Struggling with your resolutions or goals? This could be the reason…

By Karen Amos

As with my earlier post this week on New Year Resolutions, lots of people are talking about re-setting their work-life balance at the moment.  It seems having a break over the holiday period has given people some perspective on the stress they were experiencing last year.

Reaching a personal ‘Pain Point’ usually motivates us to want to make a change.  The problem is that we don’t always work on the right issue.  Some things to remember are:

  • We need to focus on what we are going to do to change things, rather than what we aren’t going to do. (Remember, we get what we focus on, so if we focus on what we don’t want, we’ll get more of that!)
  • We need to work on the problem, not the symptoms.  To do this, we need to find the root cause.
  • Also, we need to set the right conditions for change.  There’s no point expecting a major life change in one area, if everything else we do remains exactly the same.

As an example, I realised recently that I’ve stopped doing a lot of creative things this last couple of years, particularly drawing and watercolour painting.  Work, business and life in general just got in the way.  Doing some quick doodling and sketching the other day, I realised how much this brings to me and that I miss having a creative element in my life.

On reflection, I worked out that the root cause of the problem wasn’t really lack of time, but how I was using the time I had.  Looking back I realised I used to do so many creative things, despite working an often ridiculous number of hours in management positions in addition to being a carer for an elderly relative.  Working out what had changed, I had the uncomfortable realisation that  since that time, I had discovered social media! The time I spent on social media now, doing such vital tasks as watching never-ending dog and cat videos, takes up much of my ‘spare’ time.  (Obviously, checking BrightBird social media accounts don’t apply, so feel free to carry on with that! 😉 )

If I was at all serious about making this change, I needed to tackle this, meaning that I’d need to change my habits around social media, in order to fit in the things I really wanted to do.  My steps so far include:

  • Planning in time in my diary for painting at least once a fortnight.
  • Planning in times I will check my social media accounts.
  • Being clear about what I’m checking and for how long.
  • Not taking my phone into the bedroom to break the habit of social media being always there at the start and end of each day.
  • Making sure I’ve a range of other reading materials at hand, so I don’t automatically reach for my phone and start scrolling.

I’ll review this in a week or so and see how I’m getting on, but it’s interesting to see that only one of these steps actually involves the act of painting itself.  Had I not identified the root cause of the issue, it’s unlikely I’d ever have picked up my paint brush again!

Hopefully, this has given you some tips on being more successful with your own goals.  Do let us know how you get on!

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