Yippee, another New Year is upon us! A much loved time to evaluate your life, what you did or didn’t achieve and in doing so creating an irresistible urge to make 2014 your best year yet by setting New Year’s resolutions.
Your new goals and fresh ideas fill you with excitement but it’s likely that by the time February comes, you will have fallen back into your old ways and those all-important changes you wanted to make (aka New Year’s resolutions) become a distant memory.
This method of changing old habits and setting new patterns is a sure fire way to set you up for failure. The very nature of NYRs is to start doing some good stuff and stop doing some bad stuff, so you set yourself high expectations, try to give up things that you enjoy and without knowing it you start to become judgmental about past failures. And as if that wasn’t enough, there’s the natural fear and resistance to change that everyone experiences at some point in their lives.
Mix up these factors, and you’ve already set negative emotions in motion, which become stumbling blocks around your willpower and good intentions. And I don’t know about you but the older I get, the less my willpower seems to want to co-operate.
It’s no wonder the New Year stops being fun and filled with excitement before February is upon you!
But what if all that could change? What if I gave you a sure-fire method that would make your resolutions stick, so you make some real, long-lasting positive change in your life? Would that be beneficial to you?
Step 1: Choose ONE resolution
This is an absolute must! When you set yourself too many things to change in one go, you can guarantee it will be overwhelming and a feeling of being deprived sets it.
Within days or hours your NYRs have fallen to the wayside and you’re left feeling like you fell at the first hurdle. Are you going to start doing something or stop doing something, choose ONLY one!
Step 2: Commit to Resolution Success
Make an out loud declaration to yourself that you are going to do what it takes to make this a reality for you. Envision yourself in three years time having fully embraced your new reality. When you wake up and before you go to sleep, take a couple of moments to step into this vision. Whenever your commitment feels like its wavering, bring the vision to the forefront.
This is a great way to succeed before it’s happened!
Step 3: Write down all the reasons why being successful is important to you and those around you
When you dig really deep to know and understand your reasons for wanting to make this change, it gives you even more impetus to follow through. Ask yourself questions like, ‘what’s my why, why do I want to achieve this?’
When you flounder, go back to the list and use it as a powerful tool to keep you on track.
Go beyond the why and write down the benefits you’ll experience and those around you when you achieve your goal. The more benefits there are, the more reasons you have to achieve it.
If you’ve tried before and not succeeded ask, ‘why has this failed in previous years, what can I do differently this time?’ There is absolutely no point in trying to achieve the same thing over and over again using the same strategy. If it hasn’t worked yet, try a different method.
Step 4: Get help and go deeper into uncovering the emotions that are under the surface
For every unfulfilled goal there are emotions waiting to be released to turn them into fulfilled goals. Let me give you a couple of examples: if you want to give up smoking or maybe lose weight, it’s not just a case of giving up the nicotine or cakes because your body will actually stop craving those things pretty quickly. What takes you back to smoking and overeating are the emotions that get covered up by the action. Yep, that’s right, it’s not the action that’s addictive, it’s the emotional cover-up that is.
If you really want to make positive life changes then find a professional who can help you zap those pesky emotions!
Step 5: Enlist ‘Fall off the Wagon’ partners
Find support in people who know you, love you and support you no matter what, no questions asked. This is really important, you need to have a support circle around you, people you can rely on who will give you a leg up when you are falling off the wagon. List these friends and then tell them your NYR plans. Ask them if they’ll be your ‘Fall off the Wagon’ partners and tell them exactly how they can support you.
Step 6: Smile and know that you can have whatever you want – you just need to put your focus on making it a reality
You can achieve whatever you put your mind to. If you want something badly enough do not allow yourself to give up, because you will definitely find a way. Be open to new ways of doing things, make sure you get help and most of all enjoy the process. After all starting something new or giving up something that doesn’t serve you is going to be a good thing!