By Sloan Sheridan-Williams, Celebrity Success Coach

The reason why we make New Year Resolutions is to make our life more like the blueprint we have in our head about what makes us feel happy or successful. The problem is that many resolutions end up being no better than a wish list if there is no commitment or follow through. To make a resolution related to your career have impact and lasting effect, you have to see no other possibility and make all other unproductive avenues unavailable to yourself.

My clients often ask me how they can change a particular part of their career, be that to earn more money, to get that promotion at work, to choose an alternative career, the list goes on. My answer often surprises them because I simply say “You don’t change you adapt”. Change happens. You don’t need to work on change as it will happen anyway. Everything in life changes over time. This is automatic. Change is a given. At the base level, most living organisms know they must adapt or die, but humans are quite happy to do the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. Adaptation which leads to progress requires work, effort and commitment but it is progress on a regular basis that makes you feel alive and will help you achieve your dreams.

We live who we believe we are. Human beings absolutely follow through on this without deviation. It is one of our strongest forces to stay consistent with how we define ourselves. Your identity is a reflection of your standards. You will only succeed if your raise your standards and create rituals to support them through consistent action.

Achieving constant progression in your life is not easy but it is simple. To successfully follow though with your career objectives you must adapt your rituals, making tweaks to your habits that you can keep to. Progression forward cannot happen until you learn how to take control of your life rather than allowing life to control you.

3 step plan for achieving your goals

Step 1 - Have a vision that inspires you. Avoid thinking about your “shoulds” and shift focus to your “musts”. You need to know your deal breakers, what you will and won’t accept from others but more importantly what you will no longer accept from yourself. If you are the type of person that rolls over and presses the snooze button every morning, then decide is this an acceptable way to live if you want to advance in your career. What other helpful behaviours could you exhibit that would move you forward even if it is only a small step at a time.

Step 2 — Have a drive and motivation that pulls you forward rather than feeling that you need the support of 100 colleagues to push you up a very steep hill. Success in the work place needs excitement and intensity both on a physical and emotional level. A compelling vision will be able to produce the immense power of focus and energy. Pair that vision with a healthy mind and body and you are already on the road to success.

Step 3 — Have good reasons. You have to be strong, both mentally fit and emotionally strong to get that which you desire in life. Progress is not for the faint hearted. Weigh up the positives and negatives looking at your gain versus your cost. More hours in the office takes away time with your loved ones, is there a conflict holding you back? You need to come up with compelling reasons for implementing the new habits first before looking for the answers that will get you the results you want.

Success and failure do not happen overnight but result from a culmination of small actions that build up over time. Willpower can wane but rituals are ingrained actions and behaviours that happen consistently and will work so long as they have been created in the right way. It’s important to take small steps consistently each and every day to move forward in your life. People are rewarded in public for what they practice behind the scenes so it is important not to compare yourself to assumptions you make about others. You can get the life you’ve always dreamed of and achieve long lasting results if you take powerful action to move forward in life.

Here is a little exercise I give my clients to inspire them into action:

1. Select an area of your life, being very specific about what you want to improve.

2. Note down the rituals you have that keep you where you are

3. Write down your vision of where you need to be. Have fun with this, if you want to create a vision book or place images in a box or photoshop your head on your idol’s body, be creative and explore what you once thought impossible to achieve. No goal is too large, just remember to break it down into smaller chunks.

4. Work out what you need to incorporate into your life to achieve this? Come up with the new rituals that need to be in place being specific about when and how these rituals happen. This is where a coach comes in handy however with Google, fantastic autobiographies and a wealth of information around us you can do your own research and find out the answers. A coach provides faster results but you can achieve your dreams without one, because you are the creator of your own future. If you are interested in coaching I offer a free coaching strategy session via my website with no obligations. www.sloansw.com