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How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution

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I love New Year’s resolutions. The new year is a great time to reflect on what your life is and what you would like it to become. The word “resolution”, “to resolve,” implies that all you have to do to meet your goals is just make up your mind.

But that’s not true. It’s not lack of willpower or laziness that is keeping you from meeting your goals. It’s just that no one told you what it really takes to make a positive, indefinite change in your life.

If you are ready for things to be different, even if you have tried and failed in the past, then this article is for you.

 

It’s not a resolution. It’s a lifestyle.

To change the results you are getting does require resolve, but that resolve has a ripple effect that will most likely change a lot of other things in your life. The reason many people fail to meet their goals is because they falsely believe that the goal stands on its own.

The main action to reach your goal is supported by many different smaller actions that no one talks about. People often think that they can change the result they are getting without changing those smaller actions, or what we can call supporting behaviors. Supporting behaviors, together, make up a lifestyle.

For example:

  • If you want to eat out less, you have to plan recipes, go grocery shopping, and cook. All of this takes time, time that you probably don’t have (thus the eating out). Therefore the supporting behavior means removing some commitments from your life or managing your time better so that you have the time to do all that you need to do to eat out less.
  • If you want to quit drinking, you probably won’t quit with sheer will power. What supporting behaviors set you up to make drinking easy? Hanging out with other drinkers? Going to happy hour? Hanging out in bars? Keeping alcohol in your home? All of those behaviors will have to change to make your goal happen.
  • If you want to find a partner this year, what supporting behaviors may be keeping you from that? Avoiding dating? Not socializing? Not being the best version of yourself? If so, that’s likely where you need to start.

Here is the trick: some of your supporting behaviors are obvious to you, but others may not be.

For example, you might be drinking because you are avoiding dealing with something painful from your past. You might be smoking as an ineffective and unhealthy form of stress relief. You might not have a partner because you are inadvertently repelling people with your false, limiting beliefs.*

One of the best ways to see your resolution succeed is to go to therapy or get a life coach.

Now there’s something you don’t hear much around the new year!

See what I mean? Doing what it takes to see your resolutions come true is not very sexy or cool. Meeting your goals is often not glamorous. I should know.

If you are planning to meet your resolution with sheer resolve, you are planning to fail. Changing for the better indefinitely requires making the tough changes in your life outside of the resolution itself. Those supporting behaviors will make it much easier to reach your goal.

 

Your problem is only a symptom.

If you want to keep your New Year’s resolution, don’t just try to change a behavior. The reason this behavior is having a negative impact on your life is because it goes deep. I mean really deep.

You have to ask yourself, why?

Why do I drink so much?

Why do I turn to food when I’m feeling down on myself?

Why do I resist exercising?

Why do I struggle to get myself to date online?

This is the hard part. This is the part that is harder to fix than just trying to change a behavior, or even trying to change supporting behaviors.

Your problem is a symptom of a cause that you likely do not even know about. To get started, ask yourself why, then begin journaling without stopping. See what you write down. It may surprise you and give you a springboard to begin making a change.

 

You have to be fed up with your own bullshit

How badly do you want this to change?

Do you answer,

“Just kind of,” or

“It would be nice,” or

“I hope it happens for me this time”?

Then your resolution isn’t going to happen.

In order to see real change happen in your own life, you have to be fed up. You have to be fucking tired of it. Not a little. A lot.

Ok, so what if you’re not there yet? What if you’re in the “it would be nice” zone? Can you move to the “fed up” zone at will?

Often, you can.

It helps to look at the pain that your problem has caused you in your own life. This is a very painful thing to do, but it’s a crucial step in becoming fed up with your own bullshit. Remember that you are always in control here, and you can stop if ever the pain is too overwhelming. But as long as you can take it, I recommend you keep going until you are feeling fed up and ready to make a real change.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help you conjure up this pain. I recommend WRITING down your answers so you can revisit them later:

  • What pain has this problem caused in my life to this point?
  • What pain has this problem caused others?
  • What has this problem caused me to miss out on?
  • If I don’t get a handle on this problem, what will happen in the future?
  • If I don’t get a handle on this problem, what will not happen in the future?

Have you ever heard stories about how people were not able to make big changes in their lives until they “hit rock bottom”? This is because they weren’t fed up before that. The questions above are essentially designed to accelerate your route to rock bottom.

If that doesn’t sound fun to you, that’s because it’s not. But the good news is that rock bottom is an important step in seeing your life more radiant than you have ever seen it before.

Here are some examples of this in my own life. I have hit rock bottom many times, and those have always been the start of something incredible in my life. I now welcome the “rock bottom” times, because I recognize them as a key ingredient in growth.

When I got a handle on my anger circa September 2015:

  • What pain has this problem caused in my life to this point?
    • It has made it difficult for my relationships, both personal and professional.
  • What pain has this problem caused others?
    • It has made me damage friendships and hurt people because I didn’t know how to handle my anger appropriately. It has even ended friendships that I wish I still had.
  • What has this problem caused me to miss out on?
    • It has caused me to miss out on solutions for my clients, client relationships, business revenue, and closer relationships with my family members.
  • If I don’t get a handle on this problem, what will happen in the future?
    • I will continue to damage or ruin client relationships, as well as personal relationships.
  • If I don’t get a handle on this problem, what will not happen in the future?
    • I will not be able to grow beyond a certain point in my business. I will not be able to handle conflict appropriately in my friendships and a future marriage.

Get Accountability

One of the best things you can do to ensure that you keep your New Year’s resolution is to get some accountability– someone else besides you who knows the goals you are trying to reach who helps you stay on track.

Accountability comes in many forms. Here are some of the forms that may help you reach your goals:

  • Group support. Weight Watchers, Alcoholics Anonymous, and even professional meetups can help you reach your goals. I have also be a part of several different masterminds, where people with the same goals get together to help one another succeed. The disadvantage to group work is that it does not offer more individual attention, and if you need to get into really private detail, you may not feel free to do so in groups.
  • Therapy. Even if you think your problem does not require therapy, I recommend at least scheduling a consultation with a therapist. We often don’t realize just how deep our problems go and where they come from. That said, no issue is so deep or serious that it cannot be resolved. A therapist can help you sort out what may be causing your problem.
  • Life coaching. A life coach provides one-on-one personal accountability, as well as help you develop the life that you want, not just identify and change the things that you don’t want. All successful people have life coaches– I myself have had several over the last few years and I credit them with all the success I have achieved. If you are truly fed up with the results you have been getting, a life coach is your natural next step. I’d love to help you keep your New Year’s resolution this year. Get started by scheduling a free breakthrough session by clicking here.

Self improvement works, and it is worth every ounce of effort and money it may take. If you want to be among the minority of people who turn their New Year’s resolutions into a lasting lifestyle change, these tips are the place to start.

I wish that you achieve everything you desire in this new year and beyond!

 

*This is what happened to me. I was extremely unattractive to anyone worth dating due to my attitude and limiting beliefs, until I read an amazing book by Marie Forleo Make Every Man Want YouIt called me out on everything I was doing wrong and turned my life around. Now I’m in the best relationship of my life with an incredible man. I highly recommend this book, especially for women.

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AnnaHow to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution