celebrate new year fireworksDid you achieve new year’s resolutions you set for 2015? Did you keep track of them? Are you feeling depressed and annoyed with yourself because you either can’t remember them or can only remember the ones you didn’t achieve? Here is an exercise that my clients find useful and motivating.

Go back in time

Before you start setting goals, go back to January 2015. What has changed since then?

Then go through the year month by month.  If you are feeling depressed, get a positive friend or coach to do this with you.

What have you achieved in the last 12 months?

If you haven’t achieved anything, what have you learned? Who have you met that will help you in the future?

What good things have you done (even if they didn’t work out the way you wanted)? Who have you helped? What relationships have blossomed? What strengths have you discovered in yourself?

Even if you had a really bad year, try and find something to be proud of–even if it is just that you have managed to get through the year.

Pause and celebrate your strengths

Write down all the positives from 2015 and keep trying to add to them.

Title them something like “What I’ve achieved/learned/done in 2015” . Pin the list somewhere you will see it every day on your fridge or by your mirror. Even if it has been a terrible year you have got through it. Celebrate the things that helped you through.

The more you look for the good the more you will find and the more confident you will become about being able to achieve new year’s resolutions in the coming year.

Dream what you would like to do in 2016

Choose some things that you know you are likely to achieve, some things that you have been putting off and some things that are a stretch. These aren’t negative resolutions like “I will stop smoking”, but a list of things you would like to do–“I would like to be able to run 5 k and feel okay afterwards” or “I will save the price of a packet of cigarettes every week”.  Write them down and again put them up where you can see them.

Achieve new year’s resolutions all year and celebrate

This simple exercise will make them more likely to happen. This is because your brain sees what you have done, and starts thinking of ways you can achieve your new year’s resolutions.

As you achieve each one, write it up on a new list–“What I have achieved in 2016”. Not only does this make the exercise easier next year, but it also reminds you of how much you have achieved.

If you need a “personal cheerleader” (as one of my clients called me) or someone to help you get round to achieving your new year’s resolutions, contact me. I provide coaching online, on the telephone or in person.