New year, new you?

With the new year just around the corner, are you one of the millions of people making resolutions for 2017?

About half of us engage in this annual ritual, and of those, only about eight per cent succeed in attaining the goals they’ve set. Why so low?

For one thing, it takes a concerted effort, commitment, patience and some very careful goal setting to replace a bad habit with a shiny new good one.

But focusing solely on goal setting ignores a deeper issue.

We can make list after list of the goals we want to achieve, but if we don’t do the core work first, tackling the beliefs about ourselves that may be holding us back, chances are we’ll never make that dream of our bright, new selves a reality.

Before making your resolutions this year, start by honestly considering this phrase: “I am a person who…”

For example, some might say, “I am a person who loves to be liked.” Or “I am a person who has great ideas but doesn’t follow through.”

Give it a try, and fill in the blanks for yourself.

We all have limiting beliefs about ourselves. Even those that sound positive can get us stuck in a rut. “I am a person who is responsible” and “I am a person who puts the needs of others before my own” can be worn as badges of honour, but if you’re feeling so responsible to the person who hired you that you can’t quit the job you hate, that’s not working for you, is it?

Once you’ve figured out how your beliefs may be holding you back, it’s time to give some thought to what you’d like to replace them with, and start envisioning these new beliefs as anchors in your life.

“I am a person who is responsible” can easily be shifted to “I am a person who is responsible to myself, and I must act in ways that align with my values.”

None of us can do this kind of work alone. We all need support. Enlist the help of a close friend or family member. Tell them you’re working on shifting some beliefs about yourself that have been keeping you stuck, and ask them to remind you when they notice you sliding back.

Engaging the professional guidance and support of a coach can keep you on track in this process, as well. A good career coach doesn’t just help you with your resume and talk in mysterious tones about the “unpublished job market” — we travel with you to the deeper issues that are holding you back or limiting your growth and help you come out the other side.

If figuring out a new career path is your new year’s resolution, send me a note at and we’ll get to work!

Happy New Year!

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