The New Year is the perfect time to set new intentions & resolutions. But, how can we ensure we stick to them? Seed’s ‘mind’ experts offer their top tips to help you achieve your resolutions for the New Year and beyond.
The New Year is a time we feel we can wipe the slate clean and start afresh, to ditch bad habits and create positive change. Yet, while we start with all of the gusto in the world, why do so many of us fall at the first hurdle? In fact, a recent study shows that less than 25% of people actually stay committed to their resolutions after just one month and only 8% of people actually accomplish them. So, how can we ensure we see our intentions through successfully?
THE POWER OF THE SUB-CONSCIOUS MIND
Seed’s Hypnotherapist, Deb Milligan, says, “It is said (and often attributed to Einstein) that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over & over but expecting change to happen.”
“How many of us start each new year with resolutions about diets & gym regimes we’re going to stick to, or bad habits we’re going to give up? Yet, despite our determined, conscious efforts for our new regime, something always seems to sabotage those good intentions?”
“Maybe it’s time to consider the influence of your subconscious mind when it comes to controlling your behaviour, thoughts, habits and choices and ultimately, your outcomes.”
Seed’s Positive Mindset Coach, Sarah Taylor, agrees. “The subconscious mind behaves similarly to GPS, continuously scanning the environment around you for the information relevant to the details you’ve giving it. Setting goals gives direction to your subconscious mind, helping you to achieve them more successfully. However, setting vague goals like “I want to make more money,” or “I want to live a happy life,” won’t work.”
SO WHY EXACTLY DO WE FAIL?
Says Deb, “In my experience of working with people who repeatedly try and fail when making a conscious effort to do something, the trick is to explore thoughts and feelings at a deeper level to find the subconscious causes of this sabotage we’re experiencing. Once things feel different, we subsequently behave and think differently, and that’s how real, positive and lasting change can happen.”
Seed’s Counsellor, Helen Evans, says. “Often we are over ambitious and go too big too soon. If we commit to making a small change, but one that is realistic, achievable and more able to fit into our daily lives, we have more chance of success.”
“It’s very important to really work out WHY you are wanting to achieve what you are setting out to change, if we really bottom it out and understand the motivation why we want to do something, we are in a much better position to be able to keep it up.”
Sarah, agrees. “Often people don’t really know what they want and why they want it. Set goals that excite and motivate you, and that are emotionally meaningful to you. It’s essential to discover the real, underlying reason WHY you want to achieve that goal, being completely honest with yourself.”
“Uncovering your “Big Why” will give you a powerful motivating force that will drive your life in the direction that you want.”
HOW TO STICK TO THE PLAN
Said Helen, “Make your resolutions realistic and achievable. I know it’s obvious, but anything that isn’t just won’t last. Really think about and work out how they will fit into your daily routine – plan how you will / can make them happen.”
“Keep a written record of how you are getting on, so if it’s looking after your mental health, e.g. by taking up mindfulness, work out when and how will you practice. What time of day and how many times a week? It’s really important to be specific and really be honest as to whether you are committing to something that you want to achieve. And keep your goals visible so you don’t forget them, or ignore them.
“Can you encourage a friend or family member to be your partner and give you someone to be accountable to? That way you can agree to review how things are going once a fortnight or once a month, whatever time frame feels appropriate.”
Says Sarah, “I find that by following exercises to achieve goals helps both me and my clients navigate the tricky nature of resolutions. For me, it ensures a much higher chance of success.”
Write your goals down
On a piece of paper, write out each of your goals and add the words “so that” after each one. Next, you want to fill in the reason after the words “so that” to bring you an even deeper understanding of what you want. Keep going by adding more “so that’s” until you figure your single motivating reason for your goal. When you drill down through each of your goals in this way, getting to the “Big Why,” you become filled with a more profound sense of purpose, energy, connection, and passion. These are the feelings that you’re after because they are extremely helpful in transforming your goals into reality. Goals become truly unstoppable when they are fuelled by a burning desire or powerful motivating force.
Example: I want to lose weight/I want to get fitter …So that… my clothes feel and look better ….So that … I have more energy… So that etc
After doing this exercise, you may discover that some of your goals don’t have a “Big Why” and that they really aren’t as meaningful as you first thought. You may find that these particular goals are doing nothing more than helping you to avoid something you don’t want to face.
Doing this exercise fully can help you to avoid wasting your time and energy on goals that aren’t as important as you first thought. It can also help you to inject more passion and energy into the goals that you discover are truly worthwhile, putting you on the fast track to achieving them. Understand your WHY and if it’s an enthusiastic why you’re 90% there.
Ask yourself the following three questions and write out your reasons:
1. What will having this goal enable me to do?
2. Who will having this goal enable me to be?
3. What will this goal enable me to have? Really embrace the emotions that come up.
Focus on the outcome:
What is it that you really, REALLY want? What is the SPECIFIC outcome you’re looking for? What is the PAIN for you of NOT achieving your goal?
Create positive, powerful affirmations from your goals.
The affirmations you create will influence your subconscious mind and bring you exactly what you want. These are positive empowering affirmations that you will say aloud to yourself or write down every day. To be really useful, you need to create your affirmations, making sure to:
• Use the word “I” to make it personal
• Use “I am” to be in the present tense
• Be positive
• Be specific
• Include at least one dynamic feeling word such as “grateful.”
• Include an action word, like “growing” or “enjoying.”
• Be clear, concise, and easy to remember
e.g. I am loving the healthy, balanced meals that I eat each day, having the energy to enjoy feeling fitter and stronger.
Create a goal anchor
Creating a goal anchor will help you to speed up achieving your goals. By using a simple tool every day, you will be able to emotionally connect and empower every goal you set.
The first step in creating your goal anchor is to think back to times in your past when you experienced motivation, focus or felt truly happy, or when anything seemed possible.
Next, you want to choose the top three experiences that contain the most positive emotional energy. Bring these three experiences to mind and fully engage with each of the memories.
Try to remember all of the feelings you experienced. See what you saw, hear what you heard and feel what you felt with each experience, Try and relive it as vividly as you can.
Next, choose the one experience that contains the most substantial amount of happiness, gratitude, and positive emotions, crossing the other two off your list. Take a few minutes to focus on the one experience you chose and once again recall it in even more detail. Fully engage with the memory, allowing the feelings of joy, gratitude, and fulfilment to build within you.
You should now be overflowing with positive emotions, and it is now that you want to set your anchor. To set your anchor, touch the first finger and your thumb together and squeeze them gently together. Moving forward, when you want to trigger your goal anchor you simply have to squeeze your first finger and thumb together to bring up the same powerful feelings.
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