7 Steps To A Successful New Years Resolution!

New Years ResolutionsWell, it’s that time of year again! Christmas is a few days away and New Year’s Eve is just around the corner. Whether you make them or not, research has shown that those who make resolutions are many times more likely to reach their goals than people who don’t.

Change can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be! There is a science to success when it comes to achieving meaningful goals in life!

Whether it’s January 1st, or any other time of the year for that matter, there are 6 strategies (with a bonus 7th) you can use to ensure your success. I believe it was Benjamin Roosevelt who said it best ~ “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”

The dictionary defines Resolutions as “The act of resolving or determining upon an action, course of action, method, procedure, etc.”

I want the coming year to be your best year ever. So, let’s make those Resolutions stick this year! Let’s make a plan!

1 – Pick a Goal

Most of us have a list as long as our arm of things we “need” to improve. Go through that list, and pick one thing. Research has shown that while we are capable of multi-tasking, our brain works best when it has fewer things to focus on. So, filter that list down to one goal, pick the most important one. Studies have also found that quite often when we make a positive change in one area of our life, that it can have a domino effect. Let’s use Weight Loss as an example goal; as you start making healthier choices with food, there’s a good possibility that you might also start sleeping better.

2 – Discover your WHY

Okay, this step is vital. One of the key factors to maintain momentum towards to finish line is to know WHY you are running in the first place. There are 2 kinds of motivation, external and internal. You’ll need both of them at different stages of the game. External motivations are things like wanting to fit into smaller clothing, or the doctor telling you it’s time to lose some weight. Internal motivators are why YOU want to lose that weight. For some that might be because they take pride in leading by example, the mother who wants to show her child how to make healthy choices instead of just dictating it.

External motivators are great ways to kick-start the program, but they don’t have staying power. They’ll get you through a week or so. It’s on those cold rainy days, when the comfort food is calling you that you’ll want to touch base with your internal reasons to keep moving forward. Internal motivators tend to have an emotion attached to them. The Subconscious mind is ruled by emotions, so really connect with that reason, so your subconscious can work FOR you!

Make sure you write your motivators down somewhere. The 1st week of January you’ll still be gung-ho about jogging, but when the cold snap of February kicks in, you might think running in the cold is a terrible idea and you’ll want to go back and remember WHY you want to keep moving!

3 – Make A Plan

Here we go! This is where we get down and dirty; grab a pencil and some paper. Get it on paper. Let’s take that goal, and break it down into manageable bites. If you said your goal was Weight Loss, that’s amazing, but let’s be specific because your subconscious mind works best when it was a specific goal to work towards. Figure out how much you realistically want to lose by the end of next year, that’ll be your Long Term Goal.

Now we need to break that goal down into smaller, more easily attainable goals that you can work towards throughout the year. Perhaps in 3 month increments, or even less than that if you’d like. An example might look like this:

Long Term Goal – Lose 48 pounds (divide this # by 4 for the short term goals)

1st Short Term Goal – Lose 12lbs by March 31st.

Twelve pounds by March 31st is a walk in the park! Mentally, it’s far easier to stay motivated for an easy 3-month goal.

Now is also a good time to write out how you plan to accomplish the short-term goal. Is exercise involved? What kinds and how often? How will you make changes to your food choices? Make sure that your plan is realistic. Give yourself some flexibility. You are more likely to be successful if you choose to exercise 3-4 days a week instead of 7. And when it comes to food, it’s all about moderation, not deprivation.

Write down your goals, both Long & Short term.

4 – Reward Yourself

All work and no play isn’t the way to live life! Even competition bodybuilders have a “cheat day”, they go hard 6 days a week, but get a free pass on day 7. For some, that might be a fast-food hamburger at the end of the week, for other’s it might be a bubble bath at the end of the day. It doesn’t need to be a big reward, but you need something to look forward to. Plan for it.

5 – Forgive Failure

Here’s another biggie! Perfection isn’t possible. There WILL be times when you stumble, maybe even fall. Recognize that it’s part of life, get up, dust yourself off and keep it moving! The only time you need to look back is to find out what tripped you so you can make plans to avoid it in the future. Mistakes are okay, they are how we learn what doesn’t work. So, if you slip up, it’s not the end of the road for your goal, you haven’t failed. You’ve simply made a mistake, and that’s okay. Revisit your list of WHY’s if you need a boost in motivation, and get back on the path. You’ll get there!

6 – Go Public / Get Help

You might find yourself tempted to keep your goals to yourself, until you’ve reached them. If you do this, you’re losing out on a valuable asset! You have a team who can help you reach goals. For many of my clients, having someone who they can be accountable to is very important. Sometimes it’s family and/or friends, other times it’s me. If you decide to make use of your family or friends, it can be a good idea to let them know what your action plan is. Ask them to help cheer you on. Also, ask that they support your goals by not providing temptation. An example of this might sound like this:

“Hey Aunt Betty, I’ve decided to get healthier and lose 10 pounds. I would love your help while I am working towards that goal. Part of my plan to accomplish this is to make healthier food choices. So, as much as I love I your amazing tiramisu, please don’t be offended if I don’t have any in the next few months.”

It is human nature to want to help others, enlist the support of a small team of loved ones who can be your team.

7 – (Bonus Step) Enlist Your Subconscious Mind

The 7th step is the bonus step. It’s not a requirement for success but it sure can make things easier. Hypnotherapy isn’t a magic cure, but it can absolutely help to reinforce the decisions made. Every time I work with a client, we discuss what their goals are, decide on a plan of action and then use hypnosis as a tool to reinforce the goals. Sometime we also use hypnosis to remove the blocks that have been keeping you from reaching your goals. MANY clients have used hypnotherapy to successfully reach successful results with Weight Loss,  Quitting Smoking, Phobia Release, Sports Improvement and Many other areas in their life!

Call me today and we can discuss how hypnosis can help you achieve the success you deserve!