How To Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions with Business Coach Cait Scudder

It’s a marathon—not a sprint.

As the new year rolls around, everyone probably has a resolution or two on their mind. Some people might set ambitious goals, like buying their dream home or traveling the world. For others, maybe it’s simply time to learn to cook a few go-to weeknight meals, or start a rainy day fund. No matter how lofty or loose your resolutions may be, business coach for women entrepreneurs Cait Scudder, offers evergreen advice on how to set a goal and stick to it.

Scudder works exclusively with women, creating strategies with her clients to push through feelings of inadequacy to access their full potential.

“I help them tone their natural gifts into a purpose-driven business,” Scudder said. “One thing that holds a lot of women back is thinking that they don’t have anything special to offer. I understand what it takes to undo that thinking, and I work as a strategist to help women to not only develop a brand, but to cultivate the core beliefs and behaviors that success is really about.”

Needless to say, Scudder knows a thing or two about how to make your dreams come true.
 
Be Realistic
 
“I have set New Year’s resolutions in the past, but I treat them the same as I would any other goal,” Scudder said. “I think the new year is a great time to have a fresh start, but it’s also important to understand that it’s just another day. There’s no particular power that a new year or a decade has, it’s about being in the right mindset to truly make a lifestyle change.”
 
Scudder said that the first thing she does when setting a goal is to get real.
 
“I get really clear and intentional—not only about what the goal is, but about the impact that achieving the goal is going to have on my life,” said Scudder. “I’ve set resolutions in the past that are very outcome-focused, like ‘I want to have my first six-figure year’, or, ‘I want to go to the gym 5 times a week.”
 
Instead, Scudder encourages people to set goals that are more process-oriented.
 
“You might still have an attachment to a specific number or milestone, but by focusing on the process it becomes more about how you feel while you’re working towards that goal,” Scudder said. “I think specific, number-oriented goals are very attractive—especially around the new year—but make sure you know what it’s going to take to get there.”
 
Why the New Year?
 
Scudder said that as human beings, people are naturally very cyclical. “We celebrate our birthdays and anniversaries every year, there’s something about marking the passing of time that allows us to see our growth,” said Scudder. “A new year can bring with it a sense of what you’re looking to create, but also offers a chance to examine the things that you can leave behind.”
 
“I like to think of the new year as a door or gateway,” Scudder said. “Before you step through it, ask yourself, ‘What am I bringing with me into this new chapter?’”
 
Set Your Intentions
 
Scudder says to ask yourself, “Is achieving this goal going to get me something that I don’t already have?”
 
Before setting a goal, Scudder advises to really question why it’s something you’re chasing in the first place.
 
“It’s not about talking yourself out of a big goal,” said Scudder, “it’s about also remembering that it’s just as important to check in with how you feel during the process itself.”
 
A process she uses with her own clients is a kind of reverse engineering and planning by design.
 
“If you’re setting a goal that you would like to earn $100k in a year, figure out what that actually looks like month-to-month,” said Scudder. “People set huge goals, don’t see results right away and get discouraged. I think that’s a failure of the breakdown and planning process."
 
Can you give yourself the grace, foresight and perspective of what needs to happen on a month-to-month basis? “When you set 12 mini monthly goals, or even daily goals, your resolution becomes much more manageable. Let yourself experience and enjoy the small wins along the way.”
 
What To Do When You Break a Resolution
 
When it comes to taking risks, failure is often inevitable. But what can you do to get back on track when you’ve broken your resolution? “Treat your goals as a marathon, not a sprint,” Scudder said. “Have forgiveness for yourself. Failure is par-for-the-course on the road to success.”
 
Not only that, but Scudder says to check in to make sure you have the support you need before setting your goals.
 
“Do you have the support you need to be successful? I think one of our instincts is to look at ourselves and feel inherently flawed,” said Scudder. “The real question is, ‘Do you have all of the resources and support that you need to achieve this goal? Are you surrounding yourself with people who are supporting you?’ If not, that’s something to tweak and change.”
 
Lastly, Scudder says don’t take your setbacks personally, but think of them as learning experiences.
 
“Don’t attach too much meaning to one particular success or failure,” said Scudder. “You don’t learn as deeply when you’re afraid to fail.”