It’s January 2018 and time to think about what you want. Have you made resolutions – to lose weight, get fit, change jobs or have a happier marriage? Is there something you have always wanted to do, but never get around to it?

Most people start their resolutions with great enthusiasm. They hit the gym, start the new diet or the class, but within a few weeks they run out of steam and fall back into old habits.

One reason for this is we make wishes not resolutions. You want something, but haven’t decided, thought it through or made a detailed plan. Change takes effort and it takes persistence. If you want to buy a new car for example, you don’t expect the right car to arrive without effort. Instead you get organized, look at ads, visit garages and research the internet for a good deal. But we forget new year’s resolutions require work, so our brains fall back into old familiar habits and routines.

To make a change you must take control of your brain, have a clear vision of what you want, a good plan and act persistently. A UK study found it took much longer to establish new habits than commonly believed – 66 days rather than 21 days.

Here are five tips to get you started, either working with a friend or journaling alone…

 

  1. Take stock of your current life and give yourself credit:

    What is going well? What successes have you had over the past year? What are you grateful for? Where do you deserve credit?

  2. Ask yourself what you really want?

    What is important for the year ahead? What is missing? What is the next challenge? What would complete the picture? Writing down your thoughts gives you clarity and make goals more definite.

  3. Make a plan:

    Once you know what you want, create a roadmap to reach your goals. Even baby steps are important. The seeds you plant today, grow into the seedlings of next week, the plants of next month and the tree you want in a year.

  4. Visualization helps bring your vision into reality:

    Visualization is an important tool to change your brain’s hard wiring. According to the Law of Attraction, your brain can’t distinguish between your thoughts and reality. The more you practice seeing what you want and imagine how good it feels, the quicker you will attract it, because your internal and external worlds want alignment.

  5. Get enough support.

    Most people underestimate how much support they need to make changes. Talking to someone who understands and keeps you accountable, helps you keep going when you get discouraged. Whether it’s a good friend, a group or a counsellor/ coach, reaching out for help turns your resolutions into your reality.

 

Grace Gerry offers help online and in person in Donegal this year. Her Canadian cellphone is 1.250.885-6821, her Irish mobile is 087.454-4322, and her emails is [email protected]

5 Tips For Success With New Year’s Resolutions