This is a busy time for coaches because everyone is making resolutions. Those things are hard to keep all on your own! Even with a coach, they take work. But there are a few things to know that can make it less painful and more productive.

#1:  January 1 is NO time to be making resolutions! INSTEAD, think spring.

Winter is the time when humans historically are low energy. We like to think we’re evolved, but really, we’d prefer to hibernate in the winter. So, the cards are stacked against us when we try to gear up and get excited about a goal the first of the year.

Instead, use the winter to dream up the great things you’ll be working on and jump in when the days are getting longer and brighter and you naturally have more energy. This is the time to literally and figuratively plant some new seeds.

#2: Don’t shoot for perfection. INSTEAD, take a longer view.

You would never believe that you could go to bed one night with no knowledge of how to play an instrument and wake up the next morning playing it perfectly. Yet we do that to ourselves every New Year’s. Give yourself a break.

Think about moving towards your goal each day rather than trying to maintain perfection from day one. And shoot to work on your goal a bit each day and reach your goal by the end of the year.

#3: Willpower doesn’t work. INSTEAD, try reframing.

Will power can only help for a short burst, but it can’t be sustained long enough to reach most goals. We are feel good junkies, so the trick is to reframe. Think about the feeling goal – if you want to feel stronger and healthier, focus on connecting going for a walk, lifting weights or eating more veggies with that feeling. NOTICE how you are feeling stronger and healthier as you move towards your goal.

#4: Going it alone is tough. INSTEAD, grab a team.

Whenever you do something new, you need some guidance. It might be an investment to get some help but it’s typically less expensive than needing to fix what you broke. This past year, I wound up with an exercise injury I could have likely avoided if I’d worked with a trainer before jumping in.

Whether you’re writing a book, starting a business or working out, you’re likely to have greater success if you ask for he help you need. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Other people have gone before you and can help you make it work.

#5: Don’t binge and quit. INSTEAD, make gradual changes.

Between Halloween and New Year’s, a whole lot of people are smoking, drinking and eating as much as they can. They plan to cut themselves off January 1 so they binge. The problem is that then when they do that, they’re starting from even more of a negative. Plus, they’ve established a habit, an addiction or a taste for whatever it is. They’ll miss it more and be more tempted to cheat.

Instead, consider easing into new habits. If you gradually increase your veggie intake while gradually decreasing your sugar intake, it might be easier on your mind and body. And you’re more likely to stick with it, if you aren’t eliminating things you love completely.

#6: Skip the resolution. INSTEAD, create a bucket list.

A few years ago, I started to create bucket lists for each year and it really allowed me to put a more positive spin on the New Year.

Resolutions are typically negative. We think about regrets and what we don’t like about ourselves, what we should change, where we’re lacking. It puts us in the position of asking “what’s wrong with me?” ANd that’s a lousy way to start the new year.

At the end of your life, you’re unlikely to think about how great it is that you lost 10 pounds or that you made your bed each day. But you will remember riding in a hot air balloon, learning to play the hammered dulcimer or playing an extra on a TV show or commercial.

Think of what makes life worth living for you – and do more of that. And if you’re happy with life, the 10 pounds may fall off on it’s own!