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So, everyone has heard of New Year’s Resolutions, right? Did you make any this year? Were you able to stick with them, after the excitement and newness of the new year faded away? Or, are you like over 50% Americans, who have fallen off the goal-setting train after the first, second or third stop of life?
Have you ever stopped to think of why we only make resolutions the first of every year? Why don’t we make them in March or October? OR better yet why not on July 1st, when we are only half way through the year and have six months left to board that achievement train again and change your life forever?
I am sure you are asking yourself right now, how do I make resolutions that stick?
First off, your resolutions must be simple, specific and to the point. The goal should fill a need that you have not been able to fill this year. Sit back and think about it: do you have a need to improve a certain relationship? Drop a certain amount of weight by the end of the year for your health? Or do you need to make an extra amount of money in order to pay your bills?
You must make the goal REAL to you by allowing it to feel a desired need. This adds meaning and a motivation for achieving your goal, that you might not otherwise have.
Now, do not create one broad resolution that covers multiple areas of your life. As mentioned earlier, resolutions should be short, simple, to the point.
For example instead of creating a goal to just lose weight, make the goal more specific by saying, “I want to lose 10lbs by Thanksgiving”. The goal above states a specific date, to which you would like to achieve your goal by. It also quantifies it by stating a number as to how MUCH weight you would like to lose.
The more specific you can be with your goals, the more focused and attainable they will become.
Next, you need allow some intense emotion to flow through your goals/resolutions. Emotion tends to be what drives us as humans to do what we do every day. It is what drives us to take action… or even not to take action. Each goal must carry an emotional feeling deep down inside of you that makes you want to create a change in your life.
Take out a pen and paper now and write down a sincere emotion for each of your goals/resolutions.
This step may be painful or even saddening, it may bring up feelings of fear or anger, but ALL of these emotions are fine and natural. The more emotion you can dig up, the more likely you will be to stick to that goal/resolution. Remember emotions drive you to do what you do… or don’t do!
Now that you have found a need and attached emotion to it, you must find that burning desire to make the change. Why do you want to change? How will you feel when we have changed? How will you feel about yourself when you drop that 10lbs by Thanksgiving? Just think of all the compliments you will receive and how fantastic you will look in that new outfit as you strut your stuff at the Christmas Party.
Or imagine how you will feel when you start to earn that extra income each month. Let your mind soar and imagine what you can use that extra income on or for!
Thirdly, find an alternative for your previous actions. For example, if you need to lose 10lbs because you come home and sit in front of the TV every night and eat chips and queso, than you need to find a replacement action for your evenings.
You might opt to go for a walk when you feel like pulling that bag of chips out of the pantry, or grab a big glass of water from the fridge. Or find something that you enjoy doing that will occupy your time, so that the bad habits do not creep back in.
Lastly, consistency is key. It is said that it takes 21 days to form a habit. We must be consistent with our actions, desires, and goals. You must pledge to do whatever it takes to make the change. You must decide to change, no matter what, and it must come from you and no one else.
Yes, life gets hard and schedules get rearranged, but do not forget those emotions that you attached to your goals. When life gets in the way and you FEEL like it would be easier to give up then to stay strong and take the essential steps necessary to meet your goals, be sure to keep these emotions fresh on your mind. If necessary, sit down for five minutes and envision how you would feel and what the end state of your goal looks like, feels like, and yes, even tastes like! These feelings must be so much stronger than any other outside distraction.
Now GO, get off your chair and go take the action steps neccessary to make it all happen! You know you can do this, dig down deep and believe in yourself. You are powerful, strong and mentally tough. Make it all happen TODAY by setting those Mid Year Resolutions NOW!