The first week of 2016 has come and gone. Are you sticking with your New Year’s resolutions? Many of us make resolutions at the beginning of the year; but too many people don’t follow through with them, for a wide variety of reasons. Either their goals are too lofty to be realized, or they lack the proper planning and preparation to execute them. It’s important to know yourself, and to set reasonable goals that deeply reflect what you want to attain. Here is a simple two-step method not only to set your goals, but also to achieve them with relative ease.
First, reflect on your personal achievements of 2015, and write them down. These can include any of your personal accomplishments, including health goals, financial goals, relationship goals or professional goals. Look at what you aimed to achieve, as well as all the other wonderful things that happened to you that you didn’t plan on. Bask in this information, allowing your successes to permeate your awareness. In psychology circles, this is called “letting it land,” which means focusing on the positive things happening in your life to create positive neural circuits in your brain.
According to Dr. Rick Hanson, psychologist, the human brain is wired to remember painful or disappointing events in order to assure the survival of the individual. We live in an age, however, when we can do much more than simply survive; we can thrive! Focusing on positive experiences can help to “rewire” your brain to create long-lasting health and happiness. It can also assist you in manifesting your goals and achieving your dreams.
Second, write down your goals for 2016, and create a concrete plan on how you can achieve them. If you have professional or financial goals, remember to take care of your body, mind and spirit while you pursue them. This means creating a plan for healthy eating, exercising, getting enough sleep and having time off to rejuvenate. If you have weight-loss goals, be sure to balance them with creating better health.
For instance, if you want to lose 20 pounds, set a reasonable schedule for when you can achieve this in a healthy way. Everyone knows that a change in caloric intake through dietary changes, as well as regular exercise, promotes weight loss. But in order to be able to achieve your weight-loss goals, write down exactly what kind of diet you will follow, outline how and when you’ll exercise, and create something like a business plan focusing on your desired outcome. Even write down the potential pitfalls of your plan, including how you may fall off the plan, and formulate a strategy for how you can deal with that potentiality.
Many people fail to follow through with their New Year’s resolutions because they have unrealistic expectations, or too drastic a change is required in order for the plan to be carried out effectively. As you set your goals, be kind to yourself…and be patient. You may want the end result to be a 20-pound weight loss, but ultimately you also want the result to be a healthier and more vital you. As you begin to lose weight, celebrate each pound you’ve lost by letting the joy of your accomplishment “land.”
You can use this simple two-step method to create success in any area of your life. 2016 is your blank canvas — and with a winning plan, you can fill it with health, happiness and success throughout the year.