How to Keep Your New Year's Resolution
To achieve your New Year’s Resolution, you must do two things.
First, you have to believe it’s possible. Meaning, you have to be able to see your goal happening in your mind. You must be able to imagine it.
Second, you have to know the ‘why’ behind your goal. You need to understand the feeling you believe your goal will give you.
Imagine you want to run a marathon, but you have an injury to your knee, which makes that goal impossible. The feeling that completing a marathon will give you is pride in accomplishing your goal and seeing your progress throughout your training. Knowing the feeling that you desire is pride can help you find alternative goals in the meantime, until your injury heals. It will also give you focus and direction.
Anytime you want to make a change or have something new happen, the most important thing is to understand your mindset. It is your mind you will need to overcome in order to reach your goal. Seeing yourself completing your goal sends messages to your brain that it’s possible.
Have you heard the story about the four-minute mile? For years and years no one believed it was possible to run a mile in less than four minutes. May 6, 1954 Roger Bannister broke the record and ran a mile in 3:59. After that, 46 days later, the record was broken again by John Landy, with a time of 3:58. Believing that a mile couldn’t be run in under 4 minutes was a psychological barrier that was lifted for runners. Today, thousands of athletes have broken the four-minute mile barrier.
But, if you haven’t done something before, how will you know how it feels to be able to imagine it? Whether your goal is to lose weight, exercise more, get out of debt, reduce stress (these are some top New Year’s resolutions) it’s very difficult to imagine what’s possible if you haven’t done it before.
Before this year, I had never been overseas. I would hear people talk about their vacations to Europe and I couldn’t imagine myself ever going, because I’d never been. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to go. I just had a hard time seeing myself overseas because I didn’t know what to expect. It seemed scary to me to be somewhere totally different.
Yet, once I was there, it felt totally normal. It became a new reality. People looked a little different, dressed a little more fashionable (in my opinion) and smoked a lot more, but there were still kids flossing everywhere and mostly the same foods available to eat. Now, when someone talks about their time in another country, I have a new feeling about traveling. I have a new understanding about the possibility.
Visualization and manifesting play a huge role in reaching your goals.
Visualization isn’t woo-woo, it’s a legit technique consistently used in sports (particularly golf) and in business.
Manifesting might be a tougher pill to swallow for those who aren’t open to new-age types of thinking. However, when you get down to it, manifesting is about energy. And everything is energy, it is the science of quantum physics.
Personally, I use visualization in all my competitive ping-pong games. Seriously. But I’ve also used it for really important things; to sell a house in 5 days, find a new job, the perfect vacation and even a partner.
I’ll take the example of losing weight as a goal because it’s so common and I have expertise in this area.
For starters, it’s important to plan how are you going to lose weight. Nothing will happen if you just sit around and imagine yourself as skinny. You need to take action. Do you plan to join Weight Watchers? Reduce portion sizes? Eliminate carbs?
Once you have a plan you feel will work, imagine yourself actually losing the weight. You must actually bring up the feeling of how it will feel after the pounds are gone.
Again, sounds good but if you’ve never lost weight before how can you know how it would feel? The answer is this; you bring to mind a time in your life when you were proud of yourself for something, any time you felt excitement and joy.
Sit somewhere you can have privacy, close your eyes and visualize the new you committing to your dieting plan. Visualize what this means for each meal, see yourself enjoying the new foods you will eat. Visualize yourself refusing the problem foods and see yourself feeling proud of being able to have the will power it takes to say no. Use that feeling of pride to build momentum and imagine yourself stepping on the scale and seeing the progress you made on your diet reflected in numbers. See the number in your mind, actually let your body feel how excited you are in that moment. If you are doing this full out you will be able to feel the positive energy running through your body.
Everything is made up of energy. Our thoughts are energy. Our thoughts have power, much more power than most people are aware. Law of Attraction was popular about 10 years ago when the book The Secret came out but it received a lot of criticism.
The fact is, like energy attracts like energy, this is science.
What we think about is what we receive.
If you think, “I can’t lose weight”, that is what you are going to get.
When my daughter can’t sleep at night, I tell her to stop telling herself she can’t sleep. She needs to say, “I am so tired, I am going to fall asleep.”
When I’m learning a new piece of music on the piano, there are times I have the thoughts, “It’s too hard, I can’t do this.” But then I hear myself and change my thoughts to, “I can do this, I can do this.” And then I do.
One of my favorite podcasts is The Lively Show. The host, Jess Lively, gives an example of the law of attraction in a way that is easy to understand.
Imagine you are dehydrated. All you want is water.
If all you think about is how thirsty you are, then all you will get (figuratively) is more of a thirsty feeling.
You need to feel quenched.
In this example, for the law of attraction to work, you need to imagine the feeling of taking the bottle of water, feeling the coolness in your hands, the condensation on the bottle actually gets your hands wet. You bring the cool water bottle to your mouth in building anticipation of how it will feel when the water touches your lips. You feel the rim of the water bottle on your mouth. You take the first gulp and you can feel the cold water traveling down your throat. You take several more gulps before you stop drinking, then hold the bottle in front of you looking at what a difference it is feeling quenched.
The quenched feeling will be different based on what your goal is. Quenched for losing weight feels like excitement of fitting into all of your clothes. Pride when coworkers ask you for diet tips. Excitement to buy new clothes in smaller sizes. Healthy because you can move easier now. Lighter metaphorically because the constant feeling that you need to lose weight is off your shoulders.
After you truly believe it’s possible to achieve your goal, comes the harder part.
The work of battling the thoughts that will try to talk you out your ability to succeed at your goal. There will be a million reasons your thoughts will tell you that you can’t succeed. These are called limiting beliefs. Not being able to let go of these beliefs are the reason why people stay stuck.
You must believe you are capable and deserve to have what you want in order to push those thoughts away. You must be consistent and absolutely determined to get what you want.
You can do it, you really can, you just have to believe it’s possible and know the reason why you want it.
If you need help fighting your limiting beliefs, I can help.
Sign up for a complimentary session and make 2019 the year you feel proud of yourself for sticking to and completing your goal.