Sunday, 5 January 2014
Tips for an effective New Year’s Resolution
The New Year is always a good time for contemplation and dreaming of a better future. It is a time when people resolve to make a difference to their lives. They are going to get fitter, work harder, get a better job, drink less, lose weight, give up smoking, earn more money, pay more attention to their families, learn a language, improve their sport, climb a mountain, run a marathon or take up a new career. Some people stick to their resolutions; most don’t. So how do you make your resolutions a reality? Here are a few tips.
1. Write your goal down
It has been found that people who write their goals down are much more likely to achieve them. To make the goal more meaningful, write it down in you best handwriting on your best stationery and then hang it up where you can see it. As the expression goes “Don’t just think it, ink it.”
2. Make it positive
When writing your goal, make sure it is stated in the positive. Our unconscious mind cannot process negatives so we end up focusing on the thing we don’t want to happen. If you were to say “I don’t want to get angry with the kids when they make a mess”, we end up playing an internal movie of doing exactly that. Instead it would be better to say “When the kids make a mess, I want to stay calm and relaxed.”
3. Define your goal
The more defined a goal is the more real it becomes. For instance, if you were to set a goal to be “successful”, it is such an abstract term that it is almost meaningless. When we define a goal it fires up the imagination. The more defined the goal is the more your mind has to work on to help you get your goal. Imagine what you would see, hear and feel when you achieve your goal so you know exactly what you are aiming for.
4.Create the journey
Once you have established your goal, it needs to be broken down into small pieces. This makes a big goal much more achievable as you are only focused on one small thing at a time. As the saying goes, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time”.
5. Take action
The bit where most people become unstuck is the fun bit, putting the goal into practice. People often give up because they feel they don’t have time or see the goal as being too big. If you just commit to doing 5 minutes towards your goal every day, it is likely that you will actually end up do considerably more as you get into the flow. As Newton’s first law of motion states: “A body in motion stays in motion”.
6. Enjoy it!
We are far more effective when we are in a happy mood so it is really important to approach your goals in a positive manner. If you adopt a smile and positive body language and talk about your goal in an effusive way, it will become something you look forward to doing rather than dread.
Here’s wishing you a wonderful 2014. I hope it is everything that you want it to be!