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How I No Longer Fail My New Year’s Resolutions

How I No Longer Fail My New Year’s Resolutions

If you think, right now, of your New Year’s resolutions, what would you say about them? Would you jump up on your feet and enthusiastically start talking about your progress? Or would you barely remember them, thinking that this is yet another year you didn’t keep up with your promises?

If you don’t fire out all your goals straight away, or if you don’t feel really great about your progress, then I encourage you to read some tips on how to achieve your New Year’s resolutions. They really improved my progress, and I hope they will inspire you to make a new, fresh start.

Years ago, I was all excited when the New Year came, talking to my spouse about what I am going to accomplish that year. But a few months passed, and I had already forgotten more than half of my New Year’s resolutions, while the other half had not been even remotely achieved. One day, I stopped, thought about all my goal-setting strategy, and completely changed my approach. I became much more systematic, and the results showed very quickly: now I achieve more than 90% of all my New Year’s resolutions! So what have I changed?

1. Write down your resolutions

When I first wrote all my New Year’s resolutions down on paper, I felt a little bit foolish, thinking, “I know them all anyway, why bother writing them down?” It took me more than half a day! But it was worth doing. Why?

Writing your resolutions down on paper makes you far more committed and far less likely to forget them. Just think of what happens when you go shopping without your list. You forget to bring home half of the things you need.

Statistics show that people who write their goals down are 80% more likely to achieve them than the people who don’t.

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2. Put your emotions into your resolutions

There is a way to empower your goal setting: when writing goals down, put all of your emotions into them. Imagine the happiness when you pass the exam, imagine how you feel when you put your hands on the leather steering wheel of your new car, smell the fresh color of your newly renovated apartment.

I found out that if I can’t feel my goals when writing them down, then those goals are not really what I deeply wish to happen. So, whenever you write your goals, imagine how you will feel once you reach them.

3. Break it down

Have you ever tried to eat a whole apple in just one bite?

It works the same way with your goals. Break them down into small, managable pieces. See what you can achieve in the first 3 months, then what you can achieve in 6 months, 9 months, and finally in a year.

The feeling of succeeding at each step on your way to your New Year’s resolutions is so rewarding that you will enjoy the journey, not just the final victory.

4. Set up specific days

Last year I decided to gain some muscle mass. I knew I had to do my exercises regularly (apart from taking great care with my diet), not allowing myself to make any excuses. So I set up specific days when I would go to work out.

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I highly encourage you to set specific days or specific hours when you do the things which will bring you closer to your goals. You might set up half an hour every morning to read a motivational book, or go jogging 3 times per week.

Stick to your routine, no matter what. Once you get into a habit, the habit becomes part of you, and suddenly you start to do it naturally.

5. Measure your progress regularly

I do my body scan at least once a month to measure my progress in gaining muscle mass so that I can do some minor corrections in my exercise and nutrition routine, if necessary. Measure your progress on your way: how much weight you lost last week, what is the progress of your sales skills, how much money you saved this month, etc.

6. Show your New Year’s resolutions to your spouse/best friend

When you show your resolutions to your close friend, it automatically makes you feel much more committed. I show my New Year resolutions to my spouse and my children, and if you have children, you know that they can be really tough judges!

You can even take it a step further: write some of your goals on your Facebook profile!

7. Use the rule BE, DO, HAVE

We usually think of what we want to HAVE: more money, more freedom, more love, etc.

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When writing my goals I always ask myself what kind of a person I have to BE first, in order to DO things in a certain way which will lead me to HAVE a desired thing. Start thinking in the “BE, DO, HAVE” way, and your effectiveness will significantly improve.

8. Put just a little pressure on yourself

We all procrastinate, sometimes. How can we avoid it?

Pay some cash to your spouse/best friend/your children when you don’t keep up with your promises. If you don’t want to be broke, you better keep doing what is necessary to reach your New Year’s resolutions. I keep my “procrastination money” well in control.

9. Make a dream board

Go to Google, find out all the nice things you want to be, want to do, and want to have. Cut out a perfect body you want to have and stick the photo of your face on it, find a beautiful car you wish to have, whatever you wish. Place your dream board somewhere so that you can see it every day.

My dream board is hanging on the wall of my bedroom so it always reminds me where I want to be heading towards.

10. Reward yourself

Whenever I reach a significant step on my way to my New Year’s resolutions, I take my family to a nice restaurant. (My children always remind me if there is too much time between celebrations).

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Never forget to reward yourself when you reach a milestone on your way. It will make you proud of yourself and will increase your confidence.

11. Use visualisation every day

Every morning, I wake up half an hour earlier just to visualise all my New Year’s resolutions. I see them one after the other and I try to see all the details. I repeat the process when I go to bed.

Tip: When visualizing your goals, don’t make only static pictures, like a car and nothing else. See yourself moving in your pictures, see yourself driving that car. This technique was developed years ago by Russian athletic teams, and it is really powerful.

12. And finally: Find a mentor

If you have really high goals, you need some guidance. There is no better way to achieve your goals than to have a mentor who has already walked the way you are on.

This doesn’t mean that you need to have your mentor in person. I have a mentor for online marketing, but I have never spoken to him in person. I take advice from him via webinars and newsletters. You can even find your mentor in books or YouTube videos.

Put these things into practice, and I am sure that in a short period of time, you will notice significant progress on your way to accomplishing your New Year’s resolutions like I did. And when somebody asks you about your resolutions, you will jump up on your feet and excitedly talk about your great progress.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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