New Year Revolutions

Well done on succeeding in all your previous New Years Resolutions!! You did it. Didn’t you…. Course not, and the reason is that you knew you’d fail. I was once told that because JK Rowling had written Harry Potter in a cafe while on single parent benefits, it meant that anyone could do the same. The reality is that all it did was confirm that JK Rowling could do it.

‘If I can do it anyone can do it’, is the mantra of those successful ones who often display huge determination, staying power and a stubborn refusal to give in. And often a talent built on obsessive practice. It means little about anyone else’s chances of success.

Too often we bury our desire to do something under a warm fuzzy feeling of 1st January and that sense that it must be possible because someone else has already done it. Well that’s absolutely true. It’s possible, but so far only for them. But the sole proof that we can do it comes when we do it.

I’m not a fan of new years resolutions for many reasons, primarily the fact that a change of date has no significance on behaviour. However I’m aware that many people find the 1st January to be a suitable milestone to make positive changes – and doesn’t the fitness industry know it! The gym chains drive for new members fully aware that the drop out rate is high, in fact they need the drop out rate to be high otherwise their facilities lack the capacity.

Anyway, the point of this post is to give you just a single simple strategy to make any ‘today resolution’ you make more likely to become part of your daily routine.

Simply structure your resolution to be like a simple flow chart;

If X happens then I will do Y

If someone say X then I will respond with Y

In practice, lets say you have the goal of improving your fitness. “I will become more fit” is pretty sketchy, especially compared with “if it’s 2 days since I did any exercise then I will go for a run/bike/swim”.

Or, “if it’s 9am on Sunday then I will cycle for 2 hours…

Regarding losing weight, rather than “my news years resolution is to lose weight”, which is flakey and vague, frame it as “if I feel sad then I will not eat cake/chocolate”, or “if I am cooking a meal then I will make sure it will benefit me”. Here’s a killer, “if I need fuel for my car then I will only go where I can pay at the pump” (think about it).

If you do this, then you will be much more likely to succeed 😉

Splitting the atom only became possible when it had been done. Before then it was something that might happen.

Most achievements are built on the foundation of determination, multiple failures and mistakes – you must be prepared to go down that same route when seeking to do something that someone else has already done. The pioneers and achievers have proven to the world what they can do.

What you and I can do is down to us to prove and a change in date will have little bearing on the outcome.

Can you win a road race, run a marathon, learn Spanish, finish Trans-continental, lose 40kg or sell a screenplay?

The experience of others suggests that these things are all possible?

Can you do them?

We won’t know until you do them.

So try this quick and simple method.

  1. Pick just one habit you want to change or develop and make it specific.
  2. Give success a time scale.
  3. Tell others what your plan is.
  4. Create ‘if and then’ statements.
  5. Do it.

Let us know how it goes. Start today.

Useful resources:



Website: – a great idea as an extra motivator. You choose a goal, place a bet on yourself, choose a referee, go for it – of you fail, your stake goes to a charity of your choosing.

Dave Smith


Twitter: @ffflow



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