At the time of writing this article, it is mid-January. This is about the time when the flurry of motivation to make changes brought on by the new year may be starting to wane. The most common resolutions people make revolve around health, such as to drink less, eat less, quit smoking; or personal development, such as learning a new skill, facing your fears, building accomplishments and so on.
Follow these 4 tips to give yourself the best chance of making changes stick:
- No matter how lofty your goal, it all comes down to the small steps you take on a daily basis.
Even the most ambitious goal can be broken down into a series of smaller, more manageable steps. When you perceive your goal as a series of small logical steps you are less likely to become overwhelmed and feel like giving up, and more likely to just keep ploughing away. Make sure you congratulate yourself for these smaller accomplishments along the way, as these are the building blocks for achieving the larger goal. Be sure you are clear on exactly what needs to be done and why you are taking each step – this clarity will also add to your motivation to continue.
- Change your routine.
To avoid needing to rely on willpower to change your habits, it’s a smarter idea to change your daily routines to make it more likely that you will stick to your new intention. For example, if you want to drink less alcohol, but stick to the same routine of hanging out with the same people and the same venues where you used to drink in the past, it is going to be far harder for you to stick to your guns. This is because neural pathways linking those people and venues with drinking are already very strong.
If you change your routine to see different people in new places, the experience will be fresh and does not have an association with alcohol. Until you feel confident in your ability to say no to a drink, this will make it far easier for you to stick to your goal. Once you are more established in your new habit, it will be easier for you to revisit the old places and still be consistent in how you want to behave.
- Seek accountability.
This works especially well for building habits which can be done in a group – such as exercising more or learning a new sport like golf or tennis. If a friend or family member is relying on you to show up, your sense of personal pride and perhaps a healthy dose of competition will keep you motivated to continue.
- Change your thinking.
If you have goals that you are struggling to achieve, or find yourself coming up against some serious internal resistance, it’s likely you have some limiting beliefs about yourself and your abilities which are holding you back.
The good news is that this can be changed, and probably more easily than you think! Hypnotherapy is a wonderful modality for uncovering and changing beliefs and thought patterns as we work with the subconscious mind. Instead of attempting changes at the superficial level, if you work on your mindset first and uncover what is holding you back, you will find that change happens naturally and automatically.