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  • David Richardson

New Year Resolutions – A Better Way

Act Now With The Traffic Light System


The month of January is named after the Roman god Janus. He supposedly had two faces, one looking to the past the other looking to the future.



Janus looking forward to the future became January and new year resolutions.


A new year resolution though, often turns out to be nothing more than an aspiration, some vague hope, an intention that never becomes fully realised.


There is a better way. Rather than just follow the crowd and make a resolution because everyone else does, why not think about what you want in your future and then create an achievable GOAL?


Red Traffic Light Says ‘No’!

The key to making a goal that is truly achievable, is in the HOW. And, this is where the traffic light system comes in.


First step - write your goal down. You need to be specific, noting WHAT you’re going to do and WHEN you’re going to do it.


An example for writers is: “I’m going to write 1000 words every day, five days a week.”

That’s good, a goal that’s specific – 1000 words, 5 days.


Next step - park it in front of the traffic lights and measure whether it is truly achievable for you. You need to be honest. What’s the probability that this will work? If you think in all honesty it’s unlikely, then the traffic light is red.


No problem – step three is to tweak the goal. In fact, let’s halve it! Instead of 1000 words, let’s make it 500. “I’m going to write 500 words every day, five days a week.”


Now, park that in front of the traffic lights. If you’re honest, perhaps you’ll give this an amber light. This is better, but you’ve still not got that green light, you’re not quite there yet.


Green Light for Go!

So, let's revisit step three and tweak it again. Why not say: “I’m going to write 300 words a day and do that at least 4 days out of 5 to allow for other things.”


Now, park that in front of the traffic lights – what have you got? Yes, this is achievable. You feel confident that you can do this. You've got a green light! A green light for go.


Don’t Be Vague

So, now you have, not some vague new year resolution chosen just to stick with some ancient tradition, a resolution you’ve made because you’re supposed to do one, or because everyone else has chosen one.


What you have is an achievable, planned out goal. You’ve been given the green light. Now you’re truly on your way.


Why Wait?

Now you’re looking at things differently, there’s no need to leave your future in the lap of some ancient Roman god. There’s no need even, to leave it until January.


Why not use your time between now and the start of 2021 by planning out how you’re going to make positive changes to your life? Take control for yourself.


Write down a specific goal. Park it front on the traffic lights until the lights turn green. Then you’ll have the inner confidence to actually make it happen.


How about that for a getting a head start on the world?


If you want to talk to an experienced writer about your goals for 2021, please get in touch with me. Details are on The Writing Coach page.

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