By Shannon Serpette for – Do you want to change your life this year? Have all the other past attempts you’ve made at New Year’s resolutions started out with a bang, only to fizzle out a few weeks later?

Sometimes, it helps to have a role model in mind when you decide to accomplish something big. And what better role model is there than Rocky Balboa? It’s impossible to feel unmotivated after watching a Rocky movie after all.

To help you channel your inner Rocky when it comes to making your New Year’s resolutions a reality, you should take a few moves out of Rocky’s playbook.

Find a Mentor

Rocky couldn’t have made his dreams happen on his own, and neither can you. The best plans involve a team of people. Whether you find a partner-in-crime for your workout goals or you sign on a partner for your business aspirations, you need a mentor, a friend, a motivating force in your life. You need someone who can hold you accountable, even on your laziest, least-inspired days.

And if that person can tell you convincingly that you need to eat lightning and crap thunder like Mickey did for Rocky, that’ll be even better. That kind of tough love will spur you on to greatness, even if it’s not the message you want to hear at that moment.

Put in the Work

Rocky didn’t reach his goals by being lazy and taking the easy way out and neither will you.

No matter how insurmountable the odds, he always bet on himself and his own work ethic. He believed in himself when nobody else did. Rocky knew if he worked harder than his opponent, there was no stopping him.

If you want that big promotion in the office, you can’t just phone in your work performance. You have to commit to it 100 percent. Want to run a half marathon this year? You have to roll up your sleeves and get to work, even when it gets uncomfortable.

Don’t Be Intimidated

Rocky had to stare down Apollo Creed and other heavy hitters in the ring and he faced that challenge head on like a boss. No matter how tough they appeared, he didn’t back down. If a man can stare down Mr. T and not flinch, he can do anything.

No matter what you’re trying to do as far as your resolutions go, half the battle is staying mentally tough. If you can hang in there without being intimidated, you’ll eventually reach whatever mountaintop you’re shooting for.

If you have a little, or a lot, of weight to lose as one of this year’s resolutions, don’t worry about the number. Don’t let it psych you out before you’ve even begun. Just make a plan and keep plugging away at it. Eventually you’ll see progress.

If you do fall, make sure it’s a temporary setback and not a permanent one. A boxer doesn’t win every match and neither will you. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back in the ring.

Make Time for Love

Rocky wasn’t all work and no play. Whether you have your own Adrian in your life or you’re flying solo, you need a reason to succeed. If you have someone you’re fighting for, you’re more likely to cut through the excuses and make your goals a reality.

Keep your loved ones in mind when you’re pursuing your resolutions. If you want to become fitter, let your children, siblings or partner know. Think of them as your inspiration as Rocky often thought of Adrian as his. Love is a powerful thing – it’s a great tool to have in your corner.

Remember You’re Better Than Your Circumstances

Rocky wasn’t born with a silver spoon and he certainly was no superstar in the brains department. What he did have, however, was heart, motivation and the desire to create a better life for himself and the ones he loved.

It would have been easy for him to forget his passion and his big dreams and to concentrate on day-to-day survival in his neighborhood. But instead, he dug deep and clung to the belief that he could offer more to the world than what he was at the moment.

Just remember that wherever you started in life or where you are right now, it doesn’t matter. It makes no difference where you are – it’s where you’re headed that counts.

Shannon Serpette is a mother of two and an award-winning journalist and freelancer who lives in Illinois. When she’s not spending time with her children, she is often pursuing her favorite hobbies – running, metal detecting and kayaking. She can be reached at

Posted by Fathers Incorporated

Fathers Incorporated (FI) is a national, non-profit organization working to build stronger families and communities through the promotion of Responsible Fatherhood. Established in 2004, FI has a unique seat at the national table, working with leaders in the White House, Congress, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Family Law, and the Responsible Fatherhood Movement. FI works collaboratively with organizations around the country to identify and advocate for social and legislative changes that lead to healthy father involvement with children, regardless of the father’s marital or economic status, or geographic location. From employment and incarceration issues, to child support and domestic violence, FI addresses long-standing problems to achieve long-term results for children, their families, the communities, and nation in which they live.

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