Three Tips For Keeping Your New Years Resolutions

Here we are again on January 1st, the start of a new year.  It's a time to reflect on last twelve months and look forward to the coming year.  It's also a time to analyze what we did last year and make resolutions to do better.  Some people love this time of year, and others hate it.   I'm one who gets really excited about it, as I like decide how my year is going to turn out.   I prefer to 'decide' rather than 'plan' because when you make a decision, all other possibilities are cut off.   I love creating my goals, and removing the doubt doesn't allow my subconscious to steer me in a bad direction.

Only about half of Americans make any new year resolutions or goals for the year.  What's really sad is that only 8% of those people actually keep up those resolutions within the first 30 days.  So here are some of the things I'm using to achieve my goals so I will be in that 8%.

Set big goals and plan to act just as big - Conventional wisdom tells you to make your goals attainable, not unrealistic,  but I think this is a huge mistake.    To me, being realistic feels like diminishing your dreams so you don't get disappointed, and I'm just not about that way of thinking.  One of my favorite books is The 10x Rule by Grant Cardone. If you haven’t read it, pick it up.  That book will change your life and your mind-set about what it takes to get things done.

You have to massively plan and do massive amounts of action to achieve great things in life.   So as you make your resolutions and goals, think BIG, and be as specific as possible.   You also must be willing to back it up by doing massive amounts of action to achieve those goals.   When I tell patients or friends what I have planned for this year, they look at me like I’m crazy!   And I'm not going to lie, there are times when I think I am too, but it gets me excited to think about and plan for all the potential things that I can accomplish this year.

Don't let the doubt monster run your show – Most people have a sound track constantly running in the back of their mind.  It is telling you you're not good enough and that you don’t know what you're doing.  It may also tell you that you can set a goal, but there's no way you're going to follow through.  Unfortunately, we all have that soundtrack playing 24 hours a day, but you don't have to listen to it.  It's the ability to learn to tune this out that will get you to where you want to be.  You can reprogram that part of your brain to get it working in your favor.   Here are 3 easy reprogramming tips that I picked up from Jon Gordon.

  1. Wake up every morning and choose three things that you get to do to achieve your goals.
  2. Change your self talk from 'I have to do things', to 'I get to do things'.  Just that small shift will change your attitude to one of gratitude,  and the tasks required to carry out your goal won't seem like a chore.
  3. At the end of everyday write down
    Today I am thankful for _____________
    Today I accomplished _______________

Don’t feel guilty or try to shame yourself should you slip up and “fall of the wagon" - When you try to modify behaviors with guilt or shame, you actually give in to your negative self-talk.   This is one of the biggest hindrances to achieving your goals and resolutions.  If you do find yourself slipping on that diet, not going for the run, etc, you need to practice a little self compassion and forgive yourself.  Don't let the one mistake derail your overall goals.  Stand up, dust yourself off, and go right back at it.  As Alcoholics Anonymous says it's always one day at a time, one victory at a time.

These few and easy practices can help you achieve your goals in 2014 and beyond.  Be part of that 8% and make your goals and resolutions a reality.

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