How To Keep A New Year’s Resolution

How To Keep A New Year’s Resolution

If you’ve made a New Year’s resolution, the odds are against you succeeding, but that’s not because you can’t be successful, it’s because there probably wasn’t enough power behind your goal to see it through.

Change doesn’t have to take a lot of time, change is instant if it’s made at the subconscious level, but getting to that subconscious level is the tough part, because most of our awareness and thinking happens at the conscious level and just doesn’t get any lower, unless we know how.

Usually when we want to make a change it’s a conscious change…

I want to be thin. I want more money. I want to be in a relationship. 

These seem like very driven goals, but if your subconscious is still geared to those old patterns of behaviour, you will fall back into the old ways of doing things. That’s because your subconscious is 90 times more powerful than your conscious mind. If you get what you want (to be thin, rich or married) your subconscious is required to give something up, and if it hasn’t agreed to that or if you haven’t provided a suitable replacement, there is no way it’s going to cooperate.

It’s programmed to be that way and it’s got a huge reason (that it believes is positive) for keeping you in those patterns.

There is a powerful, positive reason for your unwanted behaviour. I eat too much because it feels safe, or gives me energy. I am single because I don’t like to share my space all the time. I spend money because it feels good to get what I want.

If you can identify what positive thing your subconscious is gaining you can instantly let go of your behaviour by seeing that it is false, or by trading in the unwanted behaviour for something positive that gets the same result. I.e having a 20-minute nap will help when I’m feeling tired, instead of a chocolate bar.

The above examples are all hooked to an emotion. Emotions are a big driver for our behaviours. Emotions that are stuck and keeping us motivated towards something negative (overeating, excessive drinking, spending money), will stay that way unless we unhook our behaviour from those emotions, then we can instantly change the meaning of everything. How liberating would that be guys?

So let’s find some examples to show you what I mean; gaming. People find gaming really addictive and they might not like it if it starts to impact their social life and relationships. Here’s the thing, usually people love gaming as a relaxing activity, it’s a time-out for your brain. So that’s why you’re doing it, it’s a positive intention, ‘I want to relax’, that’s driving that behaviour.

Your subconscious doesn’t register that you’re actually getting more stressed, the stress is probably just driving you to play more, so it becomes a circle.

Smoking is another one, people say, ‘I want to quit smoking’ but if they have tried to quit on their own and can’t, it’s because there is a deep need being met that probably goes back to when you first had a cigarette, or even before that, watching other people smoking and deciding, ‘that’s cool’ or, ‘that’s grown up’ or, ‘that that’s what I need to do to be accepted’.

So when you try to quit that activity, then your subconscious is going to get upset about it because, ‘hey don’t take away my cool, don’t take away my belonging to a group, don’t take away my independence’, and it will win. It will win every time because it is 90% stronger than your conscious mind. 

Those people who can quit smoking without even thinking about it had no emotional attachment. There was never any subconscious reason to smoke, they just did it because they could. So for them, quitting is easy because there was no emotional hook or subconscious need being met.

So to kick a bad habit you need to do what they do and release yourself from that emotional hook, and to increase a positive behaviour and stick to your goals, you need to find an emotional hook that will be satisfying on a really deep, subconscious level.

So what’s needed for these big goals to work, or any goal to work, is for your subconscious to agree to it, because when you have your subconscious working with you, you have 100% power towards that goal, instead of 10%, so you can see how important this is…

There are a couple of really great NLP tools that you can use to reduce the negatives but also to anchor in new positives. It’s a great way to get to your goal in a way that meets your essential needs for relaxation or acceptance or independence, so you’re not depriving yourself.

How valuable would it be for you to feel relaxed by going for a walk around the block instead of gaming till 3 am?

We can find lots of great ways using NLP to strengthen the skills you already have and find new ways to approach problems so they aren’t problems anymore, and I share these with my classes in my NLP course in Sydney,  Excellence Now, and give you step by step ways to have you doing these techniques and actually living them so if that is something you want to learn, it can really be powerful.

 

So what does that mean for keeping your New Year’s resolutions?

You need the right reasons. You need to convince your subconscious mind that achieving this goal will bring you amazing benefits. 

Let’s start with visualisation. Step into the future where your goal is completed and take a look around. Your subconscious mind takes everything personally and thinks everything is real, so wherever you use your imagination, your subconscious can be tricked into believing it (this is why we get so engrossed in movies and books and TV, these stories feel real and personal on a subconscious level).

In your future where your goal is completed, what do you hear, what do you feel, how do you feel? Download all these experiences in your mind’s eye and make them as real as possible to engage your subconscious mind to want to complete the goal. 

Look back at how far you’ve come, all the struggles you have successfully overcome and all the hard work you put in. Feel how great the success from your achievement is. You did this!

