There are dozens of resolutions your could set this New Year, and just as many reasons behind choosing them. The desire for a better life could push you to ask for that promotion, go back to college, stop being an emotional doormat, and be more confident.

Guilt could spur you to stick to that diet and exercise plan or stay on a budget. When you promise yourself that you'll limit your spending, you'll feel a sense of relief because you've unburdened yourself of the guilt of overspending. You might also feel excited about paying off bills and being financially free.

Choosing a resolution is very inspiring. This inspiration leads you to set an intention: I intend to stick to a budget.

But here's the thing. The act of setting an intention hasn't changed the habit of impulsive spending. Yet.

Albert Einstein said: Nothing happens until something moves. In other words, you change your spending habit only in the moment you feel the urge to act on it.

Until that point, you're just thinking about changing the habit. Your brain's rewiring process has only begun.

It's common to think about something for a long time before actually doing it. But because the thought is so familiar, you'll think that the new action is going to be easy and familiar, too. When it turns out to be harder than you thought it'd be, you'll be discouraged from sticking with the new behavior long enough to wire it as a habit into your brain.

Another roadblock to sticking with resolutions is not recognizing that success is an attitude. On January 1st, you've psyched yourself up to improve your life. You took the time to create an attitude, a mindset of successfully attaining your desires.

This resolve will be strong for a time. In mid-January, you'll feel that rush of success the first time you walk away from a purchase. Keeping this up will be easy, you think.

But moods are constantly shifting. The next time you're faced with the challenge of not spending, your frame of mind and mood could be very different.

Maybe you've had a rough day and you really need the boost. You're not as psyched up for change any more. If you don't plan ahead for this eventuality of human nature, you'll judge yourself as a wimp, too weak-willed to see it through.

But you can plan now for those days you're feeling low, and vulnerable to repeating the old pattern of spending money to get a buzz. First, make a detailed list of other things you can do to distract yourself from shopping. There are a thousand ways to cop a buzz. Use your imagination and have fun with it.

Second, if you have a human moment and buy something, you can give yourself a break without letting yourself off the hook. Don't judge yourself as a failure. Instead, notice that you've exceeded your capacity to change (Chip Heath's book, Switch, is a great exploration of this phenomenon).

Recognize you need an attitude adjustment. Again, make a plan now of how you'll refresh that feeling of success. Be gentle with yourself. And tomorrow, begin again. Each sunrise is a new day, a fresh opportunity to be who you want to be.

Today's Coaching Question: What could you do to avoid repeating the past behaviors that blocked you from sticking with your resolutions?

Author's Bio: 

Judy Widener is a Certified Life Coach and author of Power For A Lifetime: Tools You Customize to Build Your Personal Power Every Day Of Your Life. You can sign up for Discovering Your Values, a 5-day e-course at no cost at Her passion is assisting her clients to discover what is most important to them, then to create more balance and satisfaction in their lives. She offers a comprehensive program that teaches clients simple ways to build their personal power and overcome obstacles to achieving their dreams. Judy has coached more than 600 people over the past 13 years. Her website is