Greetings from Austin, TX

self help notes

I know. I’m lazy. But I made myself a New Years resolution that I would write myself something really special. Which means I have ’til December, right?
Catherine O’Hara


As the crystal ball was dropping in NYC Times Square on New Years’ Eve, there was such a buzz about each persons’ New Years’ resolutions for 2015 that it almost rivaled all the frenzy surrounding the “begending” of the occasion. TV hosts were scurrying around asking people what their goals and aspirations were for the New Year. The pressure was on to come up with something creative or impressive for all the world to hear. Some were of the usual variety, spontaneous and impulsive; like the ones that you see in the picture above. Others seemed more well thought out and unusual, including some marriage proposals, made right there in front of the TV audience! They all reflect good intentions, but often don’t have a very long shelf life (even the engagements).

Why? What’s that all about? The answers may surprise you…

Well, in the first place, maybe public resolutions are not such a good thing! Telling someone else what you are going to do in the New Year, revealing your goals and aspirations, may not be the best way to go about actually accomplishing that objective. Watch this short TED video to get a new perspective on that idea: Click here to watch the video.

With such a fresh outlook on personally making things happen, what does that do to the concept of accountability? What is suggested in this TED clip is that holding oneself accountable comes from within, and THAT is what brings results. YOU depend on YOU to achieve your objectives, not relying on others to make you do that. According to, only 8% of us actually achieve our New Years’ resolutions! WHY?
I think that the “there I said it” mentality is perhaps the biggest culprit here. As Derek Livers suggests in his TED talk, there’s something of a “release and let go” trigger in our brains when we say it out loud that then gives us permission to be lazy and actually not work on our goals, especially if that takes some effort.

I often hear how important it is for people to be held accountable for what they say they are going to do. And as a Life Coach I certainly help to find the path to accomplish the goals and objectives that my clients express. But, it is still up to them to make those things happen – and that motivation is what we call “Intrinsic Motivation”- that which comes from your inner compass.
In focusing on this inner compass, there are 3 main points that can bring about success in accomplishing your goals and meeting your New Years’ resolutions:

1) BIG CHANGES TAKE LITTLE STEPS. Many of us set lofty goals that are overwhelming. Set your sights on what you would like to accomplish, and then come up with a plan for small steps to move you towards that end result that you wish for.

2) BE REALISTIC. This concept is tricky, because “reality” can be a double edged sword. You don’t want to limit yourself; however, know what is right for you and then go for it! Don’t set yourself up for failure. What’s the #1 New Year’s resolution? Losing Weight. Why do most people who resolve to lose weight, don’t? Because they set unrealistic goals, given their life-style, body type, environment, etc. Here, self-awareness is key – if you set your mind to it accordingly, you can do it.

3) POSITIVITY and the 3 P’s (Practice, Patience & Persistence)
Changes are hard. Maintaining a positive outlook will guide you through practicing your new discipline; being patient will let you forgive those moments when you stumble & fall; and persistence will enable you to keep going and eventually achieve
your goals.

These 3 points & the TED video may provide you with some answers as to why those well-intended resolutions don’t work.
Remember, it is now well into February – 7 weeks into the New Year. Do you know where you are going and where you would like to be by the end of the year? One more thought: try looking at December 2015. What does that look like? Have you accomplished what you wanted to do? Do you like what you see? That outlook will keep you going instead of having short-lived wishes and dreams that never come to fruition.

P.S. Don’t forget to forgive yourself if the end result is not all that you wanted it
to be, but don’t let that stop you!

And finally, YOU are the boss of your own life. Sure, you can seek help from others to guide you on your way, but it is still up to you to commit to your resolutions.


Let me know – I’d love to hear your thoughts…

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Ingrid Sarrat
Life Transitions Coach
My Coaching Circle