by Christine Hunt
What New Year’s resolution have you committed to this year?
Have you tried the same resolution in years past?
How successful were you in achieving your goals?
If not successful, how long did you stick with the resolution?
What happened that prevented you from being successful?
These are important questions to ask yourself if you have a habit of making resolutions but haven’t been able to see them to completion.
The good news is:
Regardless of how long you stick to your resolution, you will make improvements over someone who didn’t commit to anything.
If you can make it through January you have a good shot at being successful for longer.
The bad news is:
Changing habits can be difficult. We get outside of our comfort zones and become fearful.
Enthusiasm for our commitment and goals tend to push us hard in the beginning but then we burnout, procrastinate and the zeal with which we started our journey of improvement fades.
Or we are sabotaged by friends and family who have seen it all before and create that bit of doubt that lurks in the dark recesses of our minds.
And lastly, we blame it on willpower. We just couldn’t resist the temptation to revert back to our old habits.
So what do you do? Admit defeat? Convince yourself that it was bad timing or that you shouldn’t have attempted such a mighty goal? Blame someone or something for your downfall? And then what do you do?
But more importantly – “How do you feel about it?” The truth is we tend to beat up on ourselves, feel defeated and label ourselves as failures.
Wouldn’t it be nice to break the cycle this year? Imagine success! Congratulations, you did it! How does that feel? If you like the feeling of victory, here are some ways that you can ensure that outcome.
- Don’t rely on willpower. Willpower takes energy and if you have committed to something that inherently causes you stress, like staying away from your favorite foods, and you are already stressed at work or at home, the willpower will wane. Your best defenses are to focus on distractions that will take your attention away from whatever is beckoning and to keep the stress levels to a minimum.
- Set achievable goals. Don’t set your sights too high. Look at your resolution as a long term goal that could be broken down into steps or stages. If you want to quit smoking then resolve to light up a few less times per week. If losing weight is your goal, give yourself plenty of time to shed the pounds or start with a lower amount to lose. Then, when you have achieved the first step, you can celebrate your success. Remember you have the entire year to work on it.
- Plan ahead. A New Year’s resolution doesn’t have to be set into place by New Year’s day. If you haven’t decided on what to change or don’t have any idea as to how you’re going to accomplish your resolution, try taking the month of January to figure it out and then begin taking action in February. You will be more successful by following a plan and putting one together during the rush of the Christmas season may not be as well thought out as it could be to guarantee your success.
- Get support. You could also team up with a buddy or a small group of people for support and feedback. It is always nice to have someone who can share in your accomplishments and will listen when you are feeling vulnerable. Your buddy or group may or may not be working on the same goals and that is okay. They may actually be good resources for ideas they have used to keep them on track that may also benefit you.
- Celebrate your successes. If you wait until you reach your final goal to celebrate you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Reward yourself for each step of progress. Keep it positive and don’t deduct points if you mess up a little bit. If you set a goal to exercise three times a week and only make it twice, congratulate yourself for getting there two times!! You could even use gold stars on a hanging calendar to keep track and count them up at the end of the month. Let’s face it if you even go one time you’ve accomplished something.
- Don’t give up. Be The Little Engine That Could but change “I think I can” to “I know I can”. If the program you decided on isn’t working for you then try something different. No one thing works for everyone. Finding the process that works for you may take some trial and error. Don’t give in. Just take a step back, evaluate what worked and what didn’t work and tweak your approach. Remember, Thomas Edison failed 1,000 times before he succeeded in creating a light bulb that could be used by consumers.
- Tap your way to success. There is a lot of emotional turmoil that accompanies lifestyle changes.
When you encounter obstacles or consider quitting, feelings of anger, frustration, hopelessness, failure, guilt, shame and loss set in. EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) reduces this emotional intensity so that you can think clearly, consider alternative solutions and stay on track. A skilled EFT practitioner can help you stay focused and navigate the obstacles so that 2016 becomes the year of your greatest victories.
To your health!
What changes would you like to see in your life and what resolutions have you considered this year?
Would you like this year to be better than the last?
Please share your questions and comments below.
Christine Hunt is a Wellness Coach and Certified EFT Practitioner and has found that working with the whole person by combining mind/body work, dietary adjustments and movement provides her clients with the tools they need to lose weight (and keep it off), get relief from chronic illness and positively transform their lives. Contact her for a free, 15 minute consultation to learn why what she does works when other methods have failed.
Christine works with her clients in person, by Skype or phone. So, if you live away from the Annapolis, Maryland area, she can still work with you.