For many of us, 2017 was a doozy, but we here at Brit + Co are ready to hit refresh in 2018! Follow our Hit Refresh series through January for new ideas, hacks, and skills that will help you achieve (and maintain!) those New Year’s resolutions.

Have you popped your bubbly and kissed 2017 goodbye? When it comes to the next step in crushing your New Year’s resolutions, coach Keren Eldad let us know that fear is usually the culprit that stops people in their tracks. “It’s mostly feeling afraid that you can’t really have what you want — it’s too much, or it’s too big — so why start anyway?” She tells us that this fear can even manifest in a more sneaky way, like when you actually believe that you’re simply cutting yourself some slack. “Have you ever thought to yourself, ‘You know what, I’m doing just fine and don’t need to do this anyway’?” she asks. Find yourself nodding sheepishly? It might be time to employ seven of Eldad’s best fear-banishing tricks.

A woman poses confidently

1. Get focused. “Make no more than three resolutions,” Eldad advises. “You only have so much time and focus, so home in on what truly matters to you.” She says that when you remove the fluff, it’s easier to dedicate yourself to really getting the right things done. “Deep down, you know you only get one shot at this awesome life. No matter where you’re at, you can still be, do, and have what you want. The new year is a fresh opportunity to go for it with focus. You can feel good about having another chance to start again.”

2. Shift your perspective. This simple exercise is all about swapping negative thoughts and former habits for more positive ones. “This means instead of thinking, ‘This is so hard,’ ‘I miss overspending,’ and, ‘I will never get this done,’ you can find appreciation in your journey,” Eldad explains. She says that books and videos can be a huge help, along with journaling — a practice she lovingly refers to as the “spiritual gym.”

3. Recognize success at different stages. “Remember why you’re doing this and how much your life will improve,” reminds Eldad. “Success comes in different forms, and they all totally rock.” Beating yourself up because your fiction novel surely won’t be the next Sex and the City or because your new healthy eating habits haven’t left you looking like your favorite figure? Stop looking at what you haven’t achieved and focus on what you already have.

4. Shutdown buzzkills ASAP. According to Eldad, “buzzkills” are people who fail to support you and your goals. “These are the types who will tell you, ‘It’s hard to start a business,’ or, ‘Learning to cook at your age is a dumb idea.’ These opinions are nowhere near as important as your own, so step aside to keep moving forward.” Hell yes!

A woman smiles energetically

5. Set and keep high standards for yourself. When you keep pushing forward on tough days and come closer to achieving your goals, you’ll find your fears melt away. The key, Eldad says, is keeping your standards high: “Refuse to settle for mediocre results and you’ll get to your goal. Make sure your musts are always met.”

6. Enlist an experienced mentor. You can find a mentor in some unlikely places, and syncing up with the right person can help propel you forward. “Success leaves clues,” notes Eldad. “Connect with people who have been there and done that; their experience and expertise can help erase any fears you have, especially about the unknown.”

7. Treat yourself to some top-notch coaching. While a mentor might have limited availability to meet with you or communicate regularly, hiring a coach can change the game. “When it comes to being fearless, a coach will support you, provide you with tools, and hold you accountable,” Eldad expands. “Coaching really works!” To make your sessions the most effective, look for a coach who’s in line with your goals — whether they’re personal or career-related. From there, explore in-person or online sessions, as well as different approaches that might be the perfect fit. Once you find the right person and program, you’ll be ready to rock and roll.

How do you triumph over tricky fears? Tell us on Twitter @BritandCo.

(Photos via Getty)