Right now, people all around New Zealand are getting ready to celebrate the New Year. You are too most likely. Furthermore, of those people, a large percentage will set New Year’s resolutions.
But, according to Scoop.co.nz, over 85% of New Year’s Resolutions fail. So, the question is, how prepared are you to avoid disappointment in 2018 and achieve everything you failed to in 2017?
Fortunately, you already have everything you need to make the New Year a success.
Or at least, better than 2017.
Good question with an even simpler answer.
You simply need to apply the lessons of last year to the New Year and avoid making them again to ultimately avoid disappointment and improve your chances of success.
Just for a moment, consider how many mistakes you make each year.
Think about how many you made this past year (or last, depending on when you’re reading this).
Now, imagine if you could learn from them and avoid repeating them.
What could they teach you?
What could you learn?
They are not just your mistakes.
They are also all the things you tried that didn’t work, and the things you saw other people try that didn’t work.
But, in saying that, you also did a few things that actually worked out.
And the smart thing to do consider here is applying all of this knowledge you gained to this new year coming.
Imagine what your life could look like if you did this consistently for the next several years of your life.
Chances are your life would be pretty spectacular!
So, since you’re learning so much each year, why not put it to good use?
The sad reality unfortunately is, most people I know don’t change their behaviours very much from year to year.
They think about it. Even discuss it with others.
But few actually get stuck in and change their ways or direction to pursue their innermost desires.
Just imagine for a minute what losing 20kg would look and feel like.
Not just to you, but also to your spouse and kids.
How would it impact them knowing that dad might be around a tad longer now that he’s leaner and most likely healthier?
How would it impact your sex life now that you look and feel better physically?
And what would that mean for the rest of your marriage?
Imagine what better health would mean for your quality of life.
What would you do with your newfound health and energy?
Imagine what saved or invested money would mean for your retirement.
Maybe investing a little bit every month now could mean the difference between retiring early and with peace of mind, or NOT at all.
Imagine reaching 65 years of age and realising there’s too much life left for your money and the last season of your life might the least enjoyable not the most.
Making the changes you know you need to make now, will always bear fruit in the long run.
And your life will almost always be better for it.
So, commit to making this new year different!
NOW, is the time.
Let’s apply the lessons of the past to the future now:
Take some time to review this last year.
What did you learn, both positive and negative?
What mistakes did you make?
What were you biggest losses?
What were your biggest wins?
Do you see a pattern to any of your mistakes?
Can you see that many of your current challenges were caused by committing the same mistakes this past year (and year after year in the past)?
What are your thoughts on that?
What lessons do you take from it?
Now, consider your friends and family.
What challenges did they face?
What were their successes?
What can you learn from them?
Now, take the best and the worst from your past year and learn from them.
Once you’ve identified the biggest standout lessons, consider how you can overcome these patterns of mistakes moving forward.
Find alternatives to your least effective actions.
Maybe after looking over your last year, you realised that you procrastinate too much and consistently show up to work late.
It’s a pattern of concern.
Once you know this, you need to consider how you need to address this in the new year.
What are the changes you want to make in the coming year?
Identify those behaviours that will support your success.
Maybe there were times when you refrained from procrastinating or showed up to work on time.
Perhaps you made your spouse feel loved most of the time and you have already lost 10 kg.
Those are behaviours that you might want to repeat.
Keep doing the things that already gave you some rewards while making a plan to minimise the patterns that undermine your success.
Create new habits.
Here’s the simplest way to do this:
Choose habits that will counteract your less-effective behaviours and ensure your positive behaviours occur more frequently.
Using our examples:
Procrastination: Take immediate action when you know something needs to be done. Remind yourself of the pain procrastination has caused in the past and imagine how amazing it will feel to complete the task. Also, remember that starting is the hard part; once you’re into something it’s fairly easy to keep going because of momentum.
