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Although most of start our new year’s resolutions with the best of intentions, the statistics show that within just one week we will have failed.
There are steps we can all take, however, to ensure that we actually succeed this year!
Set a shorter term goal. Instead of thinking “I will never…” try to set a more achievable time limit of three weeks or 21 days. This is much more do-able and breaks down the “forever” part of your resolution into smaller, more manageable steps.
Commit! Instead of thinking ” well, I really should stop smoking this year” or “maybe it really is time I laid off the chocolates” really commit to going all the way, 100%. To break a habit create a picture of your ideal self. Close your eyes and imagine the ideal you – put some detail in too, what clothes are you wearing, do you look happy? Make this image bright and bold and it will really help to build your motivation mentally.
Think about the long term consequences of your habit, not the short term gain. Instead of thinking about how great that piece of chocolate tastes and makes you feel, see each chocolate bar not as a single event, but a chain of events that are connected to you and will follow you all the way through your life. With this chain in place how will you be looking and feeling at the end of the chain? What will the effects of this lifetime be on your health and happiness?
Replace a habit with a need. If you are smoking its likely that that cigarette break has become important as special “you” time. If you stop smoking but do not replace this reward with something then it’s likely that you will start again. So instead of the cigarette break, take 5 minutes to have a cup of tea, listen to a favourite piece of music or sit quietly to think. Make sure that it’s a reward tailored to you.
Feel achievement ahead of time. If you can create the feeling of having succeeded in your head before you have done so then you will be positively encouraged to hit your targets. Using a hypnotherapy trick, imaging floating out of yourself. Then look at the you that’s now below. This is not the old you, but the new you, who has succeeded in his/her goals. Look at the steps that the new you took to be successful. This may sound silly, but this type of NLP is a very powerful tool for success.
Embrace the setback. If you fall off the wagon, all is not lost. You have not “ruined” the whole process. It’s just one mistake. The problem is not making one or two mistakes, it’s the thought process that the one mistake has spoiled all your efforts that causes failure.
Make yourself accountable to others. By making your quest public you add weight and importance to the resolution. This makes it harder to fail. Put it on Facebook and other social networks. Tell friends and family. Get someone close to you to do an assessment one month on.
Get help. If your car breaks, you get a mechanic. If your computer needs fixing you get a computer geek. So if you want to get fitter, get a trainer. If you want to loose weight hire a nutritionist. If you are an emotional eater get a hypnotherapist or counsellor. Even one session with a professional can really help.
Celebrate every success. Try to enjoy the journey instead of just focussing on just the destination. Instead of thinking about losing a stone, break the target down into sections. After each give yourself a pat on the back and even a little treat!
Keep it positive. Instead of thinking “I must stop….” try to make resolutions that are positive. For example “I will try to get more sleep”. “I will try to spend more time doing fun things”.
“I will look after myself better this year”. These sentiments can have more power than the negative.
Robert Adam Atkinson.