Take these steps to help achieve your resolutions
January 11, 2017
Bringing in the new year can be a very exciting time. It offers us an opportunity to embrace a new start and to set ambitions and goals that help us to improve our lives. We set new year resolutions or intentions, because we have decided that our new goal is important to us. The important part after that is setting ourselves up for success, so that our intentions can actually become a long-term reality. Here's how you can achieve your new year's resolution, and make the outcome sustainable for the long term!
Step 1. Identify your goal and make it realistic
When it comes to setting new year resolutions, it is very common to come up with a long list of goals. While it may be true that we would like to implement many life changes, what ends up happening is that the things on our list end up being on a "wish list" year after year. This year, try it differently.
The trick here is to keep it simple and be specific. Start by identifying one to three changes you would like to make. Have you heard the saying, "less is more?" Give yourself permission to identify just a few things, and then give those things your all. When you do this, your chances for success are a lot greater because you can approach them thoroughly. Also, be mindful about what your goal is. Make sure it's a realistic goal in relation to where you are at, and have a clear way of measuring the results. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, identify how much weight you want to lose. If you want to lose 50 pounds and haven't been on a track of losing weight in the past, you may want to consider starting with the goal of 20 pounds. This way, your mile marker is a lot easier to reach, and you can always set a new goal once you reach it.
Step 2. Watch out for limiting self talk
When we allow ourselves to get in touch with what we really desire in our lives, there is a strong force inside of our minds that automatically comes up with 100 reasons of why we can't have what we want. It doesn't matter who we are, this comes up for everybody. It is the nature of the human mind. The question here is: Are you allowing these thoughts to run the show?
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Limiting self talk often sounds something like, "I don't have enough time, money, etc.," "I'll do it later," "I don't deserve it." Be careful, these thoughts can be sneaky, and we sometimes don't even realize we are thinking them. The key here is to notice when limiting thoughts come up in relation to your goal and make a conscious choice work toward your goal anyway.
Step 3. Work with a health professional
Whatever it is that you are wanting, there is someone who is professionally trained to help you achieve it. Find that person and let them help you. There is so much that can be learned and experienced by receiving someone's guidance and expertise. Working with a professional allows you to invest in yourself and invest in your goal. By committing to your goal in this way, you greatly increase your chances for success and sustainability.
Step 4. Create a like-minded support structure
In addition to having professional support, create a community of social support. Build relationships with other people who are working toward a similar goal, and support each other in the process. Group meetings and classes naturally encompass a social support structure, where you have access to making new friends who are headed in a similar direction. Another form of social support would be to connect with a friend who has the same goal, and then take the action steps together.
An example of this would be having a gym buddy. A gym buddy would be relevant if your goal included going to the gym regularly. In such a case, you would find a friend or buddy who also wants to go to the gym and you commit to going together. You can have a buddy for almost any goal. This makes your goal more achievable, and more fun! An exciting opportunity in this step is the possibility of making new friends. So if you need to, step out of your comfort zone a bit and allow yourself to do so. New friends are right around the corner, and so is the realization of your goals.
Step 5. Have patience with yourself
As much as we all would like to be, we aren't always perfect in fulfilling our action steps exactly according to plan. Sometimes we get off track. This is also a part of the process, and not a good reason to beat ourselves up. If you find that you've dropped the ball and haven't been actively working toward your goal for a while, forgive yourself and then pick the ball back up.
Have patience with yourself, recommit and repeat steps 1-4. Revise your goal as necessary, and make new professional and social relationships if you find that you need a different kind of support. Once you commit to implementing a life change, it will be an ongoing process, especially if it is one that you want to keep. You deserve health, happiness and joy and it is right around the corner for you. Our new year's resolutions require a commitment from us. Allow yourself to invest the time, money and energy that it needs, and success will be yours.
Erin Ann Barcellos is founder of Supported By Angels Center for Holistic Healing and can be reached at 530-318-4964 or firstname.lastname@example.org.