This post is part of our Weekly Tips series.

Happy New YearHappy new year.

We meet again, this time at the fresh start of a new year.

While “new” is in the air right now, there are always messages that bear repeating, like the tip I shared this time last year about what it takes to make personal change really stick.

[Tweet “We all know from experience that #change isn’t easy, and #resolutions don’t last. Solution?”]

We all know from experience that change isn’t easy, and resolutions don’t last. Research backs it up. According to Ray Williams, a columnist for Psychology Today, people do well with resolutions for the first two weeks, but by February we’re all backsliding and come December we’re either back where we started, or further behind. (Which really kinda sucks.)

Ray shares a variety of antidotes, including focusing, taking small steps, and … pairing up with a buddy.

The buddy approach is consistent with my own experience. Just about every time I’ve made a significant and important change in my life—when I’ve actually followed through on a commitment to do more of what really matters to me—I’ve done it with the help of someone who might simply provide a listening for the declarations I make out loud or play a more active role by helping me make progress.

Take my writing buddy, Nicolette. At different times in 2015, we regularly set aside time to get together and write stuff that supports our respective businesses (these weekly tips for me and a book for her). Our meetings were both helpful and fun. And of course, it’s no surprise that the times I struggled to get tips out last year were times when she and I couldn’t make the planets align to meet.

Once again I will assert that you having a buddy (or an entourage) is your #1 predictor of personal success in the new year, whether your aims relate to writing or business development or something more personal.

I know I’ll be reaching out to Nicolette again very soon. Who’s got your back in 2016?

Make It Real

This week, focus on one aspect of your business relationships (or life in general) where you want to make a change. Then consider your best buddy candidates and reach out. Keep it simple, be clear about your expectations, and be sure to choose someone (or people) you like to interact with.

Learn More


Put a little structure behind your buddy relationship with a 30-day experiment, or find out why self-knowledge is power in Chapter 10 of The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook: A Comprehensive Toolkit for Leading with Trust.

May the year ahead be collaborative and prosperous.

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Andrea Howe

As the founder of The Get Real Project, I am the steward of our vision and our service offerings, as well as a workshop leader and keynote speaker. Above all else, I am an entrepreneur on a mission: to kick conventional business wisdom to the curb and transform how people work together as a result. I am also the co-author, with Charles H. Green, of The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook (Wiley, 2012).