Whether it’s the beginning of the year or any other time of the year, what we call a “New Year’s Resolution” can just be summed up by saying it’s a goal you set and then try to achieve. This article can help you with your New Year’s Resolution or anything else you want to accomplish. You can apply these tips to any other aspect of your life.
0. The Most Important Tip: Is this what you really want?
Decide what you want to accomplish, but more importantly ask yourself if this is really what you want. For example most people want to loose weight but they might be doing it for the wrong reasons. Reasons such as just to look better, to prove somebody wrong, or any other reason that has to do with someone besides themselves. We are often on a life journey imposed on us by other people, or society. They tell us that we should do this or do that, they tell us that some things are bad for us and other things are good for us. And we follow along according to their views, when we should really be reflecting inside ourselves to discover who we are and what we really want. (If you don’t know what you want and need help finding out, try an exercise at the end of this article Is Your Life Situation Exactly How You’ve Painted It?)
1. Write It Down, Envision It, And Be Specific
After you have decided what you want then you have to write it down and with very specific numbers. You also have to read it out loud, meditate on it and envision it every day for at least 5-10 minutes. You can also write out your list or paragraph on pieces of paper and stick them where you’ll see them throughout the day. Put it in places like your mirror, or on the side of your computer screen.
If you want to loose weight, specify how much weight you want to loose exactly. For example for loosing weight write down exactly how many pounds you want to loose in the year, if you are in sales, write down a percentage increase or a specific dollar amount. If you have your own business you would most likely want to increase sales, gain more customers, or reduce costs. Specify, specify, specify, you can’t just say, “I want more sales,” that’s too general; you need to get down to a specific number.
Every time you read over your paragraph, envision yourself reaching your goal. Imagine adding up all the numbers at the end of the year, and being in awe of how you surpassed your expectations. Feel now, how you would feel, knowing that you have reached your goals.
2. Don’t Try To Eat The Watermelon Whole: Break It Down
Imagine trying to eat a giant watermelon in one sitting, that’s a lot of melon! Obviously you’d want to cut it up into pieces and eat it a piece at a time and not all in one sitting. The same thing with your numbers, if you want to loose 20 pounds in a year, break it down to months, this would equal 1.67 pounds per month, wow! That sounds really doable when you break it down. Trying to achieve high numbers quickly will just discourage you and likely cause you to quit, breaking it down is just easier. It’s very important to stick to the plan, starting with small achievable goals will make it easy to do so.
3. Hold Yourself Accountable: Enter A Tournament
Another great way to keep yourself on track is to enter a tournament or any organized event that has to do with your goal. Using the weight loss example again, you can enter a marathon, any type of sports tournament (basketball, volleyball, racquetball…), and even a weight lifting tournament. This not only can be a fun experience, it also forces you to prepare by there being a concrete day by which to have to be ready. And usually these tournaments have a fee you have to pay, increasing the incentive. If your goal is not health related you can easily make your own tournament with friends and family, or coworkers. Make up a competition with each other, set specific rules, and a specific date on which you’ll check the results. And you can even pitch in for a prize; put your money where your mouth is.
4. Get Support
Trying to achieve goals alone can be hard, seek support from friends and family or others that are trying to reach the same goal. Tell them to help you by checking on your progress and offering encouragement. You are more likely to get help if you ask for it.
It’s important to enjoy the journey, to live in the moment. While achieving your goal, don’t forget to remain present in the now. Looking forward to stepping on the proverbial scale is ok, unless that’s consuming most of your attention. Taking a road trip to a certain destination can be very exciting, but don’t forget to enjoy the scenery along the way, have most of your attention on the present moment. Another thing is to keep a journal that describes the whole picture, writing is very powerful. It helps you reflect on you. Like the saying goes, “What gets measured gets managed.” If you don’t know where you are, how can you get to where you want to be? It all boils down to attention. Where is the majority of your attention? By writing down your thoughts, feelings, and experiences with your goal, you’ll know exactly where your attention is. If the picture in general is negative and stagnant then you’ll know you need to make some changes.
If you happen to get off track or fail, reflect on what you learned and forget about it. The best thing you can do is forget about it, it has happened, it’s gone, the past is a mere memory, don’t resist what is. Then move on, take a reset day, relax. Every day is New Year’s Day, you can restart anytime. Make your goal more attainable, don’t call it a New Year’s Resolution, call it the One Week Goal, and go from there.
To make things easier, take on a meditation practice. Meditation has many, many benefits. It can really help you with all aspects of your life. If you need guidance read this whole article, Why Not Aim For The Highest Goal? Or you can read the end of it just for the meditation part.
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