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New Year´s Resolutions and How to Achieve Them.
Jan 4th, 2010 - written by Stephan in Psychology

It's that time again, a new year begins and incredibly many people follow an ancient ritual: they make “New Year´s Resolutions”, which is a number of events or habits that in the current year are supposed to be made better than the in the previous one. That is a good thing, especially because it mostly involves bad habits that need to be banished from life. But man is a creature of habits and finds nothing harder to change than once deepened life strategies, no matter how counterproductive they are. Studies have shown that only about 12% of people are able to translate their good intentions into action. However, the other 88% can use a few simple methods to significantly increase their success rate.

  • 1. Set achievable goals: This is one of the most obvious and most important strategies and yet, it the one that often goes wrong. Unrealistic goals will quickly lead to frustration and the feeling to have failed, causing, at worst, a negative programming of the own thoughts, which ultimately lets even easy goals appear as very difficult.
  • 2. Take small steps: Divide large and long-term goals into as small portions as possible. Do it in relation of time or events. Celebrate each day as a small success and to look no further than a day in the future. The 24 hour waiver of a bad habit is a possible action even for the most weak-minded character. Voila, a partial success! After being so successful, a further 24 hours is certainly possible. And so on. This strategy is often more promising than the absolute (and psychologically difficult) decision to never go back to smoking, or to never again sneak to the refrigerator at night. Of course, don´t lose sight of the long-term goal, but following it this way makes you reaching it almost on its own.
  • 3. Self-Motivation: It is always more motivating to do things for yourself and out of your own motivation than for others or because of external pressures. Do not stop smoking because your partner wants it so. Do not lose weight in order to please others. Do it all solely for your own wellbeing and for your own health. Be careful towards your mind and your body. Consider the respect and love of fellow human simply as being a beautiful by-product of self-love and self-esteem.
  • 4. Visualizations: People´s behavior is rarely of rational nature, usually they act based on emotions. The decision to link positive or negative emotions to one particular goal is based on the prevailing thoughts you have on this very topic. Anyone who considers himself as being overweight and who cannot stand himself, keeping the picture of "I'm too fat" visualized every day, is guaranteed to stay right there. When you want to achieve a goal, you have to live and behave as if you already had it. Imagine how great it feels to wear many dress sizes less and how much happiness it means. Any occurring obstacles can easily be overcome if the goal is associated with a positive visualization.
  • 5. Stay on the course: Setbacks are an important part of life. Consider each of them as a good teacher and never ever give up. Striving for perfection will make you unhappy. Persistence and the will to become a little better human being every day are the keys to immediate success.

Ultimately, good intentions should not need a New Year or birthdays with a zero at the end. Make such decisions independently of external circumstances and events. Work on yourself just because all you will ever really own over the complete span of lifetime is yourself.

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tags:   new year  |   resolutions  |   advise  |

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