What happened to last year’s resolutions?

According to various studies, somewhere between 40% - 95% of us make New Year’s Resolutions.

Yet around 75% of people will have given up, given in or lapsed within just ten days.

Will you be joining them by January 10th 2013?

And this year, about 60% of people will make the same resolution that they made last year (and maybe the year before too).

So what goes wrong with New Year's Reolutions?

What will your New Year’s Resolution Be?

Many of the more popular New Year’s Resolutions focus on well-being and health. Examples include:

  • Lose weight
  • Stopping Smoking
  • Get fit
  • Eat more healthily
  • Drink less alcohol
  • Learn or do something new

Other resolutions can be things such as getting out of a rut, getting more organised, finding a new job, learning something new and having new experiences.

So what goes wrong with resolutions?

1) Not thinking it through

Ever said something after a few drinks, 100% convinced that you were going to do it, then woken up the next day feeling tired and/or ill and deciding to put it off for another day…?

Whether you decide on a new goal now, in the New Year or at any other time, you need to think through what you want and at least some of how you are going to get there.

Don’t just cross your fingers and hope for the best when you wake up on January 1st!!!

2) Why are you doing it anyway?

You need strong reasons to keep motivated – so if you don’t know why you are doing it, why it matters and why it is important TO YOU then it’s easy to let it drop away. Do things because you want to (or NEED to) not because you really should do them (someday).

So be clear exactly why you are doing it and you will find all the motivation you need to succeed.

3) How do you eat an elephant?

That’s not a suggestion for an alternative to turkey – break down big goals into smaller ones.

It can be easy to get carried away and set huge goals with unrealistic timeframes. So make sure you know what to expect and what you will do along the way.

Then look forward to many moments of success as you achieve those steps that will happen along the way.

4) Accept there may be obstacles, setbacks and diversions

There may be setbacks and distractions along the way so accept this before you start. Life still happens and, whatever your intentions, things can knock you sideways – just plan to get back on track as soon as possible.

Think babies and bathwater and don’t throw all your progress away just because something cropped up that you weren’t expecting.

5) Get others involved 

If you know other people with the same goal then get them involved and use each other as a support network. It’s much easier to keep going when you have support. And you are all much more likely to succeed if you know that you are relying on each other.

You can also get friends, family and colleagues to act as supporters to encourage you and support you to succeed.

6) How will you know you’ve done it?

This one is often overlooked – yet how will you know when you are eating healthier or have become fit? How will you know when you no longer smoke or when you have lost weight?

Depending on your resolution, the answer to this may seem obvious – yet you need to be clear in your head or you‘ll never know you’ve done it (which can be demotivating).

And there may be more than one thing that lets you know – for example, with weight loss, will it be a figure on the scales, or a certain size clothing you now fit into comfortably, or when you no longer snack between meals, or when food is no longer the main thing in your thoughts or…

7) Feel the fear!

When we do something new or where we don’t know exactly what it’ll be like when we’ve done it, it’s quite common for fear to take over and then we put things off, or procrastinate or wait until the time is right (it never is).

After all, it’s quite comfortable doing what you do now, even if you think you like to change. And who will you be if you aren’t the you who smokes or doesn’t exercise, or likes comfort eating…etc.

If you are a bit afraid of taking that first step, or even a bit scared of succeeding, take that as a good sign – it means you are ready to go! So take that first step and you need never look back!

How to succeed with your New Year’s Resolutions

1) Be clear in your mind WHY you want to make this change and WHY it is important to you to do it now.

2) Start making a plan of HOW you will do it – don’t wait until January 1st to start thinking what you need to do. Break big resolutions into smaller ones and look forward to celebrating those milestones along the way.

3) Accept that life still happens and things may come along that temporarily set you back. Deal with them and get back on course as soon as you can.

4) Get others involved – who else has a similar goal? Who will be your strongest motivators and supporters if times get tough?

5) Be clear in your mind – how will you know when you have achieved what you set out to accomplish?

 

Wishing you a healthy, happy, successful 2013!

One last thought – you can think of your mind as being like a satnav with your goal being the destination – and like any journey there may be diversions, obstacles and there will definitely be other people doing things their way – but as long as you know where you are going, you can do whatever it takes to make sure you get to where you set off to reach.

So what changes will you be making in 2013 now you know how to succeed?

 

Dan Regan

Hypnotherapist & Coach

Hypnotherapy Ely, Cambridge, Newmarket

www.danreganhypnotherapy.co.uk