The Secret to New Year’s Resolutions? Don’t Make Them, Says Personal Growth Expert

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Every year at this time, people create resolutions for things they would like to change or achieve in the next 12 months. And yet even before the end of January, most resolution makers are back exactly where they were, having given up. Is such failure inevitable?

Every year at this time, people create resolutions for things they would like to change or achieve in the next 12 months. People think about losing weight, quitting smoking, and starting the business they’ve always dreamed of. And yet even before the end of January, most resolution makers are back exactly where they were, having given up. Is such failure inevitable? “If you think that just making a resolution to change will help you, you’re setting yourself up for failure,” says Jim Jenkins, president and founder of Creative Visions Consulting (http://www.cvc-inc.com). “You need to have a plan to make change happen and sometimes the best way to do that is by making changes in very small increments.”

“Resolutions by themselves are not really effective,” explains Jenkins. “People say they’re going to work out four to five times a week in the New Year or they will quit smoking cold turkey. But your subconscious mind and your body are often working against you when you want to make such changes. You may start off strong but resistance is futile. By the end of the month, most people go back to what’s comfortable and back to their old habits.”

The secret to making changes stick? “Start off small and celebrate those early successes,” Jenkins says. “By taking smaller steps at first, you will gradually achieve the result you desire. Change takes place in biological time and yet our culture wants instant gratification.” Jenkins also suggests having a plan with tangible tasks to help you achieve your goals as a necessary element for change to occur. “Goal-setting works when goals are grounded in specific, clearly defined and well-chosen objectives and when you have ongoing support in taking action toward your goals,” says Jenkins.

Jenkins’ goal is to coach as many people as possible to achieve their own personal growth goals in 2005. “It’s sometimes overwhelming to get started because there are so many things you need to do to launch a new business, change an old behavior or simply connect with your creativity. A coach helps you focus on the right actions that truly make a difference in reaching your goal.” One of Jenkins’ other goals for 2005 is to show supervisors how to become better managers.

Jenkins’ coaching programs include in-depth data gathering to help clients get clear about their goals as well as frequent sessions either over the phone or in person to keep them on track. According to Jenkins, “Coaching helps keep people accountable and focused in achieving their goals. It’s just like learning a new sport—you don’t develop the perfect serve in tennis without a lot of practice and having someone there to explain how you need to adjust your grip. Instead of tossing in the towel, you keep at it and do better and better.”

Most coaching programs last between six and nine months, depending on client needs.

Creative Visions Consulting is located in Frederick, Maryland and works with clients all over the world. For more information on coaching, contact Jim Jenkins at 866-322-8263 or on the web at http://www.cvc-inc.com.

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Jim Jenkins