Late to work: Place your alarm on the other side of the room so you’re forced to get out of bed. Choose your clothes the night before. Commit to leaving the house in plenty of time. Find an earlier bus or train. Go grab a cuppa coffee near your workplace, which will be more enjoyable anyway, knowing that you’re basically there with plenty of time to spare.
Spouse: Spend some time each day connecting with your spouse. There are so many ways to do this, you simply need to use your creativity and common sense. Or check out some of my other posts. Remind yourself of what you love about them and why you got together. I appreciate that life gets in the way but because of that fact, it’s so much more crucial that you MAKE time for each other. If not, life will tear you apart.
Lost 10 kg: Continue making healthy food choices and working out daily. The key to weight loss is consistency. Once you have a good, healthy diet and effective, enjoyable workout plan, it really comes down to how consistent you can be. The weight-loss industry constantly sells us on all sorts of“secret diets” or“ancient root discovered in China,” with the worst part being us swallowing it. Why? Because deep down we know the truth and are hoping there’s an easier way than consistency and effort. It’s boring and not sexy, BUT effective.
Whatever you do, it’s crucial that you create new habits to replace the old ones in your life.
Many people get to the point where they have to change, where change is a must, because they link so much pain to their old pattern and they link pleasure to the idea of changing. They even interrupt their patterns. But after that, they have nothing to replace the old pattern! –Tony Robbins (Awaken The Giant Within)
Once you have new habits, the next step is to …
If you’re not careful, you’ll quickly slip back into your old patterns of behaviour.
Change is challenging, and initially, you can expect to face a lot of internal resistance.
The key is to avoid being too hard on yourself when you slip.
Just vow to recommit and redouble your efforts going forward!
When you’ve made the internal mental shift from “old you” to ” new you,” there really isn’t anything like a slip.
Just a decision in the moment.
It forms part of a new whole.
If, in my mind, I’m a healthy me with new habits, having a glass of wine isn’t a slip but simply something I crave in the moment.
And that’s what it is.
Nothing more and nothing less.
Tomorrow, I simply continue my healthy ways.
Also, an important part of staying consistent and motivated is to …
Celebrate your successes.
When you apply what you’ve learned from last year, you can expect some great things to happen.
So appreciate them and be proud of yourself.
This is the best way to ensure good things keep happening.
Reinforce your behaviour by feeling good about yourself and your new path.
Father of Life Coaching, Tony Robbins, calls this anchoring success through positive reinforcement.
The next step is to set up a schedule to reinforce your new behavior. How can you reward yourself for succeeding? Don’t wait until you’ve gone a year without smoking. When you’ve gone a day, give yourself a reward! Don’t wait until you’ve lost eighty pounds. Don’t even wait until you’ve lost a pound. The minute you can push the plate away with food still on it, give yourself a pat on the back. Set up a series of short-term goals, or milestones, and as you reach each one, immediately reward yourself … Any pattern of emotion or behavior that is continually reinforced will become an automatic and conditioned response. Anything we fail to reinforce will eventually dissipate. -Tony Robbins (Awaken The Giant Within)
Last thoughts of the year …
You’ve faced some tough times in this past year, so take advantage of them!
But, you’ve had some good times too. Repeat them in the new year.
Your past is the key to your future.
Take what you’ve learned and leverage that experience going forward.
It would be a shame to repeat your mistakes of 2017 in 2018.
It is quite possible for you to have the best year of your life (or at least far better than before), but not if you fail to learn from your past experiences.
Your results have lessons to teach.
The question is: Are you paying attention?
The greatest leverage you can create for yourself is the pain that comes from inside, not outside. Knowing that you have failed to live up to your own standards for your life is the ultimate pain. If we fail to act in accordance with our own view of ourselves, if our behaviors are inconsistent with our standards— with the identity we hold for ourselves— then the chasm between our actions and who we are drives us to make a change. -Tony Robbins (Awaken The Giant Within)
If you found this post helpful, please spread the love and share it with someone.
Remember, live and love fully!
Have a great and happy New Year!