What to Read Next

How to stay on track with your 2013 resolutions

27 November 2012

The power of positive thinking

Once you’ve formulated your year’s goals, be positive and confident about your ability to achieve them. Look for ‘evidence’ that this time will be different. For example; do you want it (whatever ‘it’ is) more than ever this time around?

Do you feel in a better position to achieve your goal than you have done on previous occasions?

Have you finally reached a position in life where it’s less scary to change than to stay the same? We human beings don’t like change and fear the unknown – so no matter how much you may want to give up smoking, or ditch your party lifestyle, part of you will resist.

Find as much evidence as you can that 2012 is the year your resolutions are going to be successful. And don’t fall into the ‘oh, I’m useless or I’ve got no willpower trap.’ You – and every other human being on this planet – have willpower. If you have had a baby – what about that whole nine months when you resisted having a few drinks because you were pregnant? What about when you stayed late at work every night for a week to perfect your presentation? The secret is learning to channel that willpower in the right direction.

Goal framing

Many of us unwittingly set ourselves up for failure by formulating ‘away from’ goals rather than ‘towards’ ones. What does that mean? It means instead of focusing on where we want to go, we dwell on what we want to move away from, sending negative messages to the subconscious mind, such as that we are ‘bad’ and ‘unacceptable’ as we are. Motivating ourselves with negatives – such as that tightness in your chest when you run up the stairs, or yet another pounding hangover – is often sufficient to kick-start a new regime but it doesn’t have the power to enable us to sustain it.

Take a look at your resolutions and ‘re-frame’ any that are negatively motivated into something more positive. For example, I don’t want to throw up in public or wake up feeling like an ashtray ever again could be re-framed as I want to wake up each day feeling focused, energetic and healthy and be in control of my actions at all times.

Put pen to paper

It also helps to see your goals in black and white – write them down somewhere and refer to them regularly. Ask yourself if the small steps you are taking are in the right direction. Congratulate yourself for moving closer to your dreams. If the changes you want to make are personal, then write them in a ‘goals journal’, and you can use the pages to write down how you are feeling about your progress, record successes and determine the cause of minor setbacks. This enables you to engage in the whole process of change, and is very empowering.

Having said that – it is always fantastic to have external support too. If, for example, your goal is to lose weight, then you might have a picture of yourself looking rather overweight stuck on the fridge, and ask your kids and partner to write down their top reasons for wanting you to succeed in losing weight next to the picture. That way, everyone wants to play a part in helping you succeed. While the bottom line of motivation has to come from within, support and encouragement from your friends and family can be wonderfully inspiring.

Have patience!

Resolving to do or change something in your life is a big step. Once you’ve made the decision, it’s tempting to expect it to happen straight away. But be patient! Things don’t change overnight. That’s why it is important to have a time frame for your goal. But even if your ‘deadline’ is, say, six months away, that doesn’t mean that you can’t set mini goals along the way. These stepping stones give you something more immediate to aim for, and also help you build confidence and faith in yourself when you achieve them. Don’t forget to give yourself a reward when you do!

Keep perspective

And finally, just because on New Year's Eve you made a specific resolution, it isn’t writ in stone. Do be flexible. This isn’t carte blanche to ditch your fitness efforts at the first sign of a challenge, but a reminder that sometimes things don’t pan out as we choose. If, for example, you resolved to run the marathon but have had back pain for two months, you may need to defer that goal for now. Or if a close relative falls ill, you may need to put your thrice-weekly visits to the gym on hold while you tend to their needs. Whatever your New Year resolutions are – keep them in perspective and enjoy the journey of achieving them as much as the destination.

Is your insurance comp Laughing Behind Your Back?

New Studies Show that if you drive less than 55 miles a day you can save a ton on auto insurance.

Insane Navy Seal Flashlight, should it be banned?

The Military has recently released technology that is now available to the public. Get yours before they run out - Limited Supply!

Get a second chance to enroll in Medicare

Didn't enroll in Medicare when you were first eligible? Do it now during the General Enrollment Period.

What Are The Pros & Cons Of A Reverse Mortgage?

More Americans are accessing their home equity to support their retirement years. Speak with a professional and see what you may qualify for today.

Heartburn During Pregnancy

Dealing With Pregnancy is Hard Enough. Getting Heartburn While Pregnant is a Pain. Learn What Causes Heartburn During Pregnancy.

VA Mortgage Rates In 2016

VA Rates as Low as 2.75% (3.028% APR) 15 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military Takes 1 Min!

Banks Are Worried Homeowners Will Do This.

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this.

Hurry, Don't Be Late For This Very Important Deal!

Get 4 Disney Movies For $1 With Membership. See Details. Exclusive Titles, Merchandise, Offers & Discounts. Plus, Free Shipping On Your Initial Order!

Toddler tantrum email series for moms

We get it. We’ve been there. Sign up for our email track for advice on how to handle different situations that may arise with your little one.

Heartburn Symptoms

Common Symptoms of Heartburn Include Burping and Bloating. Learn More About the Common and Uncommon Heartburn Symptoms You Might Be Experiencing.

Hilton HHonors™ Card

Earn 40,000 Hilton HHonors™ Bonus Points. Apply for Your Card Today.

How To Pay Off Your Mortgage (It's Genius)

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this...

Read This Before You Buy Medigap Plan F

Plan F is the most popular Medicare Supplement plan option, but there's another plan you should consider.

Kid sleep troubles email series for moms

We get it. We’ve been there. Sign up for our email track to learn how to handle kids who won’t go to sleep or won’t stay in bed.