DUMP THE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS AND ACHIEVE YOUR DREAMS
You may be whatever you resolve to be.
Determine to be something in the world, and you will be something.
“I cannot” never accomplished anything; “I will do” has wrought wonders.
-George Gissing – English novelist and teacher
How many times have you broken your New Year’s resolutions? What happened to your so-called “commitments”? In order to understand the “why.” it is a must to realize how your mind works.
In the simplest of terms, 10% of your mind – the conscious mind – is the thinking and reasoning part of your brain. It is the only part that can apply your imagination, visualize your goals and influence the direction your subconscious takes you.
According to latest brain research, the largest and oldest part of your brain comprises the remaining 90%. This is called the “subconscious mind” which DOES NOT THINK.
There are three subtleties to the subconscious which will help you avoid the pitfalls of “over-resolutioning” for the New Year and help you achieve your goals.
- We are literally programmed to run away from what we interpret as causing us pain or discomfort and to run towards what we perceive gives us pleasure, even if what gives us pleasure is harmful for us.
- The subconscious easily gets dazed and confused. It rebels when we set an unrealistic goal that it interprets as extremely difficult or impossible to reach.
- FYI: Fear is often called a motivator. In rare instances, fear may have positive motivating qualities. If obesity were going to kill you, it would definitely be wise to lose weight. If you smoke and have a young child, it would be prudent to quit. But fear-based motivation very seldom goes hand-in-hand with quality-of-life.
Simply put, People do exactly what their subconscious sways them to do, regardless of written goals, mental commitments, will power or the best of intentions.
Here are 7 strategies to keep your resolutions from ending up in the mental dust bin.
- New Year’s resolutions/goals are often presented to the subconscious as “shoulds,” based on guilt and fear, framed in unrealistic expectations. Any goal that is manipulated by guilt is destined to fail. Goals based on guilt also build resentment and anger, either against yourself or others. Dump the guilt! Enough said.
- The goals presented to the subconscious are overwhelmingly unrealistic: i.e. lose a massive account of weight, make a giant gob of money, etc. To support success in your New Year’s resolutions, learn to harness and focus your imagination. Set your goals in achievable, bite-size chunks. Instead of being determined to lose 50 pounds, focus your imagination on shedding a pound or two a week. Set a realistic goal.
- Make sure your goals are congruent with your values. If one of your top values is family, it is not wise to set a goal that will separate you from them. If your top value is having fun, have fun. If your value is spirituality, honor it.
- Set realistic time frames. Stretch yourself – don’t sabotage yourself. You don’t want to defeat yourself in January.
- Visualize your resolution as already accomplished. The power of creating results depends on the clarity and emotionality with which you picture your ideal end-result. If you want to quit smoking, see yourself as a non-smoker. If you want a specific job, see yourself in the position. In other words, “see yourself there.”
- Take positive action every day, even if it’s a few moments for reflection. You have little control over your thoughts and even less over your feelings. But you do have total control over are your actions. If you want to write a book, write a half page or a page every day. If you want to increase your income, spend time figuring out what people need and how you can provide it. Small actions build momentum.
- Reward yourself. When you set a reward for achievement, you unconsciously give yourself support for your actions. A reward may be visiting somewhere on your Bucket List or buying a new outfit or treating yourself to a massage. Everyone wants something to look forward to. Give yourself a worthy gift for a worthy success.
Follow these seven strategies and you will achieve more than you ever imagined you could in 2017.
James Mapes is the founder of Quantum Leap Thinking™, creator of The Transformational Coach™, expert on the psychology of “applied imagination,” best-selling author, highly acclaimed business speaker, consultant, seminar leader and personal excellence coach.