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Achieving those new year's resolutions at last ...

Amelie St-Pierre

Achieving those New Year's resolutions at last

Have you explored what kinds of New Year's resolutions you would like to achieve this year? Do you feel like you need to change a habit, learn a new skill or go after a dream?

Over the month of January, I will introduce you to 5 steps you need to take in order to succeed in achieving your goals. These are the steps I follow in my personal life that sum up a lot of the ideas from the many books I've read on the subject as well as my personal experiences.

Every week in January, I will present you with a new step and introduce you to a few questions to ponder on. It is my hope you will try what I am proposing and have amazing success with what you desire in your life this year.

Sometimes we have to try many times to succeed. Just as this Japanese proverb says it well :

[blockquote]Fall down seven times, get up eight times [/blockquote]

The holidays are coming to an end and it's about time to think about your New Year's resolutions. Before we go any further, which group do you belong to?
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  • The group that sets resolutions every year and attains them.

  • The group that sets resolutions every year but rarely attains them.

  • The group that doesn’t set any resolutions so they can’t beat themselves up for not attaining them.


Step 1 - The Bigger Picture of Goal Setting

Are you embracing or resisting change?

Setting New Year's resolutions stems from a good intention, the desire to feel and to be a better person!  Without having certain goals in mind of where and how we want to be, life could potentially take you on a path of change against your will.

By your 'will', I meant the mental and conscious part of you that sees life through filters of fears, insecurities and past struggles. However, there is another part of you, a wiser part that has your highest interest at heart. That part of you knows your potential you can't yet see in yourself.

This wiser part is sometime trying to push you in a different direction, a place of growth and opportunities. We often don't want to hear that voice or try to brush off the signs, until something drastic happens and we have to change course.

You can choose to follow the signs and listen to your inner self or you can resist what is trying to emerge. Resisting change will not stop it but might make the process less enjoyable.

So, how can you make those changes with the least amount of resistance and effort? What would it take for you to enjoy the process and see this as a massive opportunity instead of a waste of energy?

Knowing the reason for change

The question you need to ask yourself is not only what you need to change or do, but why you need to change or do it. The feeling of freedom that is so desired within each of us can feel restricted when we try to impose a change on ourselves. Understanding the reason for the change will help lift that feeling of restriction and constraint.

Knowing the consequences of not changing certain destructive patterns or not acquiring a new skill will boost your willpower. By understanding why, you can set yourself free of major resistance and create a boost of willpower to get you started.

What is your vision?

If you don't know what your vision is, I suggest the following simple exercise. Envision the worst and best case scenario if you keep doing what you have always been doing or if you make changes. This way it will be easier to fortify your chance of success in achieving your goal. Sometimes, motivation can come from the fear of going down a certain path. It's important to focus on the positive and desirable outcomes, but knowing the negative implications is equally motivating.

Be really honest with yourself. What will happen if you do not change that pattern or habit? Visualize how you would be in 6 months! A year! 5 years?! 10?

Now, think about the opposite, does your future look brighter?

Another factor that can motivate you is to consider the impact you'd make on the people close to you. Who around you will be affected by your decision of not changing or changing? How is it going to affect them? How could this influence your relationships with your loved ones?

Write yourself to success

Always write down your goal. It is also important to describe your goal as a positive and detailed statement. The reason is simple. What you focus on, you will get. By first writing your goal, you are accentuating the focus of the goal. This will then be in the forefront of your mind and your mind will find opportunities to help you attain this goal. The emphasis is on stating it in a positive form, otherwise you will attract the negative.

Example : Instead of writing ' I am no longer eating junk food' write something like 'I enjoy eating healthy wholesome food'

Also, a detailed goal that include a measurement of attainment as well as a date of accomplishment will also help focus your mind instead of having a goal somewhere in time that can't really be measured.

Example : Instead of writing ' I will loose weight' write something like 'I weigh 135 lbs by April 2013'

Keys to success : Read your goal every morning so your mind can laser beam on all opportunities to help you achieve it.

Questions to contemplate

What would you like to change this year and why? What would be the consequence of not changing or not learning that new skill? How will you feel if you succeed one year, five years or 10 years from now?

Now write your goal. Can it be measured? Is it positively stated? Does it have a date of achievement?

Please share what you want to improve in your life in the comments area below... What are your New Year's resolutions? Eating healthy? Going to the gym? Learning a new skill at work? Going back to school? Parenting?


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