Get What You Want in This New Year! (Better than New Years Resolutions!)

Make 2017 Great! Use Tom Marcoux 's book "Soar! Nothing Can Stop You This Year"

Make 2017 Great! Use Tom Marcoux ‘s book “Soar! Nothing Can Stop You This Year

“You CAN make this year better than all years before,” I shared with my client, Andrea.

“How?” she asked.

“It takes a different approach. You’ll create a transformation for yourself. And, you’ll avoid the pitfalls of standard New Year’s resolutions,” I assured her.

So what do you want? To lose weight (or get lighter and feel energized!)? To write a book? To create a portfolio of your work and submit it so you get your dream job? Something else?

We’ll use the P.L.A.N.S. process:

P – plan for backsliding (get back on the horse fast)
L – log it on a Progress Log
A – arrange “joy out and Joy IN”
N – nurture your tough action early in the day
S – start so easy it fits your life

  1. Plan for backsliding (get back on the horse fast)

I’ve watched a friend simply give up when he broke his diet one afternoon. However, here’s a way to help yourself keep on going. 

The better idea is to have a plan for backsliding.

One of my clients wanted to get up earlier so she could accomplish something for her dream—before going to work. She kept a log and did well for five days.

Then she stayed up late and failed to set her alarm clock. Her sixth day was a failure—her words.

With my guidance, she simply started again and called it “Round 2.” At the moment, she has 15 days (of Round 2) of successfully getting up at her preferred, early time.

The truth is we live in an imperfect world. We’ll sometimes falter. I prefer to call it “hesitating.” The plan is to get back on the horse fast. Call it Round 2 (or 3 or 21) and carry on from there.


  1. Log it on a Progress Log

Several years ago, a young comedian, Brad Isaac, met Jerry Seinfeld backstage at an Oakland, CA. venue. Brad asked, “How can I be a better comic?”

“The way to be a better comic is to create better jokes, and the way to create better jokes is to write every day,” Jerry replied. Jerry then revealed his own technique that he used to improve his craft as a comedian.

Here’s how Brad later described Jerry Seinfeld’s advice: “Jerry had a gem of a leverage technique he used on himself and you can use it to motivate yourself—even when you don’t feel like it. He revealed a unique calendar system he uses to pressure himself to write. Here’s how it works. [Jerry] told me to get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red magic marker. He said for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day.”

In summary, Jerry Seinfeld told Brad: “After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain…. Don’t break the chain.”

I call such a calendar a “Progress Log.”

At this moment, I’m looking at my board (next to my computer monitor), and I see three Progress Logs (daily exercise, daily word count for writing my 42nd book, and more…).

To really achieve the transformation that you want, use a Progress Log.


  1. Arrange “joy out and Joy IN”

One of my dear friends, Julian, told me that he’s “dropping carbs” from his diet. His doctor recommended a significant change in diet to help my friend avoid diabetes.

My friend asked for my thoughts on this.

“I hear you. You say you’re dropping cake, potato chips, bread, sushi, Asian noodles and more from your diet.”

“Y-yeah,” Julian said, his face dropping into a sad frown.

“Those types of foods bring you joy, right?”

“They did,” Julian said, his voice quiet.

“Then for you to keep to your plan. Let’s focus on “joy out and Joy IN,” I replied.

My point here is that replacement of what brings you joy is the process to keep with a new diet or schedule. One needs to replace the joy that one has taken out.

Fortunately, Julian likes to draw. So he’s now putting joy into his day by drawing using a Wacom tablet and his computer. In this way, he’s replaced talking about food with talking about his joy in drawing illustrations.

Now it’s your turn. Are you doing something difficult as part of your new goal? How can you put new Joy IN?


  1. Nurture your tough action early in the day

“Some research at Stanford University demonstrated that willpower is like a muscle. It wears out as the day goes on. That’s why I eat salad for breakfast,” I said, to an audience at LinkedIn Corporation.

I don’t like eating salad so I make sure to do it daily when I’m at my strongest point of willpower. When I say “nurture your tough action early in the day,” I mean take care of it and make space for your tough action to occur early and daily.

Now it’s your turn. What will most help you keep to your new schedule? What do you find tough to do? Can you place it early in your day?


  1. Start so easy, it fits your life

For years I wrote about the benefits of meditation (among other methods) in books to help people. Still, I had to admit that I did not consistently meditate myself.

Then I came across two pieces of research that helped me. First, top meditation author Ram Dass was asked, “How long is your daily meditation session?”

“3 minutes a day,” Ram Dass replied.

I told myself that I could do three minutes!

Second, I found out that research reveals that concentrating on one image and focusing on one sound simultaneously places one’s brain in a calm state.

So now I had my breakthrough. And, for months, I have consistently meditated for 3 minutes before turning on any electronic device in the morning.

I call this “start so easy that your new action fits your life.”

Now it’s your turn. What is an easy step you could take toward improving your life?

I focus on this idea “better than zero.” Simply walking two blocks (one out and one back to your home) is better than zero. What can you do that is better than zero?


In summary, become one of the 8% of people who accomplish their New Years related goal. How? Make sure to have a fully-developed Plan. You have the P.L.A.N.S. process:

P – plan for backsliding (get back on horse fast)
L – log it on a Progress Log
A – arrange “joy out and Joy IN”
N – nurture your tough action early in the day
S – start so easy it fits your life

The best to you in this New Year.


Tom Marcoux
Executive Coach
Spoken Word Strategist

Pitch Coach

CEO (leading teams in United Kingdom, India and USA)

Speaker-author of 41 books (with free chapters on )
Author of Soar With Confidence: An Executive Coach Reveals Secrets, Lies and Countermeasures So You Excel Like Top CEOs and Leaders – Pitch, Lead, Succeed (See more when you CLICK HERE )
1.8 min. video (on YouTube): Tom Marcoux pulls back the curtain about how his directing a feature film that went to Cannes Film market helps with “Building Your Brand”:
Author of Reduce Clutter, Enlarge Your Life (See more when you CLICK HERE )
and Connect: High Trust Communication for Your Success in Business and Life (See more when you CLICK HERE )
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