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What 26 Coaches Have to Say About Successful New Year’s Resolutions

Coach Tony
Jan 5, 2018 · 6 min read

I asked 26 coaches to give advice about how to actually successfully set a New Year’s Resolution. You’ve probably heard that only about 8% of Resolutions succeed.

Below are some of their highlight soundbites — these are the patterns they see with clients that work and the patterns that all of us should avoid.

First, how do you even pick a resolution?

Your resolution should make you feel a bit uncomfortable or scared, but at the same time excited. You want a goal where you aren’t 100% sure if or how you will achieve it. Jad Abumrad, co-creator of Radiolab, calls this feeling “radical uncertainty.” ~ Jeff Fajans (Leadership Coach)

Create a 90-day plan that fits into a 25 year vision. What does your life look like in 2043? Refresh your 90-day plan every 3 months in 2018. BIG DREAMS, baby steps. ~ Christine Conforti (Life Coach)

Create a resolution from a place of love and abundance, not from a place of fear. ~ Jess Coco (Weight Loss Coach)

Choose one resolution that will make you truly happy. After that everything will seems easy to achieve ~ Virginia Bense (relationship coach)

Get specific

What would you need to have achieved in 6 months, 3 months or each week? Have the big goal, transform it into smaller goals and focus solely on achieving the small ones. ~ Serey Mao (Fitness Coach)

Your resolution needs to meet the QUAD test.

It should be a specific Quantity (ex: 20 lbs. of weight reduction, running 100 miles).

It should be Useful. i.e. one has to deeply feel about this resolution else it should never make the list.

It should be Actionable regularly. i.e. don’t make resolutions which can be started towards the end of the year. They will mostly fail.

It should be an odd Date. Don’t make resolutions with a deadline of 31st. December. Make it 23rd. of February or the 23rd week of the year. Keeping them odd increases the importance of the date dramatically.
Sanil Pillai (Career Coach)

Make your resolutions about how you want to behave differently, not specific outcomes. Resolve to make better food choices, not to lose weight. That way you stay focused on what you can control. ~ Jared Simmons (Career Coach)

Write out an implementation intention to help with this by using the following template. You want to read this sentence once a day or ideally twice in the morning and at night. The gist is to figure out the (1) what, (2) where and (3) when of the action you need to take to achieve your New Year’s Resolution:

“During the week, I will [insert activity and length of time here] at [location] on [time and day(s) of week].”

~ Eric Kaisen (Habit Coach)

First establish a WHY for the resolution that’s big enough. Don’t just look at the task but the process and the reason. For example, lot’s of people come to me for financial coaching saying their why is to get out of debt.

But that’s not a why, it’s a what. It’s a step or goal not WHY. Why is to provide a better future for my kids. Why is to be able to take a vacation without worry or guilt. Why is to be able to quit this job I hate and do what I love. Getting out of debt is a what along that journey. So whatever your resolution make sure your WHY is big enough to sustain you through the pain and frustration, cause that WILL happen. ~ Scott Maderer (Personal Finance Coach)

Get crystal clear and specific about your goals and how you’ll get there. For example:

Specific Goal: I’m going to quit drinking alcohol for 1 full year.


I’m going to memorize a script for saying no when my friends and family ask me why i’m not drinking

I’m going to swap alcohol for Club Soda (or red bull) every time I get an urge to drink

I’m going to read 1 article a week on the benefits of not drinking alcohol.

~ Leo Tabibzadegan (Sobriety Coach)

If you want to succeed, create accountability

Find an accountability partner to help hold you accountable. ~ Darleen Barnard (Habit Coach)

Tell a trusted friend about your resolutions, and ask him/her to help hold you accountable. It’s easy to let yourself down, much more difficult to disappoint a trusted friend. ~ Christopher Sowers (Habit Coach)

Share the action that you want to do each day with lots of people. Post it for example on your blog of Facebook profile. This way you have an accountability partner in the crowd. ~ Erno Hannink (Sales Funnel Coach)

Ask a friend or family member to be your accountability partner. Or sign up for a free week with to try out a certified accountability coach. But do it WITH someone. ~ Julie Harris (Habit Coach)

Even more tips

Build a good awareness of your strengths. Most people understand their weaknesses far better than their strengths yet it is your natural strengths that are sources of mastery and success at work. ~ Patrice Matteson (Strength Finder Coach)

Start small. Instead of committing to exercise every day or for hours at a time, try committing to 15 min a day 3–4 times a week. Once you can build that momentum, add a little bit more time. ~ Robin Abellar (Fitness Coach)

Consistency is key, so make every habit you’re building a daily habit. Now, some habits aren’t meant to be done every day, but you can transform any habit into a daily habit by using a placeholder habit. For instance, if your resolution is to go to the gym 3 days a week, you can turn that into a daily habit by doing 2 minutes of pushups and situps on the other 4 days a week, at the same time you normally go to the gym. ~ John Fawkes (Health Coach)

Scheduling a recurring event on your calendar. Then track your hours lins an app like, so you can see the value of your investment. ~ Kirby Ingles (Life Coach)

Start meditating TODAY and do so daily! This brings mindfulness and leads you to your most inspired self, not to mention the millions of ways meditation is scientifically proven to make you more focused, healthier, and determined. ~ Coach Jess Coco (Weight Loss Coach)

Resolve first and foremost to be kind to yourself. Acceptance, kindness and forgiveness are the only substrates for real change. ~ Daren Nicholson (Career Coach)

Focus on the process, not the outcome. Having an outcome in mind is helpful as a signpost, but many outcomes also involve factors beyond your control. You don’t want to get hung up on these at the expense of focusing your attention and energy on the things you can control. ~ Hannah Braime (Writing Coach)

Break your resolution down into bite sized chunks and try to make them habit forming bite sized chunks to cultivate monthly. Using weight loss as an example, maybe my client chunked his weight loss goals into exercising daily, eating more fruits and veggies at every meal, drinking more water, and hitting 20,000 steps a day. I would say take a deep breath and pick JUST ONE to develop the habit into your life starting today. ~ Coach Jess Coco (Weight Loss Coach)

Review your goals daily. There is power is doing this daily. Writing them daily is best, followed by reading them. It’s the action of reviews them where you find the magic. What happens through this daily reading of your goals is one of two things — you find a way to achieve them or you decide they aren’t important and take them off our list. ~Donita Brown (Habit Coach)

How to deal with failure

Plan for failure. You will experience setbacks. Plan for what you will do in the setback. ~ Joe Timmins (Life Coach)

A person shouldn’t set a New Year’s Resolution to please a loved one. It is thoughtful, but it doesn’t work. ~ Karine Galland (Habit Coach)

Did you pick a New Year’s Resolution? What are you doing to succeed?

Better Humans

Better Humans is a collection of the world's most…

Coach Tony

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Human potential busy body. Founded @coachdotme, @bttrHumans, @bttrMarketing. Helped @medium @calm. Current work focus: Habit Coach Certification.

Better Humans

Better Humans is a collection of the world's most trustworthy writing on human potential and self improvement by coaches, academics, and aggressive self-experimenters. Articles are based on deep personal experience, science, and research. No fluff, book reports, or listicles.

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