Forget setting New Year Resolutions – a one off activity at the start of each year that often feels forced and hurried, and leaves you feeling guilty and inadequate when they’re inevitably broken or discarded a short while later. Why not resolve (make a firm decision) at another time of year, or better still at various points throughout the year! How radical is that?

Even I’m fed up with the hype of resolutions, intentions, and goal setting for this year, and I’m in an industry that usually promotes them!

So what is different about this year? Well firstly it’s seeing the emphasis on ‘planning’ and how people come unstuck when it comes to actually ‘doing’. Secondly it’s seeing the negative mood in which many people try to make resolutions. And thirdly it’s wanting a fresh approach myself this year.

So what am I doing to kick-start my year, to get into gear and set off with enthusiasm?

What am I doing to move up the gears, gain some traction and develop some speed?

Well first of all I did not set specific goals on 1st January when I was in contemplative mode. Instead, on a walk with my husband, we discussed 2012 – the changes, memories and successes we encountered. And we discussed our future dream travel destinations and experiences – our ‘bucket list’ if you like, of the things we want to do and the places we want to see before we die!

What I did on my first day back at work, before I started planning the coming 12 months, was to celebrate the previous 12 months.

I reviewed 2012 in terms of what I’d achieved in my business, what I’d learned, what I’d let go of, and the challenges I’d overcome – in short I acknowledged, embraced and celebrated my year and the growth I’d experienced, as well as the areas I wanted to improve on and the development I wanted to undertake. This ensured I was feeling good about myself, was fully present, and in the best mindset to look forward to the end of 2013 and beyond.

Then I celebrated all the things I already had scheduled for 2013 – the things that demonstrated my previous plans were working well. Things like my personal VIP clients, my talks and presentations to women’s business groups. My dream holiday to Bolivia and Peru (for our Silver Wedding), my events, programmes and Success Club. My trips and meetings with family and friends, my dance classes, my new learning, my mastermind and accountability buddies, and my new fascinating and supportive personal and business connections.

Who wouldn’t be fired up and full of gratitude with this list?

And it was this conscious thought, this acknowledging and celebrating, this engaging with feelings of positivity and gratitude that enabled me to be even more creative in my planning and in setting up my review tools and processes.

My wall chart/annual planner is just 1 of my tools this year that’s had a makeover. So have my target and review sheets. Gone are my boring Excel spreadsheets, and in their place are traffic light-coded bar graphs and smiley-faced pie charts designed to help me DO and REVIEW with motivation, focus, and impact.

Gone is my more flexible diary, replaced by specific boundaries and colour-coded daily, weekly, and monthly scheduled activities I’m excited to DO and REVIEW!

So what can you do if New Year Resolutions no longer work for you? Well here are my top 3 tips to action at any time of the year.

1.Celebrate – your previous achievements, the good that’s showing up in your life and business right now AND what you already have coming up in the near future.

2.Get creative in your planning – use colour, charts, diagrams, pictures to help you not only take action, but also to review, to monitor and to adapt if necessary.

3.Make it fun - a way to gain momentum and move towards what you want with less effort. Create games, levels, and prizes – an individually customized reward system. Something that gets you excited and genuinely interested in seeing how far you can go and what you can achieve.

This way you‘ll have strategies to help you feel good and you’ll be generating evidence of progress to keep yourself motivated, AND you’ll actually find reaching your goals, targets, plans, intentions or dreams an easier process!

Give it a try and let me know how you get on making resolutions (firm decisions) a normal way of being and working rather than a one off activity at the start of each new year.

Author's Bio: 

After experiencing unhappiness in her work and then a decline in her business results that affected how she felt about herself, her business and her life, Julie developed her breakthrough DANCE system to help business women reconnect with themselves to discover their own true path to success rather than simply following or modelling others. For free success information and details of her book Stepping into Success ...The 7 Essential Moves to Bring Your Business to Life visit