Do you go into each new year with good intentions to fulfill your New Year's resolutions only to give up three weeks in?
Sadly, it happens to the best of us. Every year we get excited about a new and improved lifestyle, but sooner or later (usually sooner) we end up back in our same old routine with the same old results.
Luckily, this year is going to be different because you're about to learn five surefire ways to make your New Year's resolutions actually stick! These five tips have helped me accomplish many of my goals and aspirations (including beating depression and writing a book!) so I'm sure you'll find them extremely valuable too.
Without them, 2017 could very well end up being a repeat of 2016, and we all know how great that went... (Like a bad infomercial, that's how.) So this year it's time to step up your game and set yourself up for success!
1. Back up your wishful thinking
It's one thing to wishfully think that you'll lose 30 pounds, it's another to set yourself up for success and take some inspired action to do it.
Or maybe your New Year's resolutions are to be overall healthier and to stress less. Well, that sounds wonderful, but what actions are you gonna take to get there? What new habits are you going to implement into your daily life to help you achieve better health and less stress?
In this case, get excited about some new workout routines and add them to your calendar a few times a week. Sign up for meditation classes so you can learn how to chill.
The important thing is to back up your goals with fuel that will support you in your efforts.
2. Don't "give up" stuff
Let's be real. There's nothing fun (or motivating) about self-deprivation. The only thing you should be giving up this year is giving up stuff! #theirony
Instead of giving up something (like added sugar or smoking) find something new and (hopefully) exciting to replace it with and focus on accomplishing that instead. When you deprive yourself of anything, you feel bad. And feeling bad helps nobody. But when you make a better choice instead, now that's empowering.
The best part is you don't even have to do it all at once! You can simply start by replacing one soda a day with flavored water instead. Or one cigarette with gum. You can do anything once. And once you've proven that to yourself, what's two, thirty, or a thousand times?
3. Change your mindset
The biggest reason why we don't succeed at our New Year's resolutions is because we go for the quick fix and change the symptoms without treating the cause. Making changes to your life without changing your thinking is like taking a pain killer and expecting it to fix your broken bones. Sure it's nice to not be in pain, but at the end of the day, the injury still remains. If you want the change to be lasting, it has to start from within.
For example, many of us will have a resolution around the theme of making more money, but the reason we don't already have that money is because we probably have underlying beliefs and thought patterns that hold us back. Such as "Rich people are assholes," "I don't deserve to be wealthy," or "Money is the root of all evil."
Making more money in the new year would change the symptom from lack to abundance, but if the underlying mindset doesn't change, it won't be long lasting. So, a more important new years resolution would be to change your mind about money so you can more easily attract it in into your life and keep it around for the long run.
With that being said, what mindset shifts do you have to make in order to follow through with your New Years resolutions? What is the underlying belief that needs to change in order for new results to take effect?
4. Use your pain points for motivation
There are only two psychological explanations as to why people do things. 1. To gain pleasure or 2. To avoid pain. And for most, number two is by far the more motivational of the two.
How does this apply to New Year's resolutions you ask? Well, since avoiding pain is one of the best human motivators of all time, identifying the pain point for each resolution could be the key to staying motivated.
Think about all the pain you will have if you don't achieve your resolution until you're so sick of that mental image that you're totally committed to your new goal.
(Important distinction: I'm not saying to live in fear. I'm saying to realize how fed up you are and decide to be done once and for all so you can finally win!)
5. Turn your resolutions into affirmations
Most people write resolutions like this, "I will drink more water," "I will be happier," "I'll finally get promoted this year," "I'll quit smoking." While these aspirations are all fine and dandy, they all have one detrimental thing in common. They are all in the future tense.
"I will be/do/have __________ one day out in the future."
The problem with this is that all we ever have is NOW. An infinite amount of nows. There's this now, and then in three seconds there will be a new now, and then in five years there will be a new now! Now is the time to take action and responsibility. Now is the time for change.
A great trick for helping with this is to turn your New Year's resolutions into positive affirmations! (This is my favorite trick. Hence, why I saved the best for last.) Write them all in the present tense as if they were already true. Live in the wish fulfilled.
"I will drink more water," becomes "I enjoy hydrating myself and taking care of my body."
"I will be happier," becomes "I choose happiness for myself."
"I'll finally get promoted this year," can be "I am great at what I do and get recognized and appreciated accordingly."
"I'll quit smoking," turns into "I'm smoke free and loving life!"
Feel how much more powerful the affirmations are?
May 2017 be your best year yet! By backing up your goals with inspired action, replacing bad habits with new ones, changing your mindset, using your pain as motivation, and converting your resolutions into powerful affirmations you'll be unstoppable!
To dive deeper into these concepts check out my new book #ActuallyICan: The Art of Affirming Yourself to Greatness.