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Sarah Linton

TOC Director & Catalyst Advisor


Do your New Year Resolutions spark joy?
The first weeks of any New Year can be a powerful time to reflect & evaluate where you currently are related to all 5  cornerstones of your everyday.
Often a time where we dream about what is possible, we set intentions & impactful goals for ourselves, our business, our self-leadership and our wellness.


New Year Resolutions 2023:
How are you going?


You already know the importance of goal setting.
You will know that a critical part of  daring to dream – is writing them down.

Your dreams are only your dreams until you write them down
…..then they become your goals.

However, when it comes to New Year Resolutions , my experience of the last decade has affirmed the struggles of how these are steeped in expectations that put us under immense pressure.

This week conversations around NYResolutions reminded me of reasons why I have chosen not to make them for the last 10 years.



How did you start 2023?
2 common scenarios


1) With a hangover

Either physically from overindulgence OR from the challenges of the last 3 years and you have limped to the finish line.

You arrived at this next start line..

  • already depleted
  • with tinges of exhaustion,
  • disengaged,
  • sadness around lack of connection to loved ones overseas
  • reflecting on constraints & restrictions that keep you stuck
  • concerned around economic uncertainty of what 2023 holdsor

2) Full of awesome intentions & pumped with energy

  •  You feel excited/empowered
  •  Telling yourself ‘THIS is the year’
  •  It’s my time
  • Let’s do this



Does a ‘Gonna-Do’ list sound familiar?


I’m ‘Gonna-do’…

  • Dry January
  • Sign up to the gym
  • Live more in lycra
  • Move more
  • Hydrate more
  • Eat well
  • Set daily/ weekly monthly intentions goals
  • Be more productive & plan adventures
  • Refresh my business/role/team

Perhaps, this may feel nearer your truth.

By the start of week 3, there’s a ?BIG question mark creeping in about the progress you are making: or not making.

Things are starting to feel hard.

By week 4, self-sabotage has comfortably moved in, taking up residence in your head and often by early February  – your New Year Resolutions are filed on the shelf with the previous years attempts.

Any celebrations or feelings of satisfaction are replaced with disappointment, shame, guilt & some pain resides, living comfortably as your house-mates.

Ugh. That really sucks.

In my experience demonstrated NYR’s don’t work.

New Year Resolutions Truth Bomb FACT: 85 % of New Year Resolutions will fail

(source: US News World Report)

I learnt that I’m not alone – assuring you that neither are you.


3 Reasons why NY Resolutions fail


1) Consciousness has to shift BEFORE behaviour can change

It’s deep work that takes time.
Without a focus on the inner game, the outer game will repeat old established patterns.
There are NO shortcuts.

 2) LACK of inspiration around you to support sustainable change

Self Leadership and Accountability  will become one of your best friends.
To quote Brene Brown “ you were never meant to do this alone.”
We all need a champion, cheerleader & supporter as we learn how to become our own CEO ~ Chief Encouragement Officer.

3) Our Core FEARS

In a nutshell, humans fear change – even if that change will serve us well.
The reality is we will experience some pain & we are hardwired to stay in what appears to be pleasure… our brains don’t know what we don’t know until we know it!



Our TOC February ’23 blog takes a deeper dive into Our Core Fears
For this purpose I’ll leave fear right there.
In the meantime, I encourage you to get curious around your fears that are holding you back.



NY Resolutions
Out with the Old ~ In with the New 


It’s time to upgrade your software – just like you do on your tech devices – your brain/mind/ thoughts need an upgrade. There is a negative bias in the meaning of the word.

The word Resolution is the issue: it represents a negativity bias.

Resolutions are caught up with a problem or a conflict.

Resolutions comes from a place of doing without or giving up something Vs. any gains you could get to celebrate.

That approach messes with our minds – it smacks of scarcity, fuels fear and sets us up for failures.   

Be kinder to yourself. It’s time to let that instruction, demanding mentality go.



Connect to your ‘WHY’ Compass


Any lack of discipline is not the key driver in the delivery – it’s highly likely you have not connected to your why.

In my experience of practice over decades I know wanting significant change is only part of any adventure.

As well as connection to your ‘why’… understanding why you operate as you do at – at your identity level is vitally important.

This will help you overcome everything that keeps you stuck in a relationship with self-sabotage, negative loops or limiting behaviours.

Gaining insights around your beliefs, fears, values, habits at a deeper level – gives you the freedom to be who you want to be, loving what you do and how you do it.



Change it up


Meet yourself where you are – access your internal compass,  focus on finding where you are on your map – this is your adventure to write.

Give thought to who you want to become.

What choices do you need to make?

Get curious around what thoughts you can practice to know these 3 things:

  1.  That You are worth it
  2.  That You deserve it
  3.  What other people think is a distraction – that’s a thought (and the truth is you can change it)


There are alternatives to Resolutions that will give you future focus and more impact :
Our next TOC blog 7 tips to commit to a Word of the Year for 2023.

1 final question for your own reflection …

If we were to catch a cuppa in your favourite cafe at the end of 2023 –
what outcomes would you be celebrating and be excited to tell me about?


Want to go further faster?
book a Connect Cuppa with your Catalyst Coach HERE.
We can accelerate your outcomes together.


Remember, sustainable change happens one step at a time.
Small Steps BIG Impact.

Have fun & take care of  YOU,

Sarah Linton Signature



Takeaways: New Years Resolutions 

  • Change takes time, self-leadership & a system
  • Rapid result claims don’t last. There are NO quick fixes
  • Everyday is an opportunity to reset and make resolutions
  • Sustainable change relies on paying attention & doing deep inner work
  • You cannot change the outside if you don’t change the inside

We love to hear from our community. Leave your insight or comments below.

Sarah Linton

Sarah Linton is a Catalyst for change and impact specialising in making change a reality for personal and professional evolution. A former business leader at global organisations including the Walt Disney Company. A Director, Master Coach, Mum and Founder of Tides of Change & The Sarah is passionately connected to her True North as a prolific creator of new horizons & holding that as a vision for her clients partnering across time zones in the UK, USA & Asia Pacific.

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