Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow: 10 tips for making your resolutions stick

It’s that time of year again, the time to review the past and feel committed to make serious changes for the year ahead. The most popular New Year resolutions include losing weight, doing more exercise, drinking less, quitting smoking...but research shows less than encouraging statistics - for example less than 50% of people have stuck to their resolutions 6 months later and up to 80% of people fail to keep their resolutions.

So what makes a resolution stick? How can we actually sustainably change our behaviour to meet an objective? It’s a question that we don’t just ask once a year but throughout the year here at Brand Learning, as we strive to embed behaviour change within our clients.

Stop, Start, Shine

As I look to our internal practices, Brand Learning has gone through our own ‘new year’s resolution’ process – we call it ‘START, STOP, SHINE’ and it kicks off well before the New Year begins. In November and December, each of us in the business were challenged to identify the wasteful or unproductive things we can STOP doing, new, positive ways of working that we can START doing and all of those behaviours that are actually working and making us SHINE that we should continue doing.

We briefed the exercise into the whole team and then we worked as individuals and as teams to work through our START/STOP/SHINE ideas – we first think about it personally and discuss with our supporter, then we talk about it as a team. Right before the holidays we were asked to write down ONE THING that we will actually try to do in the New Year and then each of these ideas gets built into the 2013 annual plan.

Already we have seen a change in our behaviours and got great some results. One example of a START was to simplify our meeting schedules – just reengineering one regular cross-company meeting saved 16 man days per year!

My Top 10 Tips to Keep Resolutions

Obviously resolutions are something we take seriously here at Brand Learning. But trying to change behaviour in your work life is just as challenging to change behaviour in your personal life. So how do we make our ‘Stop/Starts/Shines’ stick? Here are my 10 top tips:

  1. Have a vision for where you want your life to head – it helps to have an exciting context
  2. Take control – it is your life and live it how YOU want t
  3. Recognise it’s not just about the ‘starts’- take some things off your list
  4. Make a plan – and try to stick with it
  5. Make it time bound and achievable – and reward yourself on the way
  6. Keep it simple – there is less wriggle room!
  7. Get others involved and go public – amazing what support you can get if you ask
  8. Learn from your hiccups- we all fall off the rails at times!
  9. Review ongoing and at the end of the year – you will be amazed at what you have achieved
  10. Celebrate success!

We are faced with a fresh year ahead of us – 12 new months that are ours to use how we wish. There’s so much we can START doing to make better use of our limited time, STOP doing to be more productive and SHINE and do more of what has made us so successful to this point. How will you make the most of it?


For more information about how Brand Learning can help you lift your organisation’s customer-centred leadership capabilities, please get in touch or contact me directly on LinkedIn. You may also like these films, perspectives and resources on Customer-Centred Leadership.

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