Rajiv Martin is one-half of Idea Lemon, a consultancy whose motto is “Discover Your Inner Awesome.” If that doesn’t pique your interest enough, we’ll tell you that they do a phenomenal job of working with people on personal branding – with a very non-traditional approach.

They regularly hold Nailing the Elevator Pitch and, quite apropos, currently are teaching New Year, New You. Dabblers walk away totally empowered, saying things like:

“It was eye opening, and allowed me to think in a new way about myself.”

“After my husband came home hailing praise for this class, it was pretty much decided that I was going.”

“I went to class for a fresh perspective; they provided that and sparked creativity in an area where I was stuck.”

So, without further ado, Rajiv’s thoughts on the new year, complete with a personal anecdote.

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By Rajiv Nathan

The clock struck midnight, 2013 began, and you said to yourself, “THIS year is the year that I (insert resolution here).”

Flash forward 12 months, it’s almost 2014, and how much progress have you made? If you’re like me, the answer is slim to none. And this isn’t the first time it’s happened, either. 2013 played out much like 2012, 2011, and every year you’ve made a resolution that’s gone unfulfilled.

I declared 2013 would be the year I wrote a book. Actually, I knew that was a large task so I went a step below and said 2013 would be the year I at least started to write a book. It’s almost 2014 and guess how many pages I have completed?

ZERO. I did not write a single word, and with the remaining days left in the year, I don’t plan to either.

So why did this happen?

We don’t follow through on our New Year’s resolutions because we resolve to do things we don’t actually want to do; we just think we want to do them. We say we’ll do something because it’s aspirational, it looks impressive to others, or because we’re told it’s a good idea. But rarely do we resolve to do something that we really want to do. If we really wanted to do it, we’d find a way.

The idea of writing a book sounded very appealing to me, and I greatly enjoy writing. But an entire book is a daunting task, and I always found excuses to not start on this resolution. I did a lot this year, and almost anytime I had an opportunity to do something, I opted to not start writing a book. Clearly, this is something I didn’t really want. I just thought I wanted it because it’s aspirational, looks impressive, and was told it’s a good idea.

In 2014, make a resolution that will stick by looking past what looks good, or what you think sounds good. Be honest with yourself–find something that’s a reasonable extension of your personality or lifestyle. Something that if you didn’t do it by the end of 2014, your year would have been significantly altered. Think of something you truly desire of yourself, and, as the word suggests, resolve the desire.

Think about what you actually want next year and go after that.