5 Top Questions For Making New Year's Resolutions Work

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Have you ever made a New Year's resolution? Maybe you resolved to lose weight, stop smoking or get fit. Did you see it through? The vast majority of people you probably didn't and by the end of January you, too, will be back into their old habit patterns after promising this year would be different from last year. Sound familiar?

To make your resolutions stick you need to answer five big questions: What (exactly) do you want? This must be very specific and measurable. Setting an objective to lose weight is not tight enough. The question is how much weight do you want to lose? Your goal should also be focused on the positive, on what you want to do or have rather than what you don't want or don't have. By focusing on losing something, e.g. I want to stop smoking, your mind is focusing on the very thing that you don't want. For a moment, try not thinking about a dog chasing a cat. What have you just thought about? What is the alternative behaviour or thing that you do want?

Why do you want it? This is perhaps the biggest question of all and gets to your real motivation.You need a big why or your efforts will fail at the first challenge in January. Your why might be that to continue on your current path causes you so much pain that there really is no alternative. Alternatively it may be that what you are looking to achieve is so powerful for you that you will do anything to get it. The bigger your why, the easier the how is. It's when there isn't a sufficiently big why that the how or implementation becomes difficult. In this way why power is a bigger factor to successful resolutions than will power.

Does your goal fit in with who you are as a person? To be successful it must connect with who you are as a person and what you value and believe in. If it doesn't, you will experience incongruence and unconsciously find ways to sabotage your efforts to change and then you will be making the same resolutions again next December 31st.

How will you do it? This is about taking committed action. The good news is that your actions don't need to be huge and revolutionary. If necessary, break a big goal into smaller, achievable targets. Lots of small successes built on each other can make a big change over time. In many cases success isn't about doing the extraordinary things, but doing ordinary things extraordinarily well. The secret is to do whatever it makes for as long as it takes, changing your approach as necessary.

Finally, when will you do it by? As soon as possible does not appear in any diary. Putting a date on your goal increases your focus. Without a time limit your attempts to change will just drift.

With so many people giving up on their resolutions it seems that they look forward to the New Year to make a new start on old habits. Don't let this happen to you this year.

About the Author:

Ian Henderson is a professional speaker and coach who offers his audiences and clients valuable ideas, insights and inspiration. Visit http://www.ianhenderson.co.uk for more information.

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