This post is part of our Weekly Tips series.

While “new” is in the air right now, there are always messages that bear repeating, like the tip I share this time every year about what it takes to make personal change stick. I’m going to boldly say (again) that this tip is your #1 predictor of success in 2018, whether your aims are to develop more business, build better relationships, or anything else.

What this tip is not: a suggestion to declare a New Year’s resolution. According to Ray Williams, a columnist for Psychology Today, people do well with resolutions only for the first two weeks of the year, but by February we’re all backsliding, and come December we might even be further behind!

One of Ray’s antidotes just happens to match up with my own experience of the best way to forge a new habit or break new ground in some way: buddy up.

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 else.

I’ve had writing partners, business development partners, workout partners, art partners, and more. I’ve found it usually works best when we either set aside time to do something together or do something in parallel at the same time—like two hours on the calendar to be writing, or making client reach-out calls. Sometimes we join forces virtually; sometimes it’s in person.

So … fuggetabout those resolutions. Think about what matters to you in 2018. Then decide who you want to have your back.

Make It Real

This week, focus on one aspect of your life where you want to make a change. 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 enjoy interacting with—you might as well have fun in the process.

Learn More


Discover another alternative to the New Year’s Resolution List, from our friends at Trusted Advisor Associates, or re-discover how collaboration is also a key marketing principle in Chapter 11 of The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook.

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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).