Make positive life changes rather than New Year’s resolutions

Posted on: 20th January, 2015

Category: Health & Lifestyle

Contributor: West Cork People

Joan O Connell is a Confidence, Success & Life Coach specialising in helping people to build Self Confidence and Self Belief so they can make Positive Life Changes and achieve the success they want. For further information or to make an appointment contact Joan on 087 11 26 210 or email:

Can you believe how quickly 2014 whizzed past and it seems like only last week we were sitting down to plan our 2014 list of New Year’s resolutions. What was on your list, give up smoking, eat healthily, get more exercise, get a new job, work on improving your relationship with your husband/mother/colleague/children and so on. The bigger question is how many of those resolutions did you achieve in 2014 and how many of them are going back on your 2015 New Year’s Resolutions list? Over the years I have learned NOT to make New Year’s Resolutions, as like so many people, I start out with great intentions and after only a short number of day or weeks I fall back into my old ways.

Instead every year now I look to make Positive Live Changes by developing new habits and letting go of old unhelpful/negative habits.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellent then it is not an act, but a habit!”  Aristotle

Change is not easy, transferring an idea or thought into reality often involves changing the way we do things, the way we think and the way we behave.

Don’t try to implement all your Positive Life Changes in one go, as you will be setting yourself up for failure before you even start. Pick the change from your list that is most important to you and start with that. Focus on one change at a time otherwise you will end up overwhelmed trying to change so many things at the one time that you will lose momentum and motivation and just find it too difficult.

There are many ways of successfully developing new habits but many of my clients have found following these simple steps have worked for them.

Do a 30-day challenge, focusing on just ONE change.

Write out on paper exactly what you want to change in as much detail as possible.  Ask yourself what is motivating you to make this change and how committed are you to changing. What obstacles might you encounter that will threaten your success and make strategies to overcome them.

Commit fully in a public way, tell a friend, colleague or family member about the Positive Live Change you are making

Record your progress everyday

Be publically accountable. Every day report back to your accountability partner on how you are getting on.

Make sure you have support for when you falter, this can be face to face, on the phone on online.

Reward every little success. Note and acknowledge your successes and reward yourself for them.

If you fail, figure out what went wrong, plan for it, and try again.

So now you know how to develop new habits and make Positive Life Changes, wouldn’t it be good to put in place a few strategies to keep you on track and to support you through the change and that will help you develop and maintain your Positive Life Changes.

Positive thinking is the keystone to help you form new habits. While positive thinking on its own won’t lead to success it will help to keep you motivated to do what needs to be done. So the question is ‘How do you develop positive thinking?’ Start by becoming more aware of your negative self-talk. Anytime you catch yourself thinking negatively jot it down on a piece of paper. Soon you will see the pattern of negative thoughts and you can start changing them into positive thoughts, I can’s instead of I cant’s.

Take some exercise — aside from the obvious health benefits, it makes you feel better about yourself and more confident. That leads to more success with other positive changes. It reinforces the positive thinking habit,  it relieves stress and gives you time to think. It leads to better mental well-being and helps with creativity.

Remember, concentrate on one change at a time, otherwise you will lose focus, get overwhelmed and lose motivation. Be kind to yourself, reward your successes, recognise your failures and what triggered them and think of ways you can prevent them from happening the next time you are faced with that particular situation. Be kind to others you will feel better about yourself and you will notice people reacting to you in a much more positive way. Finally, create a daily routine so  your Positive Life Change becomes part of your daily life. It will help you keep focused on making that positive change and will keep the importance of that change firmly in your mind at all times.


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