RESOLVE: Leave any decision until at least mid-January when life has settled down a little and you're likely to have more clarity of thought and an opportunity to plan more wisely.
RESOLVE: Leave any decision until at least mid-January when life has settled down a little and you're likely to have more clarity of thought and an opportunity to plan more wisely. iStock

Take a new resolutions approach for the new year

It's happened again! One minute it's January, which always seems much longer than 31 days, February through to Easter seems to go a little more quickly, then the next six months pick up speed until suddenly it's October, which magically morphs into December.

Was 2018 a bit like that for you too?

Whatever the reason, a lot can happen in 12 months and it can be easy to forget most of it as we get caught up in the general busyness of life, but the turn of one year to the next may give rise to pause for thought, reflection, and reminiscence - individually or with friends and family perhaps.

So here we are, a new year is upon us and whatever else we're doing around this time we often start thinking about resolutions to give us some focus for the year ahead. Is that something you do? If so, how long do they last?

I think new year's resolutions, which are essentially firm decisions to do or not do something, should be approached with caution, partly because they are being made at a time of year when we are often exhausted, overdoing our socialising as well as eating and drinking more than is good for us and partly because they are rarely well thought through or expressed.

Here are some suggestions for you to consider which may help.

Leave any decision until at least mid-January when life has settled down a little and you're likely to have more clarity of thought and an opportunity to plan more wisely. Choose an area of focus; health, family, harmony, work, self, hobbies, travel, finances or something else. Decide what specifically you'd like to achieve in relation to that and keep it small to start and achievable; for example if you want to take part in a triathlon and are currently a couch potato then reaching your goal may take some time and a lot of hard work and dedication but you can get there with small steps and achievements along the way.

Then check your motivation; is it towards something positive or away from something negative?

Take the same triathlon example, is your choice because you don't want be overweight and sick by the age of 45 or is it because you want to build up your strength and stamina to keep physically fit and well into old age? Can you see the difference?

While both may get you started, moving towards something positive will keep you focusing on the outcome for longer and more likely to achieve the results.

Or you could just keep it super simple and identify three things to stop doing, three things to start doing and three things to continue doing that will all help you move towards your desired future. And you can choose to put that into action any time.

Whatever you decide, Nick and I wish you safe and happy new year celebrations and look forward to sharing our philosophies with you again in 2019.