New year's resolutions

With February upon us, how are you doing with your new year’s resolutions? Are you on track or did you make an excuse for not being able to achieve them?

Whether in our careers or personal life we are all in control of our own destiny. The decisions we make every second of the day shape who we become.

Being aware of common reasons for failure, will help you anticipate and avoid them.

  • People are scared of success and self-sabotage, which sounds totally crazy but it happens to all of us.
  • People are scared of failure, so play it safe and don’t get out of their comfort zone.
  • To grow you have to get out of your comfort zone and do new things. Remember back to when you were a child. If you didn’t try and walk or ride a bike you never would have achieved it. You fell over, got up and did it again as you were so determined to succeed.
  • People believe in the labels other people have given them. So if their boss calls them stupid, they will have no respect for the boss and no motivation to behave differently.

Let’s think about what we really want to achieve in 2016…. With 11 months to go a lot can be done.

First you have to be realistic. What do you really want to achieve? I mean REALLY want? Ask you self WHY you need to achieve it, because this will be the driver behind all the decisions you make. If you are not clear on the why and 100 per cent committed from the start you will end up disappointed.

Is your goal achievable and realistic in the time scale you are setting? For example if you want to be the Prime Minster, you might give yourself 11 years rather than 11 months. In this situation you need to break your goals down in to manageable steps which you can celebrate along the ways.

Realistic achievable goal + resources + 100% commitment + growth + support = Success!

Give yourself an unfair competitive advantage. Find someone who has achieved what you want to achieve and talk to them. Find out how they got to where they are, what helped them, what mistakes they made and what resources they used. This will fast track you to success.

Believe in yourself and don’t listen to negative comments from friends and family. They can be scared you will leave them behind so their motive is often selfish.

Surround yourself with successful positive people as they will help you up your game.

Ruth Fenton
Ruth Fenton

The best tip I ever got is if you “should” do something you “must” do it. I had 3 stone to lose after having a baby and decided I “should” go running. When it was cold, dark and wet outside I’d think of excuses, but with this new mindset of “must” I went out every day and lost all the weight. Of course I expected results straight away and got disappointed when the weight occasionally went back up, but I didn’t give up.

Every decision we make is based on the information we hold at that second. We choose the option best for us in that particular moment. With hindsight we have new information and would possibility choice a different option. So be kind to yourself and always have a backup plan.

Facebook is a great way to motivate you to get stuff done. Post your goal and get your friends to hold you accountable. You can provide updates and pictures to keep them interested and you motivated. If people start to see you self-sabotage they can call you on it.

So whether you are planning to get a training contract, become a partner or run the London Marathon, remember that all of your actions are within your control and with the right mindset you can achieve anything you are 100 per cent committed to.

Wishing you the greatest success in 2016!

Ruth Fenton is a solicitor, executive leadership coach and communications expert who specialises in helping junior and mid-level lawyers excel in their careers.