Does the mere thought of thinking about a New Year’s purpose make you tremble or does it give you a sense of hope for change in the year to come?
January can be a time of reflection. Ideally, we should think about last year; remembering the last twelve months can help us learn from the experiences and renew both our priorities and objectives.
Do you avoid New Year’s resolutions because your goals were not met the previous year? Do not falter. We already know that it is easier to renounce or not to set any goal in life but the good, what is worth it, always requires effort, because the reward is incredibly better than doing nothing.
Maybe you have convinced yourself that you can not change your habits. So, what’s the point of trying, you’ll ask? How to leave the past to create a space for the possibilities of the future? Today we will try to give you a few tips so that your purposes come to fruition.
New Year’s resolutions are an excellent way for our brain to focus on what it wants to achieve next year. The more time we spend reflecting and even writing down our goals, the more involved the brain will be in the process. Basically, you are recruiting the help of your brain and, fortunately for you, your brain is your strongest ally in achieving those goals.
Do not rely on will power, it is not the way to approach this process, because willpower arises from a part of the brain, the prefrontal cortex, which is easily overloaded and exhausted. What works much better, experts say, is to slow down other parts of the brain responsible for linking positive emotions to new habits and getting ready for new behaviors.
Make this time of year help you create an environment that supports positive change and progress towards your goals. Let’s go there!
1Write the purposes on paper
Even in the era of digital, we do not have to abandon physical support. Take a notebook or paper and draw two columns In the column on the left, write the negative thoughts about you that you usually have in mind (ex: I am not able to play sports at all). Then, in the column on the right, write your opposite: a positive statement (ex: I am able to play sports 3 times a week). Once you are finished, read the list of positive thoughts and purposes. Spend your energy focusing on the positive. Your life can change if you wish. In fact, one study showed that simply putting your goals in writing increases the probability of achieving them by 42%.
2Be aware of negative thoughts
When a negative thought enters your mind, try to see yourself by putting it aside and not giving it any importance. Allowing negative thoughts to spin in your mind can be a nefarious habit. It takes energy to continue that swirl of negative thoughts. The basic thing is that you think about the amount of energy you need to feed those thoughts. It’s a lot, right? Turn away the counterproductive thoughts and everything will go better.
3Spend your energy on things you can control
And, therefore, spend less energy (or none at all) on things you can not control. You can not control other people or what happened in the past. You can control your reactions to people and you can control what you do in the present moment. Allow yourself the space to create possibilities for the future by focusing on what you can do here and now. The future begins today.
4Create a weekly schedule
Based on the New Year’s resolutions we have put on paper, create a weekly schedule now. Try to make daily activities a routine. Let that routine do the heavy lifting for you. To help make it easier for you, make copies of this weekly schedule and place them in the areas of the house that you spend very often. You will not forget what you have proposed to carry out.
5Share your goals with the family
You can schedule a weekly or monthly family reunion. Share the schedule with your most intimate family circle and have a conversation about your expectations. It can help you in two ways: first to share the experience of your purposes and as an incentive for them. Your family will also want to help you as much as possible.
6Build your goal with your successes
No matter how small the success. That’s not important. Create the base with small increments of change and be happy with your progress. Have fun!
If necessary, you can create a third table in your weekly or monthly goals with rewards or rewards for having reached the next small goal. Reward yourself with a book you’re willing to read, go eat at your favorite restaurant… always keeping an eye on the final goal. Feeling proud of the small steps -and awarding them a small prize- will lead us to achieve what we were looking for with more tranquility and less pressure. In addition, it will provide us with extra motivation.
8The environment is important
Your environment affects you, and can influence you positively or negatively. Family and friends help us to shape values and behaviors, so it is advisable to surround yourself with people who can give us a push, not drag us down, it’s clear.
You must make yourself a priority, to be able to work at an optimal level in all areas of life. That means sleeping at least 7-8 hours each night, eating healthy and exercising. If you do not follow these guidelines, it will be more complicated for you to be able to carry all the weight of your day-to-day life plus your goals, without losing heart.
10Learn to say ‘no’
No, it is not a negative word. Unlike. We must learn to say “no” to all those requests from others that will take away the time and space we need to take better care of ourselves and avoid exhaustion.
11What if I screw up?
When something does not go according to plan or we make a mistake, do not despair. As if it were a horse’s fall while riding, get up, dust yourself and climb back up. Keep galloping. Do not punish yourself for an error. Learn from mistakes and keep going. Get moving.
12How many goals do I set?
The most sensible thing would be to go one at a time. It establishes an order of priorities and starts with the first purpose. Your chances of success are greater when you channel energy into changing only one aspect of your behavior. Putting on a dozen targets can be frustrating and you may end up abandoning them all.
13Start with your good intentions as soon as possible
It is not necessary to wait until New Year’s Eve to begin with the first purpose. Yes, take a few days of reflection before you start and think specifically about what you want to achieve. No matter what time of year you read this, you can start when you think you’re ready and you know what you want to achieve.
14Give up smoking? Do more exercise?
The most usual purposes are usually to do more sport, to quit smoking, to call more to the family, to travel more, to save more, to look for a partner, to have children, to get a job or to be a better person. Being the most common does not mean that they fit you. Find your own goals and pursue them. What do you want really?
15On the strength of will
Most people get stuck in their goal thinking that will power is the answer. In a survey of 1,134 adults released by the American Psychological Association, willpower was the main reason why people said they did not want to make positive changes in their lives. However, the key is to try new approaches. With the help of a professional organizer, you can plan many weeks in advance, and put that task calendar with deadlines in the fridge. You will discover that changing your way of thinking and being able to maintain it is the key to success. Remember that it is not a race of speed, but of background, of a marathon.
16The risks of overly demanding purposes
We can not set goals that are exaggerated or disproportionate. Take, for example, the fact that the average citizen uses the same purpose ten years in a row and the target is usually abandoned after approximately six weeks . One of the reasons is because we have made a goal too demanding. In fact, of those who succeed, it usually happens after six attempts, which means six years of effort.
So, why is the success rate so low? It has a lot to do with what we just said: the size of the purpose. We tend to choose high targets when making annual resolutions. Losing 30 kilos, find the couple of your dreams a few months after the start of the year… They are great challenges that require time and not exactly the one we have in our heads.
17The small steps work
If we keep our dreams and goals complex but we strive to make the daily steps towards them as small as possible, our chances of success will be much greater. For example, if exercise and fitness are your key goals, consider running or doing push-ups for one minute each day. In the process, you will begin to build a habit that will help you maintain your long-term goal.Small steps do not work faster than giant jumps, but they work. When you choose to start with small steps, steps that do not require months or years of willpower and discipline, you build habits that are maintained over time. For all life.