There is something motivating about having a fresh new calendar to kickstart the new year, isn’t there? It brings a feeling of possibility and opportunity with it. Every year, I pick a word to focus on for the entire year.

I think about this word in the months leading into the new year, work on my goals and then I use the word as a guide for the next 12 months.

As I look ahead to 2024, my word of focus is: Resolute.

Not ‘resolutions’ but ‘resolute.’ We all know how New Year’s Resolutions can work. Come February, they are often a thing of the past, a momentary thought from a more optimistic, January 1st version of yourself. Not this year! We are not making a resolution; we are being resolute. Totally different.

Resolute means marked by firm determination.

That means I get to shape how 2024 will look. (Hint: this applies to you too – YOU get to shape the year too). It means deciding firmly on a course of action and not being deterred from it. To determine your goals (or resolutions) and steel yourself to accomplish them. Feeling strong and empowered yet? I am!

This does not come easily for most. Prepare to persevere to accomplish your goals. Instead of viewing obstacles and challenges as difficulties, choose to see them as opportunities for growth and self-discovery. Approach challenges with a positive mindset. Recognize that every setback is a chance to learn and become stronger. Channel your inner strength. Allow yourself to become resolute in what you face.

Being resolute is about creating lasting change by finding courage and intentionality within yourself.

Here are some steps to help you build your resolve:

What are your values?

Begin by reflecting on your core values. What principles guide your life? Understanding your values provides a foundation for setting meaningful goals. Whether it’s personal growth, relationships, or business, aligning your resolutions with these values will create a sense of purpose and motivation.

Make your goals specific. And realistic. Instead of vague resolutions such as “exercise more,” “obtain more clients,” or climb Mt Everest, set specific achievable goals. Break it down into actionable steps. Choose goals where you can easily track your progress. For instance, “plan a lunch with a potential new client each week” or “walk for 30 minutes a day” is measurable and practical. Challenge yourself with something specific to evaluate each week. Yes, each. week. And then break that down to each day.

Write it down. You are more likely to achieve your goals when you write them down. It gives clarity and direction. It also gives you a visual reference point instead of an abstract or general thought. A goal written down gives it purpose. Include actionable steps. Make bullet points of what you want to achieve and what you will focus on. A visual reminder of your goals helps you stay motivated.

If you fall, get back up! You know, failure is a learning opportunity. Being resolute means understanding that setbacks are a natural part of the process. Analyze what went wrong, adjust your plan, and use your setbacks as stepping stones toward growth. Failure is not a reason to abandon your resolutions! You can do this. Embrace the challenge! Let your mindset be focused on growth. Dedication and hard work are essential stepping stones on the path to being resolute.

Habits are a process. Dramatic overnight change is rarely possible. Being resolute is not about immediate, drastic change but building positive habits gradually. Consistent action over time leads to lasting change. So, whether it’s exercise, following up with clients, or eating healthily, consistency is what is important.

Celebrate victory. Finally, take the time to celebrate progress along the way. Recognizing your progress reinforces the positive decisions you have made and motivates you to continue on your path. Regularly assess what you have accomplished. Adjust your goals if necessary. Enjoy the journey.

Knowing YOU

Being resolute is a journey of self-discovery and personal growth. It requires a deep understanding of your values, realistic goal-setting, and developing positive habits. It involves a mindset that embraces challenges and learns from setbacks.

Ultimately, it means moving beyond the cliché of “New Year’s Resolutions” and finding your inner determination and permission to choose to be resolute. So start this year with your own clear determination of what you want this year (and beyond to bring). Being resolute in your vision and path to get there – you set the stage for personal success and create a sense of authenticity in your journey toward becoming the best version of yourself.