How Mate & Fish Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Last Longer

Ok, let’s get serious now. New year is approaching fast. We better get ourselves ready for ‘new’ resolutions.

Often we recycle previous year resolutions. In fact, we might do that again next year (nothing wrong with that). My new year’s resolution in the last 2 years has been losing weight (lost 12kg so far!).

Or, we might have entirely new goals, and that’s fine too. 

Whatever the goals are, let’s work together so our new year resolutions will last longer. 

Are you ready?

I have a simple system, even created an acronym to make it easier to remember: MATe FiSh.

Let’s get started.

My ambitious goal and my ambitious goal only

MATe FiSh – My ambitious goal

Your new resolution should excite you. It should be ambitious. 

You want it to pull you forward towards it.It needs that extra gravity to do that. It must be exciting, powerful, and amazing.

But more importantly, make sure it’s yours, not anyone else’s (not your partner’s, wife’s, husband’s, parents’, etc, etc). You can talk about it with friends and family but it is important that you OWN this goal.

It is your ambitious goal.

When the going gets tough it is common to find excuses to jeopardise the resolution. If the goal is not yours often a slight obstacle will be enough to excuse yourselves away from achieving it.

Some common excuses:
I didn’t even want to do it in the first place.
They talked me into it.
My shoes are dirty, no running today then.

In order to help you with these simple steps, I will share my goal with you. My new resolution will be, you guessed it — losing more weight!

My doctor told me to lose around 35kg. I have managed to lose 12kg in the last two years. This time (or next year) my goal is to lose twice that in half the time, which is 24kg (yeah).

Ambitious? Yes!

What is your goal? 
What convinces you that this goal is yours?
Do you really 
OWNthis goal?

Achievable goal is the only goal that is achievable

MATe FiSh — Achievable

Sometimes the goal is set too high. It is so high up that it is almost impossible to achieve.

If the goal is almost impossible to achieve, then what are the chances of you achieving it? Almost zero it seems like.

So why do we set ‘almost impossible’ goals?

Are we setting up ourselves for failure?
Are we trying to build a red-face-safe exit (for when the going gets tough)?

Maybe we are afraid of failing our resolutions (again). Hence, we set them up so high it is not possible to achieve anyway (perfect excuse).

Set up a goal that you can actually achieve — no more excuses now!

Some common excuses:
No one can do this. Definitely not me.
I knew it’s too hard to do.
I guess I aimed too high.

In my case, hmmm, maybe 24kg is too difficult to achieve. I’ll make it 12kg then. Wait a minute, not so fast. It is still too vague. I cannot confidently say I can achieve it, yet.

What about this. Losing 12kg through eating 30% less per meal (real advice given by my doctor). Wow, now it grips me, it is concrete and practical.

It’s not easy but it can be done!

Do you need to refine your goal to make it achievable?
Do you need to break it down into more practicable chunks?
Are you more confident now that you know you can achieve this goal?

Time elements to make it alive

MATe FiSh — Time elements

So now you have an ambitious goal and you know you can achieve it. But still, often the goal just sits in your mind, not moving. It stays quietly in the ‘new resolution’ section of your brain.

It is nice to think about the goal though. But it is not real until you put time elements on it .. tick .. tock .. tick .. tock.

‘Running’ and ‘Running at 6am’. What is the difference?

What about ‘Running at 6am on the weekend’?

Let’s add one more element: ‘Running at 6am this Saturday’.

Can you see that by adding time elements, suddenly the goal is real? It becomes alive. It is so real you can almost touch it.


When a goal lacks time elements, it is just sitting in your mind waiting to be realised. 

Time elements move the goal to cross path with your life.It is not an idea anymore, it’s part of your life.

Some common excuses:
I’ll get to it later.
Life has been so busy lately, I don’t have time.

Let’s look at my example. I want to lose 12kg next year by eating less. Adding time elements and the resolution will be: ‘starting to eat 30% less on 1st January’. The goal will cross path with my life next year, on 1st January.

How would your goal look like with time elements?
Can you see how your life will cross path with the goal now?
How does it look like now that it is part of your life?

First step will set you up for a good year

MATeFiSh — First step

Your goal is now a part of your future. But we still need to smooth out the crucial moment when it crosses path with your life. Think of it as a starting point of a long walk.

A good start will set you up for a good walk.On the other hand, a bad start will discourage you. This is your first step in achieving your new year resolution.

Make it as easy as possible to take that first step. You just need to start, that’s all. It does not have to be a big leap. A small step is enough.

Some common excuses:
I am supposed to start running tomorrow but it feels so hard.
I don’t even know where to start.

So, back to my example. I will start eating 30% less on 1st January. My first step will be eating less breakfast. It’s easy enough to do. I just need to use a smaller breakfast bowl.

What is your first step?
What can you do to make your first step as easy as possible?
How do you see yourself completing the first step?

Share the goal with someone you trust

MATe FiSh — Share the goal

You have the artilleries you need to achieve this goal. Now, let’s get some supports. Share the goal, the time elements, and the first step with someone you trust. Ask him/her if it’s ok to be your accountability partner.

The act of sharing alone is beneficial. It is like a semi-public declaration of your intention. It can be very motivating knowing that someone else knows what you want to do next year.

However, the real power of sharing your goal with another person is ‘accountability’.

Now you are not alone. There is someone else watching over you. His/her role is to be your accountability partner as you move forward to achieve your goal.

How is this helpful?

There will be obstacles along the way. There will be times when you are unsure about yourself.

Your accountability partner is the one who will help you get back on track.

Some common excuses:
I cannot do it by myself.
This is too difficult for me.

As with my goal, I have shared it with you guys here as well as with my wife and kids. They will keep a close watch of what I eat next year. No more second or third portion for me.

Who can I trust to be my accountability partner?
How do I share my goal with him/her?
How will this ‘accountability’ relationship work?

So that’s all folks.

Follow the steps: MATe FiSh.

And do it.

I am confident (and I am sure you are too) that your new year resolution will be a success!

Are you ready to make next year a fantastic year?


“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” — Carl Bard

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