How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions in 3 Simple Steps

So it is just a few short days into the New Year and if you set your New Year’s Resolutions on 31st December, how are you getting on with them?

Have you kept to your commitment or, like millions of others, have you already wavered in your pledge to stop or start whatever it was you decided to in your drunken midnight haze?

Many rely on gritted teeth discipline to try and seem themselves through to keeping their resolutions but unfortunately, except for the stubborn few, this is not enough.

The reason many people fail to keep to the goals they set on New Year’s Eve is because of this process called the “Cycle of Performance”

In our mind we have a collection of mini self concepts about just about everything we do.

These collectively form our identity – it is who we are (or at least who we believe ourselves to be).

We will take actions that are consistent with who we are and get results accordingly.

Consciously and subconsciously, we will reinforce our concept of ourselves by the observation and analysis of the results we get.

So we find ourselves within this loop.

The problem with the impulsive New Year’s Resolution sustained by grit and determination is that we are working from the outside in.

Let’s say for example that we decided to start exercising every day as part of our commitment for the New Year.

On days 1,2 and 3 we probably find it easy to get down to the gym.

Day 4 is a bit of a struggle and day 5 we might have to really drag ourselves down there.

Day 6 something crops up and unfortunately we had to miss it.

Day 7, we might go back but day 8 and 9 was very hard to find the time because we went back to work etc etc Blah Blah Blah.

And so quite quickly we find ourselves back where we were on the 31st of December.

Now the reason for this is quite simple.

Of course we have to take actions to do get the results we want, but willpower only goes so far.

The reason we stop is because in our identity, our self concept, we do not believe ourselves to be the sort of person who goes to the gym every day….if we did, we would be already doing it!

So the secret to keeping your New Year’s Resolution is to work on the INSIDE as well as the OUTSIDE.

There are 3 simple steps to doing this:

1. VISUALISE yourself being the sort of person who does exercise (or whatever you are starting/stopping) everyday and IMAGINE yourself like that person – do this twice a day with as much emotion and realism as you can muster

2. AFFIRM that you are the sort of person who exercises every day – say positive, supportive and uplifing things abouthow fit, healthy and energetic you are.

3. CELEBRATE the success of keeping to your resolution.

Steps 1 and 2 will quickly help you shift your self concept to one that is consistent with the actions you are taking and so you are more likely to keep doing them.

Step 3 will reinforce to your brain that taking these new actions is a pleasurable experience and that you should keep doing them.

Combined together, the three steps form a potent force that will help you stick to your resolutions and help you become the person you want to be.

Whilst the DOING bit is important, you have to get the BEING bit right to make those actions stick.

Try it out and let me know how you get on.