If achieving your goal doesn’t feel great, if you’re not proud, excited or bursting with joy stop and ask is this the right goal for you? What do you want your future to look like?

It might be an unwanted emotion driving you to complete a goal: fear of missing out, fear of letting people down, or a need for safety and security that’s choosing your path, rather than love and creativity. 

Maybe your goal is to get a promotion at work but when you look into the future of what that looks like, it’s not desirable: You don’t really like your industry or your work, but you think the right thing to do is get to the next level. 

You need to build a goal that will give you the same security and certainly when completed as a job promotion, without all the pain of being in a job you don’t want.

Your goal needs to be centred around you and what you want. You need to be the one getting the benefits, not someone else, not even people you love dearly like your kids, your partner or your parents. It must be your goal for your subconscious to want to work for you.

Something like, ‘I want to lose weight so my kids will be proud of me’ won’t work. Find a way to feel pride in yourself and want to lose weight for you, so you can be healthy and have more energy.

Your kids will love you no matter what and they will be inspired when they can see you sticking to the goals you really want in life.

Something even more general, that has nothing to do with anyone you are close to will be an even weaker goal, if you want to lose weight so you’ll look right and fit into society, that’s not going to motivate you for very long. You need to find a bigger deeper and more personal reason to want to achieve your goal

This all comes into I’M SMART goals, which I won’t go into here but it’s essential to have in place in order to create positive goal setting strategies. You can read into those in my article ‘How to set goals for the New Year‘, but if you haven’t set up I’M SMART goals get, you need to do that first and then come back to look at getting your subconscious aligned with those goals

Consistency is key

Consistent behaviour will get results.

Now if you are consistently doing unwanted behaviour, you’ll get unwanted results. If you are consistently doing wanted behaviour, you’ll get the results you want.

Sometimes you might have to work backwards to find the unwanted behaviours, they might not be obvious. Your subconscious mind can have you convinced you are doing a great thing, but if the outcomes are not what you want, something needs to change.

To find out these places where your subconscious is driving unwanted behaviour, look at your results. What is driving the results you are getting and identify these and change them.

Let’s look at consistent behaviour for the result “I am overweight”

 

RESULT BEHAVIOURNEW BEHAVIOURNEW RESULT
I am overweightI eat big portions

I eat late at night

I eat junk food

I sit down a lot 

I reduce my portion sizes

I finish eating two hours before bed

I choose to eat healthy foods

I get up and move every 90 minutes

I have more energy

My weight is healthy

My clothes fit well

Here’s the thing, if you are overweight there is something you are doing consistently in your life that is achieving that result of weight gain.

When you change those behaviours to consistently do the opposite of that, you’ll see the results you want.

It’s about taking responsibility for the behaviours that have led to the current results so that you can turn it around and put that energy towards what you want. So what I mean by taking responsibility is knowing there is no magic solution. This is something that requires you to work consistently. There is no magic pill or lottery win or muscle bulking remedy that is going to come in and save you. You have to do the work yourself. And a big part of that is being okay with making mistakes. 

So the word there guys is consistent. Not perfect. You don’t have to do something perfectly or rigidly or non-stop to get results, consistency is what will get you there. 

Every time you choose the wanted behaviour that’s a step forward, so just keep choosing to take those forward steps. You can make a mistake, you can have a day off, you can “go backwards” on your exercise or diet plan, that’s okay because what matters is what you do next that counts. Over the course of the year you will see amazing results, but it won’t be in one week or one month.

People get scared to commit. I give them my five steps to rapid change in my Live It Now weekend, and if you follow the steps, it absolutely works, but they get scared to commit because on a subconscious level they think they have to be tied to it, like a ball and chain and it will rule their life forever.

It’s not that kind of commitment. You get so much back from it because you love doing it, you want the results so it’s there to empower you, not to shackle you.

Once you’ve made it your goal, you can take a break and have a breather if you need to. You can move the goals if you are finding it too impossible or you find that actually, you need more balance to make it work or to be happy, you can add in that flexibility.

As you go along, you are going to have realisations and revolutions that will require changes. That’s what life is. But here’s the thing, you will only get those realisations and revolutions once you commit and start the change. That’s when you can understand what motivates you, what you need and where you are going. It starts the journey. You can’t see this or know this with plans on paper. You have to start to see what comes next.

When packing your bags for your goals make sure you bring patience, flexibility, understanding and compassion. Change is going to test you.

These are your goals, they can be flexible to your life. Really think about what your overall outcome is (and it needs to be a positive one) and think about the bigger picture. If it’s not a positive outcome, what else needs to happen for you to get that bigger goal met?

