Make This Year YOUR Year: 5 Tips for Achieving Resolutions

As we head into the new year, it's traditionally a time to take stock and reflect on our lives -- to review who we are and where we are and resolve to make changes in the new year. If you are one of those folks who make (or want to make) resolutions and changes, then please continue reading.

Typical new year's resolutions include changes such as: lose weight, exercise more, save money, quit smoking, find a new job/career, reduce stress, leave a bad relationship, find a good relationship, reconnect with family/friends and/or find new friends.

Have you taken a moment to reflect on this year and who you are as a person and where you are in your career and the strength of your personal and professional relationships? Are you thinking of making some changes in the new year -- whether or not you call them resolutions?

Five Tips for Succeeding With New Year's Resolutions

Ready to succeed in making and keeping your new year's resolutions? Follow these tips:

1. Make a Plan. Write down what you want to change. Putting things in writing (in print or simply digitally) does affect one's brain and helps make these goals more real. Furthermore, reviewing these goals daily/weekly can become a positive affirmation -- and writing them down puts your goals out there in the universe. Even better, share your goal with a friend or friends -- and use each other for motivation.

2. Prioritize Your List. If you have multiple resolutions, rank them -- and then focus on one or two top priorities; better yet, just keep one or two and save the others for later. Having too many resolutions to accomplish at one time will almost always result in failure. Focus on the one or two things you want to accomplish first in the new year, and then once you have accomplished those, you can start on some of your lower priority goals.

3. Break Down Your Goals Into Actionable Steps. The problem for many of us who make resolutions is that the change we want is too big, seemingly unrealistic -- so the trick is breaking down resolutions into manageable steps. Instead of wanting to lose 50 pounds in the new year, reframe it as losing 1-2 pounds per week -- and focus your efforts on that objective. If you want a new job in the new year, break that goal down into steps such as revamping your resume, enhancing your online presence, talking with your network, practicing your interviewing technique, and finding and applying for jobs.

4. Make Changes to Make Your Goal(s) Happen. You need to make permanent changes to your life -- not momentary or temporary modifications -- in order to permanently succeed. For example, instead of dieting to lose weight, change the entire way you view nutrition and eating. (I gave up sugar more than two decades ago and never have a day where I feel deprived or missing sugar -- because I replaced sugar with natural sweeteners.) Or, if you want a new job in the new year, don't just apply to job openings; completely change how you search, find, and apply for jobs.

5. Document and Celebrate Your Successes. For every little step toward success with your goal, celebrate the small victories to push yourself toward the big goal. Do not wait until you achieve your goal to celebrate or reward yourself; for every small step you take, do something nice for yourself -- and then push yourself to the next step and celebrate when you accomplish it... and so on until you realize that big goal!

Final Thoughts on New Year Resolutions

Let's not kid ourselves about making big changes in our lives. You will most likely have some setbacks along the way to achieving your goal -- and that is totally okay, as long as you deal with those setbacks in a reasonable and responsible way. When you suffer a setback, dust yourself off, acknowledge the slip or issue, and decide that this week going forward you will do better -- and keep moving toward that goal.

Forgive yourself; do NOT give up! There is no magic timetable to achieving change; go at your own pace -- and be proud of yourself for every step you make toward those goals.

Good luck -- and happy new year!

Dr. Randall Hansen is an advocate, educator, mentor, ethicist, and thought-leader... helping the world heal from past trauma. He is founder and CEO of, a network of empowering and transformative Websites, including

He is the author of the groundbreaking Triumph Over Trauma: Psychedelic Medicines are Helping People Heal Their Trauma, Change Their Lives, and Grow Their Spirituality and the well-received HEAL! Wholeistic Practices to Help Clear Your Trauma, Heal Yourself, and Live Your Best Life.

Dr. Hansen's focus and advocacy center around true healing ... healing that results in being able to live an authentic life filled with peace, joy, love. Learn more by visiting his personal Website, You can also check out Dr. Randall Hansen on LinkedIn.