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Iain Abernethy
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Paying the price for your New-Year resolutions

This is typically a time of year where people commit to the things they wish to achieve in the coming year and the changes they want to make.

11 years ago, I put together this short podcast on how to set meaningful goals:


It is worth a listen if you are serious about your New-Year’s resolutions.

One additional thing that can also help is to succinctly express your priorities. The inescapable fact is that every advancement requires some form of sacrifice and discomfort. If you want to get fitter, you have to train. If you want to lose weight, you have to forgo some of the pleasure of eating. If you want to advance your martial arts, you will need to spend more time on them … and that will mean less time for other things. The bottom line is we are always making some form of trade. It can be very helpful to remind ourselves of that.

When thinking of what you WANT, be sure to also think of what you will have to PAY to get it, and then make sure you feel that’s a good deal.

For example, if you want to lose weight, then think of the thing you will have to sacrifice to achieve that goal. You should then clearly express that i.e. “Losing weight is more important to me than the pleasure of eating junk food”. Other examples would be, “Improving my health is more important to me than the pleasure of smoking”, “Getting fitter is more important to me than spending time watching TV”, and so on.

The advantages of explicitly stating both the goal and the most likely impediment is that when it comes to the time to make the choice, you are more likely to make the choice that will lead you towards the outcome you want.

When junk food becomes available you have the choice over whether you want the short-term pleasure of eating it or achieving the long-term goal of losing weight. You can’t have both. So choose what is most important to you.

If junk food is more important than weight loss, then have the junk food … just don’t delude yourself that you will lose weight when you are not paying the non-negotiable price that losing weight demands. If losing weight is more important, then you can forgo the junk food in the certain knowledge that it is one more payment towards the cost of a healthier body and a smaller waistline. Your sacrifice will not be without reward.

Write out your statements of importance and put them in a place where you are sure to see them each day i.e. desk, bathroom mirror, back of your front door, etc. When you see them, read them, repeat them to yourself. This will remind you of your goals and the necessary actions you need to take to achieve those goals. It will also remind you that sacrifices lead to achievements … and those achievements will make you happier than the things you are sacrificing.

All the best,