3 Habits You Need To Nail Your New Years resolutions.

3 Habits You Need To Nail Your New Years resolutions.

New Years Resolution
Setting ourselves goals and resolutions is a great New Years tradition. It fills us with hope and allows us to make a fresh start, putting our best foot forward. However, as you know, keeping it all going isn’t quite so simple! Eventually our motivation settles back down, life’s challenges get back on top of us and all the plans we had go back on ice.
It’s not like we don’t know this though. New Years resolutions are often seen as just a bit of fun. A half-hearted swing at some of the things we know we should be doing something about. Losing weight. Quitting smoking. Going to the gym. Most of us start off really well but then aren’t too surprised or disappointed when we fall short.So how can we keep up that great New Years motivation and use it to actually achieve what we want?Well, the secret is to spend more time looking forward.Let me explain…

The Power of the New Years Paradigm

New Years is a special time. We see the future lying before us, ready for us to make of it what we wish. And that’s why we feel motivated. We suddenly recognise that we have a choice. We suddenly believe and know that we really can achieve. We’re going to do it this time. Nothing can stop us!

So what happens? Why do we find ourselves back at square one after a few days? Or a few weeks? Or a few months?

It’s because we’re no longer looking forward. We’re focused on the challenge, the obstacles in our way, the issues that come up, the mistakes we’ve made. Then suddenly the future isn’t such a blank canvas.

But it is! Nothing has changed. That amazing possibility always lies ahead of you. All that you you really need is to develop the habit of seeing it more often and to know how to reduce the impact of life’s ups and downs on your optimism.

So, here are my top 3 motivational strategies for maintaining that drive so you can stay on track with your targets.

1. Keep your eye on the prize

The best way to stay focused on the future is to… er… well… focus on the future !

Each new year we choose to traditionally look forwards. This doesn’t mean that we can’t do this at any other time though. You can certainly get into the habit of looking forwards on a much more regular basis than just annually. It’s something that you can turn into a really positive, regular habit. There’s a a number of ways you can do this:

  • From time to time you can ask yourself ‘Where do I want to be in x amount of time from now?’.
  • You can also develop a really strong image in your mind of your goal through creative visualisation.
  • Alternatively, you might like to try creating your own ‘vision board’. This is essentially a collection of pictures of your dream outcome, to which you can also add some inspiring affirmations and quotes – all to keep you future-focused and well-motivated.

Whichever approach you use it’s about spending time bringing your goal back to the forefront of your imagination.

2. Plan, do then review

Many successful people will tell you that the secret to their success lies in being able to tolerate their failure and keep going. We need to develop an attitude where it’s OK to be imperfect and OK to learn. Think of a child learning to walk or remember the experience of learning to ride a bike? You can see clearly why it’s so important.

An easy way to get into this growth mindset is to use a review system. Ask yourself: What went well? What didn’t go so well? How could you have done it better? How are you going to do things differently in the future?

You should find that you can gain as much out of your ‘failures’ as your successes. Taking action becomes a win-win experience regardless of the result.

Knowing that you’ve learned something that keeps your ambitions on track will leave you feeling confident, clear and looking forward to your next challenge.

3. Learn to forgive yourself and others

Spoiler alert! People will let you down and you will also let yourself down! Nothing ties you to the past like holding a grudge though. We miss today’s opportunities by mulling over yesterday’s misfortune.

Look over your day or week and think about any difficult interactions you’ve had or mistakes that you’ve made. Try to forgive regularly and without reason.

Sometimes it may be difficult, but do it anyway. You should feel a great sense of release and renewal. Try to make this a routine. For instance, before you go to sleep at night or at another time that suits.

In the end we can’t change the past but we can move into the future fully energised and without the baggage that will make it more difficult for us to realise our dreams…

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