12/26/2013 01:05 pm ET Updated Feb 25, 2014

Enough With the Half-Assed Resolutions

In December, many coaching clients take "breaks" from their self-improvement plans. Diets get put on hold, business plans get deferred, and smart budgeting practices go out the window. Then on New Year's Day, we suddenly expect that we can "catch up" on our goals with "resolutions" to be better.

Kicking off a new year with a clean slate and mounds of ambition is great. But when your New Year's resolutions are all corrective measures rooted in the woulda, shoulda, couldas of yesteryear, it's tough to be excited about them. The motivation to make your resolutions a reality is solely dependent on not doing what you did before. What fun is that?! It's no wonder only 8 percent of resolutions are actually achieved!

Instead of making a bunch of half-assed resolutions year after year, what would happen if you made a commitment to not just improve yourself, but to freaking astonish yourself?! To push aside those lame, snoozy "lose weight, get organized, save money" resolutions to make room for something monumental? To decide to dig into your potential and go for goals that stretch you way outside your comfort zone? To do things that you've never even considered attempting?


Some pretty spectacular stuff, right? If you apply your tenacity and ambition toward something epic that excites you to the very core (as opposed to committing to no cupcakes, no clutter, and no Starbucks coffee), you can make incredible things happen in your life. But how?

Step 1 :: Squash Your "Wish I Wouldas"

Your past is not indicative of your potential. So, let's just put all that "If only I..." crap to rest right now.

Just because you weren't able to do x, y, or z in the past doesn't mean you can't make something outrageous happen in the future.

Once you let go of what you shoulda-woulda-coulda done differently in the past, the possibilities that lie ahead are limitless. Instead of wishing you woulda, decide right now what you will do in 2014 that will astonish your pants off and make for one helluva smashing year.

Step 2 :: Cure Your Procrastinitis

Worried that you just won't make the time to make shit happen? The remedy for a severe case of procrastinitis is simple: Stop trying to do it all on your own! If self-astonishment was easy, everyone would do it. You need support in your juicy endeavors.

Once you've decided what you're going to do to make 2014 your most audacious year to date, shout it from the rooftops. Tell anyone and everyone what you've got cooking and ask for help with sticking to your grand plan.

Having someone (or many someones) to hold you accountable to your commitments is critical if you really want to make big things happen in your world.

Step 3 :: Tackle the Impossibles

I've heard every excuse in the book as to why big goals of all shapes and sizes are "simply impossible." And frankly, I call bullshit almost every single time.

You just don't have the money to become a globetrotting jetsetter? You simply do not have the time to start the business of your dreams? You don't have enough education or experience to open a restaurant, publish a novel, or be your own boss?

Those are not impossibilities. They're merely obstacles of the completely conquerable variety. Make a list of all the things that feel unobtainable about your hugely audacious goal and evaluate what kind of reprioritizing it will take to make the impossible possible for you.

Step 4 :: Act Accordingly, Dammit

Mae West said it best. "You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough." Making amazing things happen in your life takes guts. It takes pluck. And it takes tenacity.

Your capacity is limitless. The possibilities are endless. I promise you -- if you get out of your own way, you'll surprise yourself with what you can achieve in one audacious year.

Half-assed New Year's self-improvement resolutions are for the birds. It's time to astonish yourself.

How are You Going to Make 2014 Matter?

Regardless of how much badassery or bad news 2013 delivered, the new year brings with it a fresh start. A reboot. An opportunity to dig into potential and find out what you're really made of. A chance to make 2014 your year of epic proportion.

So, what's 2014 got in store for you? A bucket full of unfulfilled resolutions and a stomach full of shoulda-dones or your best damn year yet? Your call.