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Ditch The Resolutions and Make a Contract

oh magazineThe 'Relationship Whisperer' Darleen Barton explains a more effective way to achieve those life goals. According to Darleen Barton, Australia's leading 'relationship whisperer', life coach, counsellor and mediator and best selling author, we need to dump new year's resolutions and instead make a contract with ourselves.

Research shows that new year's resolutions are a waste of time and the majority of people do not follow through with their commitments.

Leading business site, Business Insider, states that 80 per cent of new year's resolutions fail by February. Even worse, Forbes states that only eight per cent of resolutions are achieved.

Every year millions of people make new year's resolutions and most of them fail. If we are serious about improving our life, making key changes and achieving the things we want to achieve, we need to start taking change seriously. 2018 should be the best year ever and it can be if people are prepared to get serious. Forget new year's resolutions, they are a waste of time. Instead make a contract with yourself.

We only live once, why not get serious about getting the best out of it. We enter into commercial contracts to buy things as basic as phones, internet and Netflix. Why not enter into a commercial contract with ourselves to improve our life? Isn't our life the most valuable thing we have? Surely it's more important than Netflix?

Making a contract with yourself is easy and it involves just five key steps:

1. Work out what you want to achieve in 2018

Identify what you want to achieve and by when and what you need to do or change to achieve this.

2. Speak with significant people in your life to discuss the changes you need to make to achieve your goal/s

Discuss your goals with your inner circle. They may have suggestions and good ideas to help you. Get their buy-in and ask them to assist you with moral support and encouragement.

3. Draw up a contract with yourself to confirm the actions, dates and milestones

Detail in your contact with yourself what you are going to do, when and how. Be specific and make sure the document includes clear milestones.

4. Build in rewards for yourself as you reach milestones and goals

Ensure you reward yourself along the way. Self-encouragement is important and a vital part of growth and development. Keep your inner circle updated by providing progress reports.

5. Sign the document in front of your inner circle so you have a witness

Signing the contract should be a celebratory affair – you are, after all, embarking on a life changing journey. Involve your inner circle in the signing event and have them sign the contract as your witnesses. Put your contract in a prominent place in your home/life and provide a copy to your inner circle.

Entering into a contract with yourself in this way will give you the structure, motivation and plan to create the life you want to achieve. By involving your inner circle it will provide you with the support you need and the accountability and motivation required to slay your goals. You can even go one step further and build in contract defaults, that ensure you penalise yourself if you don't make the required progress.

I strongly encourage everyone to start preparing their 'self contract' now. Work out what you want to achieve and what you need to do to achieve it.

Make new year's eve about the signing celebration, where you sign and celebrate your new contract with yourself and those in your inner circle.

This is your first step to making 2018 your best year yet.

As featured in OH! Magazine