“This is going to be the year,” millions promise themselves on January 1st. “This is the year that I finally [lose weight/get out of debt/learn to skydive]!”

Ahh, the promise of a fresh New Year’s resolution. If you’ve ever made one, you can probably recall the optimism that you felt about the year ahead – and you might also recall the feelings of shame or disappointment when you gave up on those resolutions by February.

You’re in good company. Making real, productive change is HARD. If it were easy, everyone would do it. My work is all about helping people bust through roadblocks and move to the next level in their lives, so I talk to smart, motivated clients every day who still struggle to accomplish the things on their to-do lists.

So if you’re committed to hitting the gym more or becoming fluent in Finnish this year, don’t let me discourage you! But I do want to share three ideas for productive New Year’s resolutions in the hopes that they might help you get control of your time in 2019.

1. Clock out of work mode at the end of each day. That might mean you no longer check work emails after dinner or take calls during drinks with friends. Make this the year that you give yourself permission to make personal time just as much of a priority as work time is, by creating clear boundaries between the two.

2. Spend less time on low-priority tasks. You could be getting more of your high-priority tasks done – the ones that support your peak priorities, the most important things on your plate – if you spend less time attending to less important stuff.

3. Stop beating yourself up for not getting it all done. Recognize that, if you can’t finish everything on your to-do list and feel totally overwhelmed, it’s not a sign that you’re lazy or in over your head. If you hold yourself to an impossible standard, of course you’ll fall short!

Did you notice a theme there? Unlike many resolutions, which require you to add more stuff to your plate (morning workouts, nighttime classes, etc.), sticking to these productive New Year’s resolutions allows you to do less. That’s one of the keys to improving productivity and time management. We each have just 24 hours in a day, and figuring out what to ignore is just as important as figuring out what to focus on.

I hope these productive New Year’s resolutions will work for you, but I know that the start of January is challenging and that many of my clients need extra support this time of year. That’s why I’m planning my next FREE webinar for Thursday, January 10th at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT.

Start the New Year Strong: Simple, Doable Productivity for Smart, Busy People Like You is specifically tailored to address the stumbling blocks that a new year inevitably brings! Don’t miss it – click here to enroll now for FREE! 

I look forward to growing and sharing more with you in 2019. And if you do decide to learn Finnish, I’d love to hear about it!

Be well,


Sarah Reiff-Hekking