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An alarming number of New Year  plans are never completed. Why? Because often those resolutions are too unrealistic, too vague or too hard! But there is another reason. January can be the toughest time of the year to start lots of new things. Especially if we want to stick to them!

Our motivation is often low in January as the excitement of Christmas fades. We return to work, facing into a long month. And with dark evenings still upon us, finding the energy to tackle new challenges can be hard.

Plan One Month at a Time

Don’t get me wrong – I love plans and goals. In fact, I spend most of my year helping people make plans, set goals and be productive! But the start of January may not be the best time for you to do this planning.

Setting a goal for a full year can be a bit daunting too. Or it allows is to procrastinate as we can say to ourselves, “I don’t have to start now, I have all year to do it!”

If you can relate to any of this, my advice is to take it one month at a time. Instead of drawing up a long list of challenging resolutions for 2024, identify one thing to start each month. This takes the pressure off January when your energy and focus may still be low.

Use January to Reflect, Reset and Recharge

Use the month of January to reset and recharge for a productive year ahead. Make a start on one goal or resolution. This has worked for me in previous years. By easing into January I was ready to tackle a more challenging resolution in February. By then I was rested and energised and very motivated to try something new. And by starting one new thing each month, it was easier to stick to the plan.

and if you need any help planning your goals just contact me at [email protected]

Be Productive in 2024

With any of my tips I recommend that you take the idea and tweak it to find what works best for you.

You can access lots of productivity articles on our website on a range of topics including Tips for Hybrid Working, Managing Email, Reducing Stress, Wellbeing and Saying No.

We help people develop productive working routines and enhance their personal effectiveness through our individual Coaching programme, our group Productivity Workshops and Seminars.

Should you wish to develop new skills and habits in your own time try my signature programme ‘Turn Busy into Productive‘. To discuss any of these options, contact Moira here.

Written by Productivity Consultant Moira Dunne, founder and director of

Moira Dunne