On January 1st, I’m sure that many of you made resolutions. Some of these resolutions may be small, for instance smiling more often or waking up earlier, but others may be potentially life changing; such as major weight loss, beginning an exercise program or quitting smoking. Of course, big resolutions carry a stigma of failure, since so many people who attempt them quickly give up. While changing your habits can be challenging, success IS possible with the right approach.
How Important Is It?
The first step to changing a habit is being certain that making the change is important to YOU. If you attempt to change a habit only because you feel like you ought to or because you are conforming to the expectations of others, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. When the change is something that you truly want and believe in, however, your odds of success improve dramatically.
Chunk It Down
If the goal you set for yourself is a large one, the next step is to think about the ways in which you can break it down into smaller parts. If your goal is weight loss and you are 50 or more pounds overweight, or if you are a pack-a-day smoker who wants to quit, achieving your goal can feel a lot like climbing a mountain. But anyone who has climbed Everest has done it in small stages, one step at a time, and you should approach your resolutions the same way. For example: if you want to lose weight, break it down into simple steps like eating more fiber, taking a walk after meals, or simply losing one pound per week.
Change The Focus
Finally, if you want to make the change stick, be sure to frame it in a positive light. Instead of focusing on what you don’t want (“I don’t want to be overweight”), focus on what you DO want (“I want to be healthier”). If you focus on the negatives, you may feel as though you are depriving yourself. By positively reinforcing your goals, you will create an expectation of success, and if you expect to succeed, you will succeed. It helps too to think about how your life will change for the better once you’ve achieved your goal. This is after all the larger purpose so get some clarity about the overall goal for your life and then visualize yourself in the new set of circumstances.
Once you’ve made a conscious effort to achieve your goals, you can reinforce them subconsciously through the use of hypnotherapy, but it is up to you to take the first steps. Set a goal that you want to achieve, make the small changes that will get you closer to that goal, and maintain a positive outlook. Follow these simple steps, and a whole new you can ring in the next New Year.