steps can be effective, because at least there’s a chance you’ll take them.

And who knows where that will lead…

2) Have a PLAN to change

That’s right ladies and gentlemen, without some kind of plan in place your resolutions mean diddly squat.

The whole point of change is that you do something differently.

So if you’re going to start taking omega 3, drinking more water and getting to bed a bit earlier what do you need to do in order to make that happen?

Because you already know that it won’t happen without a bit of effort.

So it’s pretty simple really

Create resolutions that tie in with your goals, be as specific about them as possible and then come up with a plan for how you’re going to make them happen.

I’ll be starting my 2014 with preparations for The Running Mojo in Dublin, a huge give away of my beginner running program from tomorrow, the online Kick Start January program & implementing some upgrades to my Boot Camp here in Oxfordshire.

I’m a pretty optimistic kind of guy and I appreciate the journey as much as the destination I’m heading towards.

That’s why I love this time of year, and when you combine that optimism and hope with some planning and focus MAGIC can happen.

I write my emails and blog posts for YOU, so thank you for listening, contributing to and being a part of my own journey.

Here’s another quick thought for you…

If you could have a dinner party to celebrate New Year’s eve and invite any guests, dead or alive, who would you have there?

Stephen Fry apparently tops the list for most people, but also up there with the most popular fantasy dinner guest (after a quick Google search) is Muhammad Ali.

Clearly this must be some kind of mistake – after all Muhammad Ali never drank alcohol so he can’t possibly have been any fun to be around.

I can just imagine him now, sitting there being all boring with nothing to say whilst the party raged on around him.

There’s nout wrong with drinking, but there’s nout wrong with not drinking either.

It’s always a choice, even on New Year’s eve ;)