New years resolutions, oh so easily made and just as easily forgotten!
Did you make any?
If so, were you one of the people who drunkenly announced to the world that they were going to get fitter and be healthier and then had forgotten all about it by the next morning?
Or perhaps you were one of the millions who determined that Yes! this is the year I’m seriously going to get healthier or fitter or lose weight. Yet now, a week into 2018 you’re starting to feel weighed down by the enormity of it all.
See here’s the thing, on 1st January we’re full of good intentions and hope for the year ahead. Then the pressures of daily life kick in, stuff happens and well, the commitment wains. About 90% of the resolutions made this year will have fizzled out by mid February, which says there’s clearly something wrong with the process.
Firstly, it’s really challenging for the body to adjust to a new (often strict) regime straight after the festive season. If we’ve started a ‘diet’, we’ll likely be fighting hunger and sugar cravings with sheer willpower and determination. That’s not what I’d call a Happy New Year!
Secondly, each time we try and fail with our resolution it sends a message to our unconscious mind that we’ve failed. Every time we repeat the pattern and we get this message, our own belief in our ability to succeed decreases a little bit more.
Yet every year, people continue making resolutions in the hope that this time it will be different, (yes that used to be me!) I read that some people make the same one 10 times before they succeed or finally give up. I never got to that number, but I did repeat the same one several times.
The real issue is that our intentions are too vague or general, plus they don’t have a strong emotional buy in. I believe if we really want to achieve any resolution or goal we set for ourselves, we need to have a different approach. What do I mean?
Well try this instead..
1. Get your WHY
With your resolution in mind, think to yourself, “WHY do I want this?” “What is my purpose for doing this?” Define your reasons, make them specific and get crystal clear on WHY you want to achieve it. Examples might be, “I want to be able to run around with my grand kids” or “I want to be a good role model for my children” or “I want to see the world and have adventures when I retire”.
If you can’t get a WHY for the resolution you’ve made then ditch it and make another where you can.
Now you’ve got your WHYs you need to…
2. Create a picture
What does your WHY look like in your minds eye? Where are you, who are you with, what are you doing, what else is happening? Create a really strong and clear picture and be looking through your own eyes.
3. Add in some sounds
Then think about what sounds accompany this picture, what are people saying, what other noises are there? Hear those sounds in your head. Again, get specific.
4. Inject the whole thing with feelings
Then, as you’re seeing the picture and hearing the sounds you may notice some feelings in your body. If you don’t, then think about how having your WHY will make you feel. As you get those feelings, attach them to the picture and sounds.
This step is really important because it’s the feelings and emotion that will motivate you take action.
5.Write it down
Now you have a your WHY, step out of the picture so you see yourself in it, embed it in your mind and write it down as well. Describe it in all it’s technicolour glory (black and white is fine too if this is what you see), including the surround sounds and feelings too.
6. Follow the same process for every WHY if you have more than one
7. Break your resolution down into steps
Now, think about where you are in relation to the successful achievement of your resolution. Be honest with yourself, not too hard or too easy! Next decide some of the steps you need to take achieve your resolution. If they’re big, break them down until they’re small, bite size and specific.
8. Take one action NOW!
Choose one step and take ONE action to put this step into practice immediately. It can be something that will just take 5 minutes, but it means you’ll have started. When you take this action, remember your WHY. Get the feeling from your WHY and use it to motivate you and move you forward.
9. Focus and repeat
Focus on that step and keep repeating it until it becomes a habit. When you have one step nailed, add another. Keep a note of each change you’ve made so you can check back and congratulate yourself on how far you’ve come.
This technique is adapted from one I use with my clients. If you follow it, I guarantee you’ll feel much more motivated about and have lot more success with that resolution!
If you want to know more about how to get unstuck and use your mind to work for you to achieve the results you’ve been looking for, get in touch.