We all know from past experience that many of our New Year's resolutions don't stick—which is why we want to share six tips to ensure your success as you begin putting together your 2015 resolutions.
1. Imagine it. Create a colorful movie where you envision yourself already having achieved your goal. Use all your senses: How will it look, sound, smell, taste, feel? Pack in as much detail as you can and replay your movie as often as possible throughout the year. Athletes use this technique for peak performance, and neuroscience shows it works!
2. Make it specific and actionable. Even if you have a grand scheme (e.g., "I will win the lottery") be sure that you establish small actionable steps to attain your goal. Remember, just like the lottery, you've gotta "be in it to win it!" You might buy 5 tickets a week and visualize yourself cashing in some small wins before winning the big jackpot. Small steps are not only practical, they also build momentum.
3. Focus on what you do want, not on what you don't want. Your unconscious mind can't process things that are couched in the negative. Therefore "I don't want to smoke" translates to "I want to smoke," subconsciously. For best results, rephrase your goal to be smoke-free by talking about all the rewards and benefits of quitting.
4. Have fun with it. Make your resolution playful and joyful in any way you can. If saving money sounds boring, take the 52-week savings challenge and put $1 more into your piggy bank each week. In the first week, you put in $1, but in the fourth week you’re putting in $4, and by the time you get to week 52, you will have saved nearly $1,400—enough to buy a plane ticket to anywhere in the world!
5. Be inspired. Whether your goal is small or huge, you will face obstacles, so make sure your goal is big enough to inspire you. For example, you might think a goal of working out three times a week is realistic, but it might also be uninspiring. What if a lofty goal such as running the NYC marathon challenges every belief you hold about yourself and gives you the opportunity to see yourself in an entirely new light? Go for it! If you fall short, you still will have worked out many more times than you would have otherwise.
6. Make it larger than yourself. When you make your goal inclusive of others or the world around you, that magnifies its energy. Specifically naming how your goal will also benefit others is key here. For example, quitting smoking benefits your partner as much as it benefits you. You don't have to be Gandhi or Martin Luther King to ensure that your goal is at least a "win-win," so that it not only benefits you, but also your loved ones.
Jan Thompson is a life, business and coming out coach. Contact her at Jan@JanThompsonCoaching.com for a complimentary session or to sign up for a free post-New Year's teleclass on January 4 from 8pm-9pm ET, to bullet-proof any resolutions you may have made for 2015.