Instincts, emotion and habit get the better of the human being time and time again. Determination is the only way out.
By Eric McKenzie
According to the University of Scranton, 45% of Americans will make news resolutions and just 8% of people achieve their goals.
The Top 5 New Years resolutions for 2015 were:
1. Lose Weight
2. Getting Organized
3. Spend Less, Save More
4. Enjoy Life to the Fullest
5. Staying Fit and Healthy
What do you envision for yourself in 2016? Here's what you need to know to be successful.
Decide firmly on a commitment for yourself that will be easy to stick to. Completing simple tasks can fuel a force that will take you to the next level of your goal. Are you trying to get healthy? Don't completely change your eating habits. Instead of buying a 400 page diet book or vowing to lose 50 pounds, take baby steps toward your goal. Add one serving of a healthy food to your daily diet and eliminate one unhealthy food. Do this as often as it is comfortable for you. Create mental triggers for yourself so that when you are tempted to eat the unhealthy food, your trigger goes off and causes you to avoid it. Find simple ways to prepare the food so that you enjoy what you are eating.
A guide can help you design a plan, create rewards and find meaningful triggers to keep you on your path. Take care when finding your guide, an inexperienced one can lead you to be overwhelmed. Finding trust and comfort in your guide(website/book/professional/group) is a priority.
An app or well placed calendar/notebook is helpful to keep you on track. A plan is easy to give up on if you start falling behind. There will be times when you think "this is silly" or "too hard" and that you can just go back to your old habits... get the reward too! Conquer these thoughts with the triggers that you have set in place. Ensure the plan is one that you have no hesitations that you will succeed at. Make it smart(specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-related).
Having support close to you along for the journey can be invaluable, as long as they are part of the plan. Find support that is mentally strong and goal oriented. Support that will not give in to your temporary weakness and will remind you of your strength! Otherwise your support could cause your resolution's early demise. It doesn't have to be one person, find a group that is on the same path or support yourself! Create reminders such as daily mantras, songs, sticky notes or objects that will keep you on task.
Eckhart Tolle says, "Become the watcher of your thoughts and actions." Discover the process of breaking free from your stream of consciousness and gain the ability to press the stop button before impulsive action. One way to do this is by changing your focus. Activate one of your five senses onto the surrounding environment instead of remaining focused on the temptation. Avoid senses that increase the temptation to break your resolve. In this moment you will have the opportunity to recall your triggers before acting. These are willpower push-ups, which become easier to complete!
Eric McKenzie is employed by Sydney's Health Market and can be contacted through Sydney's Facebook Page.
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