New Year – To resolve, or not to resolve – that is the question…

By Karen Amos

Well it’s that time of year again!  Social media has been awash with New Year posts and I have to admit, even as a coach, I get a bit jaded with all this ‘New Year – New You’ malarkey.

So… amidst all the opinions, the question remains, ‘Is New Year a good time for Resolutions,’ and should we be doing them anyway?  My opinion is an unequivocal – ‘If you want…!’  Yes, that’s right, I’m not going to advocate either way, because do you know what? – If you’re having to force yourself to make a life change it’s highly unlikely to work.  So don’t bother, save yourself time/money/guilt [delete as appropriate] and carry on regardless.

On a positive note, New Year can be an excellent time for gaining motivation to change.  Most people are feeling the need to de-tox after over-indulging over the holiday period and are feeling more rested and motivated.  There’s also a sense of being ready for a new start for lots of people.  If this is how you feel – GO FOR IT!  Often we need a bit of pain (e.g. The awful reality of tight waistbands and admitting all our clothes haven’t really shrunk in the wash…) to give us the fillip we need to make change.

Perhaps we should change our language and avoid the term ‘resolution’.  After all, what we’re usually talking about is a long-term change in our habits.  When we use the term ‘resolution’, we usually couch this in terms of a negative – i.e. We will ‘STOP’ or ‘GIVE UP’ something.  Actually, that approach rarely works, as we just end up obsessing about the thing we’re trying to avoid.  Ever heard the phrases, ‘You get what you focus on,’ and, ‘What you resist, persists’?  On a very basic level, this means that if you try to stop doing something, you only bring it to your attention more – I’m sure my fellow chocaholics will know this feeling well…

Instead, we need to drill down to what we really DO want.  i.e. Do we really want to stop eating chocolate, or do we want to feel fitter and more confident physically?  In this case, chocolate is only one part of the issue – what we really need to do for success is to work out what steps we need to take to attain the fitness.  If this is less rewarding than the chocolate, then you’re going to be in for a lot of disappointment.  The key is to build in a tangible goal with a set of positive habits (Habits being small actions you do regularly) that will lead you to the positive life you’re choosing.  (More on this in a forthcoming post).

If your thing is more related to work-life balance in the coming year for example, build in what you ARE going to do, rather than what you AREN’T.  Again, I’ll post more on this in the next few days.

So if you’ve set a resolution or goal, then good luck with that.  If you can’t be bothered, then good luck too – you’ll know best when you need to make a change.  In any event, here’s to a positive and productive 2019 for everyone!

Karen Amos is the founder and owner of BrightBird Coaching & Training.  She is a qualified Executive and Professional Development coach and trainer, working with organisations and businesses to get the best out of leaders and teams.

If you’d like to know more about BrightBird’s professional development services and how we can help you and your business, school or organisation, please check out our website at, or email