4 Ways to Actually Succeed at your New Year's Resolutions!!

New Year’s wouldn’t be New Year’s without resolutions, the promising clean slate of a new 12 months means there's hope for goals we want to accomplish.  Quite often we have high hopes only to let ourselves down or just plain old forget about the intentions we had laid out.

In order to set goals that can actually be met, follow these few key ideas:
-Its important to set goals that hold personal significance.  That means first discovering what is important, figuring out our values, the things that make us feel energized and alive, this is the first step to identifying goals that are going to produce results in the long run.  So if the goal is to lose weight for example, instead of just setting a numerical goal to focus on, we should decide why we want to lose weight.  For example, “I want to lose weight so I’m not carrying around 10 extra pounds when I’m biking” or “I want to lose weight so I feel more comfortable naked and then therefore I will rekindle my sex life with my partner”

-Focus on the journey as well as the outcome.  Feeling the small victories as we pass on a glass of wine if one of the goals was to stop drinking alcohol.  Its easy to get caught up in magical thinking of life after a goal has been met rather than still living and striving for happiness on the way there.   Focus on each small little victory rather than some not-yet-met success in the future which may be overwhelming. This can build self-confidence and esteem as each small victory strengthens our resolve.

-Focus on the benefits of achieving the goal rather that has to be given up in order to achieve it.  To continue with the alcohol example, think about how much better it feels to wake up, hangover-free. The re-framing of these ideas will actually trigger a response that will actually help succeed at goals; we feed what we want to grow.

-Prepare for setbacks, and steps back in order to move forward.  If determined to put closure on a relationship, know that there will be going to have moments of weakness, of calling an old love or nights of pulling the sheets over our heads and feeling blue.  Here, its important to not to trip out on ourselves twice, once because of the setback and again, by being harsh, judgmental or with self-hatred.  Try to predict where setbacks will occur and see if preventative action can be taken in order to look past the pitfalls to the light of the goal beyond them.

Francesca Ter Poorten