When you make these realisations as you go, you might decide you actually want something different, and that’s okay. It doesn’t mean you have to quit on your goal, just change it. 

Let’s say you plan on losing weight by restricting your diet but you end up missing out on the fun of mealtime with your kids. So how can you have both? (and guys, you can always find a way to make your life how you want it) Make a plan to share one meal a day with your kids and eat what they are eating and plan your own meals for the other parts of the day. 

Be ready for the long-term

FranklinCovey, a time management company estimates that one-third of resolutioners don’t stick with their resolutions past January 31.

A reason that goals get pushed to the side at the end of January is that people are disappointed and feel defeated that it hasn’t happened yet. It takes time to see results. You need to put in a long-term plan. 

That might mean starting out slowly and gently at first, to start switching those unwanted consistent behaviours over to wanted consistent behaviour and be okay with not seeing results for a few months.

What’s going to change is your routine. You can see evidence in so many places if you are looking for them. Maybe you have more energy, or you got up without the alarm one morning, or you enjoyed getting out and going for a walk during your lunch break. If you are starting to be motivated towards new consistent behaviours, it’s a win. 

Look for wins outside of just the numbers or the bank account figures, because they will be there. 

Every time you recognise a reward from your behaviour you strengthen your desire to continue. If all you care about is how much weight you are losing, and you don’t lose weight in the first few weeks (which can be really normal), it’s going to be really hard to stay motivated. Find rewards and give yourself a pat on the back as often as possible. I had a clean eating day today (high five) I didn’t go onto eBay and buy anything today (high five). You are breaking those old habits and unhooking from those old emotions. It is working. 

Notice things like, ‘When I started I could only do three push-ups, and now I can do five’. That’s a win. Take all the rewards you can get to help you stay motivated until the numbers start to shift (and they will).

When you consistently apply positive behaviours the results will change to desirable ones.

You won’t wake up one day and find your life is better. You have to change something.  In order to change your life, you need a plan for:

  • the great behaviour will lead to the results you want;
  • how you are going to have those great behaviours show up in your life consistently;
  • where the goal setting traps might be and what you are going to do to get through them;
  • how you are going to still give your subconscious the rewards it was gaining in the unwanted behaviour.

So, if you are going to be gaming less:

  1. What do you want to do with your time instead of gaming? Make a list.
  2. How long are you going to spend on those activities and at which times of the day? Make a list.
  3. What things do you need to get started, materials, education, assistance and tools? Make a list.
  4. What activities can you input into your day when you are feeling stressed and need to relax? Make a list.

Having a list that you have written out ahead of time is a lot easier than trying to think of things when your emotions are up and you are feeling under pressure

Part of this is also going to be about becoming aware of when that emotional need comes up. Our subconscious works without having to check in with us, so often the feeling of stress will come up and be ‘fixed’ (let’s play games online), without you even noticing the cue (I’m so stressed/I’m so tired/I’m fed up). So start to look for the emotion wherever you get a craving to go back to the old habits.

Craving chocolate, craving a cigarette, desperate to pick up the phone and text your ex…..what is the emotional need you are trying to achieve?

Rather than fight your craving, ask, ‘What do I need you to fix that?’. 

Are you tired? Are you disappointed, stressed, lonely? 

Your subconscious is trying to achieve something here: calm, happiness, relaxation, tuning out, socialisation, comfort, distraction. What other activities besides the negative behaviour can you do to feel better and reach a point of calm contentment and satisfy that inner, essential goal for happiness?

Change your mindset around your obstacles

Think ahead to what your obstacles are likely to be. What has sidelined you in the past? How will you overcome these obstacles and push through?

If you have a resolution to go running and you hate getting up early in the morning, you are going to struggle to complete this goal. What you want directly conflicts with what you don’t want. Even when you do go running, it’s going to feel like a punishment with a sacrifice. That’s not going to motivate you to keep at it.

Find a way to love getting up in the mornings. Make it a pleasure, even a treat. Start to love having more time in the morning to do what you want before the day gets busy. Love how it feels to have finished your run and had the hardest part of your day over –  the rest of the day is a reward. 

Make a list of all the great things about getting up early and any tricks you can put in place to help ease the friction:

  • Go to bed on time
  • Make your lunch or breakfast the night before
  • Put out your clothes, ready for your run
  • Give yourself a reward you’ll love, like a massage once a week or a sleep in on the weekend.

There is an NLP tool called Swish Pattern Technique that I teach in my Excellence Now course that helps you to love something you previously avoided or felt unhappy about, so you could use a technique like that to love running in the morning and get excited about it. 

You can absolutely change your mind on the way you feel about things to get a positive result and reach your goals.

