Another year, another set of New Years’ Resolutions! Each year most of us make resolutions which we fail to keep. Why is this? Often we have what is called “secondary gains” to a problem. This means that, even though there is a part of us that wants something, there can be another part of us that is actually benefiting from the problem in some way. Secondary gains can be unconscious – something we are not aware of – and very powerful in sabotaging our best intentions. The other block to achieving our resolutions is that it may necessitate us giving up something to achieve it.
No wonder most people don’t achieve their resolutions! But what is the answer?
There are a number of steps which you can take which help you to achieve what it is that you want:
- List your New Years’ Resolutions – don’t have too many. Three is the absolute maximum. These must be stated in the positive – not what you DON’T want, but what you DO want.
- Next, list all the benefits of your resolutions. Be generous with them!
- After that, consider what you would have to give up to achieve your resolutions. Would this be a real loss, or would it be worth it for what you would gain? If the loss is too great, this is going to really stand in the way of what you want. Is there a way around it? Can you achieve what you want without losing what you need? Can you modify what you want so that you keep what you need? Which is most important to you?
- Now that you have done that, ask yourself the question “Out of ten, how much do I really want this resolution?” If it isn’t 10, there is something holding you back. A secondary gain, you haven’t been able to identify, or perhaps a fear.
- Evaluate the resources you have to enable you to achieve your resolutions – these might be resources within you, or help from outside.
- Then evaluate any obstacles which may stand in your way – decide which ones you have any control over and get working on them. For those you truly have no control over – find a way around them. There’s always a way!
- Establish all the steps and milestones necessary to achieve your resolutions. How will you know that you’ve succeeded? Some evidence will be obvious, others less so. Steps and milestones are like sub-goals and make the overall resolution much more achievable.
- Now visualise the resolutions – see yourself achieving them. Make the picture big and bright and compelling. Notice the sounds associated with achieving them. And the feelings. Create a sensory experience rich with detail. The brain doesn’t differentiate too well between what is imagined and what is real. So, your imagination can make your resolutions real!
- Monitor, test and fine tune your progress. You may need to make some adjustments along the way to ensure the end resolutions are achieved. Make sure the adjustments are not about making excuses but necessary refinements of your journey towards your success. Be flexible but always have your resolutions in mind.
- Enjoy and celebrate!
Of course, it can be even easier if you have additional support, especially if your secondary gains are particularly strong. Whatever your resolutions – to lose weight, stop smoking, cut down on your drinking, set up your own business, heal a rift with a loved one or get fit, hypnotherapy and coaching can help make achieving your goals easier and help you to keep on track. Or you might want to think about supporting your resolutions through self-hypnosis using An Inside Job. Call me on 0345 130 0854 for more information.