New Year's Dreaming
Credit: Moyan Brenn (

So it’s that time of the year again. The time to think big and work hard to achieve you goals. Unfortunately for many people, their New Year’s resolutions are given up on within the first months. We don’t want that to be you, do we? Whether you aim to lose those extra pounds, simply eat healthier, learn to play an instrument or quit a bad habit, and whether you are reading this in January or August, chances are you got here because you need motivation to keep going. The following tips are based around simple, proven ideas that, if implemented, will greatly improve your life and be of massive benefit.

1. Brainwash Yourself


With today’s overload of impressions and information, one of the most powerful ways to improve your chances of succeeding with a goal is to be intentional with everything and anything you expose yourself to. Make it your mission to set your surrounding environment up in a way that is aligned with your goals. This could mean tossing out foods that are not benefiting you or putting the guitar you aspire to play in a spot that makes it visible and accessible. It could even mean something more drastic, like cutting the cord with people in your life that are not supporting you. This is only the physical side of things, but the same concept can easily be carried over into the digital world. If you are constantly consuming information that supports what you are trying to achieve, your chances of actually doing so will be dramatically increased. Squeeze in some form of motivation wherever you can; change the wallpaper on your phone or computer, listen to audiobooks, follow instagram accounts, anything that will help you stay on track.

Next, take a look at everything that is not aligned with your goals. Ask yourself, is this serving me? Do your best to get rid of all the distractions that are not supporting you and avoid anything that will encourage bad habits. Don’t casually watch that terrible TV show that makes you feel comfortable about settling for less. Unsubscribe from the news feeds that are not adding true value. It might be hard at first, but after a while you will realize that an intentional approach to life is the key. You can control your environment, and if you want lasting change, you can’t have your same old habits.

“The mind is everything. What you think you become.”

- Buddha

2. Take Action Early

Early Morning Fog
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What could possibly be a better way to work towards your goal than doing it the first thing in the morning? Rising up and taking action early is an idea that has been promoted by countless of greatly successful people in all areas throughout history: Benjamin Franklin, George W Bush, David Allen and Tim Cook are only a few. It works for them just like it can work for anyone, including you. Do not underestimate the opportunities this philosophy opens up, and how much it can change the way you go about your day; not just regarding your New Year resolutions, but practically every aspect of your life. It is the best cure for procrastination.

Before you go on your phone or computer in the morning and get into a reactive mode to whatever is on your facebook wall, choose to take control of your day before you have a chance to find an excuse. Get that morning run in, meditate, work on that song on the piano or whatever is next on you way to the goal. If you do this, the rest of the day will be a breeze as you will have a sense of accomplishment carried along with you. Just be sure that it truly is something that is directly taking you closer to your destination, and not just allowing you to circle around it. Repeat this the next day, and you’ll soon have a streak piling up to give you even more confidence.

“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”

- Benjamin Franklin


3. Set deadlines

Deadline Clock
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Lastly, we need to address a big reason why people fail with their resolutions. The danger with New Year resolutions is that you have the whole year ahead of you, and most people are not specific enough when they are setting their goals. Depending on what they want to achieve, they could potentially slack for a long period of time before stepping up and taking action, and at that point they might have already given up and are somehow thinking that “next year will be different”. This is where deadlines are so important. With deadlines you can counter this by deciding on a final date and sticking with it. Don’t settle for “sometime this year”, but a on real, actual date, sooner rather than later. This will create a sense of urgency and help catapult you in the right direction. Even better; if your goal is big, lay out multiple smaller goals as milestones throughout the year. This will make the end goal seem more attainable and make progress easier to measure. As you probably know, people have a tendency to procrastinate without deadlines, and as simple as it may sound, this just might be the factor that you are missing.

“A goal is a dream with a deadline.”

- Napoleon Hill


Alright, so lets recap: Focus on being aware of, and critically questioning your environment, taking action early in the morning, working towards a deadline, and before you know it, you will soon be set. With these three simple ideas implemented, you are well on your way to achieving success.

Before you go, just know that although January 1st only comes once a year, you must not forget that every day is your chance for a new start as well. If you get off track, don’t be discouraged. Go back to this article and find that spark inside to keep you going. Whatever you do, if you just get out of bed each morning with the intention to take some form of step towards your goal, you will be way ahead of the crowd. Do the best you can, appreciate every little victory and use it to take even bigger action the next day.

What action will you take today? Leave a comment!