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Four weeks after celebrating the arrival of 2018, the novelty of another year seems to have worn away. Conversations about resolutions have dissipated, annual business strategies have rolled out and gym membership deals have expired. Yet, those of us who are committed to creating sustainable change know that it’s a process—one that takes more than a single month.

 

We all know the potential pitfalls of setting resolutions. We know when we set stretch goals that accomplishing them is certainly possible, but not necessarily likely. This might sound familiar: you define a desired outcome, start addressing it ambitiously, make some initial improvements, and then get disappointed when you don’t succeed. A little pain; no gain.

 

Changing ourselves is particularly hard when we work on modifying our habits rather than examining what drives them. If you want to create lasting improvements, you have to look beyond external behaviors and focus on your thinking and being. Here’s an example:

 

I like to have a tidy desk. Telling myself that I need to regularly clean it off was not an effective strategy (I tried it), nor was scheduling time on my calendar to do it (tried that too). Focusing on why I want it to be tidy and what that feels like, helped me get clear on how important (or not) this is to me. Then I could compare that to other activities to determine its priority. As it turns out, I’m more of a tidy-ish desk person.

 

Focusing on the thoughts and emotions that drive our behavior can help us sustain our personal and professional development goals. For many of you this will be a new way of thinking, for others this will simply serve as a reminder. Wherever you are in your growth journey, having support can be helpful. For that reason, I will be sharing a strategy for “Thriving in 2018” at the beginning of each month in 2018. I’ll share actionable ideas and describe approaches that have worked for some of my clients. If you subscribe to the Thrive Potential newsletter, you will see this information there. I will also post them on Thrive Potential’s Facebook page and on Linked In. My hope is that the tricks and insights I share will give you the boost you need to achieve all of your goals—in 2018 and beyond.

 

So, keep your eyes open and your head high. This is going to be a great year!