I used this because my fitness would really drop off in winter, I hated running in the rain, so I did a quick swish on myself  (it takes about three-five minutes) so I’d get excited and motivated to run in the rain, and it was really great. I’d get so pumped up whenever it was raining, I’d be out there running in storms, totally drenched and loving it. 

Make it easy to achieve your goals

Getting your goals met doesn’t need to be a struggle. What can you do to add flexibility and make it easy?

If you say you are going to go to the gym and exercise Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, that leaves no margin for days when you need to put in more hours at work, you are feeling tired or have another commitment come up. If you say, I am going to the gym three days a week, you have some ability to have a schedule in place as a plan, but to move those days if you ever need to.

No one’s perfect.  You will make mistakes in your quest for your resolution, everyone will. Those who can get back on track are the ones who will achieve the goal.

If something doesn’t work, treat it as a game that you are still learning the rules for. What can you do to win this game?

If you are struggling, come up with ways you can move forward. The only way your resolution fails is if you quit. Make a promise to yourself to keep looking for answers. What do you need to do to make this happen?

In most cases, the answer is outside yourself. You may be too caught up in those hooked emotions to see a way through. Get help.

Getting help

You don’t need to tackle your resolutions alone, in fact, the fastest way to get your goals met is to do it with other people. Look for someone who is ahead of you on the same goal. Someone who has reached your goal ready. 

These people will already have those consistent behaviours in place, all you need to do is follow in their footsteps. 

Look at how they take charge of their day. What are their rewards and motivations for being where they are? You don’t have to sit down with pen and paper and interview them, just hanging out with them will get you the results over time because you will be picking up their behaviours and tuning into their patterns.

Let’s imagine that you want to quit smoking. If you are hanging around people who make cigarette breaks constantly throughout the day, you are going to feel the desire to engage in that behaviour. If you hang out with non-smokers, they will also take breaks in their day, but they will fill it up with other things, maybe a coffee and a chat, or a walk to the local cafe for lunch. If you are with them, you will be part of their habits and consistent behaviours and it will become inconvenient to take a cigarette as it’s not built into your day.

You can surround yourself with people who have the values and results you want to have and use their influence to help make change feel natural. 

The same goes for if you want to lose weight. Exercising with other people can be really motivating. You get the reward of social interaction and get to do things you wouldn’t have thought of on your own. It makes exercise interesting, rewarding, risky and fun, all things that your subconscious mind will be on board with.

In terms of eating, if you eat with people who are healthy and in control of their weight, you can see their portion sizes, how quickly they eat and how often they snack. This can help you slow down, eat less and enjoy your food more than you might have been before and help drive those consistent positive behaviours that will lead to weight loss.

This might have results that are a little slower than a radical crash diet or fasting to begin with, but you will stay with it for the long term because it’s natural, achievable and wipes out the negative consistent behaviour leading to weight gain, without the harsh punishment or denying yourself food.

Because our subconscious mind is motivated by reward it helps to get our goals met as fast as possible. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people who have already achieved your results is a great way to accelerate to your goal.

Hiring someone who knows the path and can teach you is not just a working step, it makes it an investment that you are more likely to stick to because you are paying for it.

  • If you want to learn to cook, hire a chef to teach you or go to a cooking school
  • If you want to get fit, hire a personal trainer
  • If you want to learn art, go to an art class
  • If you want to excel in your business, hire a business coach

If you can’t easily afford this, find ways to increase your income or save money as part of your goal management strategy to make this achievable. If you are genuinely invested in reaching your goal, you will find a way to invest what you need to complete it.

Going it alone will mean a lot more trial and error, bigger chances of getting trapped in your old emotional habits and slower results. When you have a professional pushing you forward, you will not only get results much faster, you will be able to take pathways that you didn’t previously know about due to blocks or inexperience, and you can get better results than you had initially imagined for yourself. 

The best part of that is you become equipped with the knowledge for how to achieve your goal and you can keep applying those learnings to any goal you set in your life going forward.

Be part of something bigger

When you make a positive shift with a group, you form a bond that can help you see new perspectives, tackle obstacles in different ways and feel better about yourself and who you are. Believing in yourself and believing you are worth the goal is essential for overcoming that strong subconscious mind and achieving the life you want.

It’s possible for every person to be happy and successful, no matter what has occurred in the past. You don’t have to do it alone. My Live It Now workshop is two days of life-changing information on how you can reach your goals and achieve change in your life at a subconscious level. I’ll also explain how you can unhook from your emotional needs and let go of behaviours that aren’t serving you.

You’ll be part of a big picture project that will uncover your true desires and needs so you can stop chasing fantasies and start building the life you actually want, with the people you want to build it with.

This course is high impact, low cost and the rewards are life-long.

Come and see what we do, have some fun, connect with amazing people and see genuine change in your life. Register now!

 

 

 

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