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|Seven Steps to Successful New Year Resolutions
|One of the amazing gifts that we have as people is the desire to have dreams of a better life, and the ability to establish goals to live out those dreams. What is even more amazing is that we have also been given the ability to not only dream but to pursue those dreams and not only to pursue them, but the ability to actually set goals and make plans to achieve those dreams.
I did so much of my Christmas shopping this year online. Some may think me lazy, but I love to shop that way. It has dawned on me that setting and achieving goals really is as simple a process as placing an order. Therefore, when you now complete each of the following steps in this ordering process, it becomes a bit like ordering your goals!
Suppose I have set myself a goal to reduce my weight by 3 kilograms during the month of January. I compare the online DVD store to Life's Amazing Virtual Goal Delivery System and am delighted to say that if you follow these steps, your New Year resolutions are in the bag!
The Amazing Virtual Goal Delivery System:
The first Step: Decide what you want.
Take some quality time out for yourself to be quiet. This is something that hardly any of us do enough of in our busy lives. We tend to manically rush, and we are constantly paying attention to the noise that is going on around us. Your heart and mind really do enjoy times of quiet, to peer deep within. It is when we take the time to do this that our hearts are set free to soar and take flight on the wings of our own dreams and goals!
Think about what really thrills you. When you are quiet, think about those things that really get your blood moving. What would you LOVE to do, either for fun or for enhancing the quality of your life? What would you love to accomplish? What would you try if you were guaranteed to succeed? What big thoughts move your heart into a state of excitement and joy? When you answer these questions you will feel Great and start becoming aware of what your goals are and of course what they should be.
Life is too short to not pursue your dreams. Someday your life will near its end and all you will be able to do is look backwards. You can reflect with joy or regret. Those who dream, who set goals and act on them to live out their dreams are those who live lives of joy and have a sense of peace when they near the end of their lives. They have finished well, for themselves and for their families.
So, back to the online goal ordering system; I cannot and do not expect the online DVD company to send me a film or comedy show before I have actually sent them my request, neither should you expect life to supply the resources to stop smoking, reduce weight, lower stress levels or be filled with self-esteem for example. So, choose the outcome that you require so that it can be ordered.
In order to do this ensure that you do get a vivid, sensory rich idea on how you want it to be; decide upon what it is that you really want and then make sure that you do really state it in the positive. For example "I want to achieve and maintain the size shape and weight that pleases me" and NOT "I want to lose some weight." We are not "losers" here!
Your unconscious mind treats negative and positive the same when it learns, they are not processed by your neurology in the same way that they are when you say them, for example; If I were to now say to you: "Don't think of a pink elephant" it is a command that is very difficult to actually do. In order not to do it, you have to do it! When someone says "I want to stop lacking confidence" you have to imagine lacking confidence to understand the sentence! You are dominating your mind with the thoughts of the things you do not want.
The Second Step: Get Your Goal In Writing; Make It Real and Tangible.
Before I can place an order for any DVDs, I had to find the right order page for the DVD I wanted. However, before I could find the right order page, I had to type the right key terms into the search bar. I wouldn't have found the right order page if I hadn't used the right terms. Wouldn't it have been madness for me to have typed "NOT The First Star Wars Film and NOT The second Star Wars Film" or to have typed in "I do not really want anything with Jack Nicholson in it..." in my search for the DVDs I did want? Write what you do want, and be as specific and particular as you can.
As I have already mentioned, it is a common thing for people to think about what they want out of life in negative terms. They talk about "getting out of debt" when they really mean that they want to experience "financial security and freedom."
Your unconscious mind is going to deliver precisely what you order. Vague orders bring vague results and we never see the connection between our requests and what shows up. Too often we place careless orders unknowingly, and then wonder why things do not turn out the way we wanted them to. Focusing on "debt" brings a constant supply of it into your life, even if you are trying to get rid of it. After all, it's like putting "NOT debt" into the search tool. You're not looking for the "debt" order page, so stop using that expression today!
Commit to the thing you want by putting it in writing. It is like entering it in an imaginary search box. It is also the fastest way to get to the right order page. One more thing: write it in present tense as though it has already happened. Make it happen in the now!
So, maybe your goal statement in writing will be something like, "January 30th: I have now reduced my weight by 3kgs." Getting it in writing automatically takes you to Life's "order page" but you are not done yet. The DVD is not on it's way until you have completed the order all the way to the end of the process.
Third Step: Loading Up Your Shopping Cart.
Now, if you are going to invest your own endeavour on doing something, you need to have a good reason, so let yourself know exactly what the reasons are that you want to achieve this goal. What is it going to get for you? How does it benefit you? What then becomes possible for you? Allow yourself to really explore all the benefits that you are going to get from achieving your goal. The more you do this, the easier it is to be enthusiastic and motivated about it, and then of course the more your success is simply inevitable.
In my DVD purchasing experience, after I typed in "Star Wars Episode Three: Revenge of The Sith" into the websites search engine, it presented me with a list of "Star Wars" DVDs. Some were the earlier films. After carefully selecting my specific choice, I clicked "Add to Shopping Cart." This is a logical step; after all, I cannot really expect the online DVD people to despatch the DVD until I have advised them which one in particular I am after.
This step is comparable to the step of adding detail and sensory information to your goal statement. You need to spend time creating a more detailed description of the thing you desire. Instead of "January 30th: I have now reduced my weight by 3 kgs" you write, "January 30th: I am delighted and proud now that I have made really powerful steps to achieving and maintaining the size, shape and weight that pleases me, by successfully reducing my weight by 3kgs. I am truly happy at how easily this was achieved and am grateful to myself for having successfully compoleted this. I am now developing a more progressive relationship with myself and expect to reduce more weight with more ease this following month too."
Following this step means that you have just added your desired goal and successful outcome to the "Special Life Cart."
The Fourth Step: Where are you? Give your shipping address.
Now that the DVD is in my shopping cart, I have to tell the DVD company where to send it. This step is the part that ensures that my ordered DVD is distributed to my location. This now brings together two key pieces of information into one virtual place. Without this step, the DVD people cannot send me the bookÃ– because they have no address for the package.
Goal setting is no different. Just as the DVD and my address had to merge into one database, the goal you want needs to be merged with your personal information also. Notice that during this step, it is not the actual DVD that came together with my actual home; it is simply a representation of the DVD that came together with a representation of my home.
The same needs to happen with a representation of the thing you want, and a representation of you. How? You must imagine yourself achieving that goal; being that ideal weight for example. It might take a few minutes to really generate the images in a vivid way. Nevertheless, with the power of disciplined thoughts, you merge the thing you want, with the person you are. Your mind is the virtual database where it all must come together before Life can fill that order.
As you think about your goal now, having it in the positive form, vividly imagine just what you are going to see, hear and feel when you get what you want. As you are doing that, turn the brightness and colours up in your imagination, make the sounds louder, even add some of your favourite music or other wonderful sounds and turn up the wonderful feelings that go with it, think about where in your body those feelings are going to be when you achieve that goal and really make them more intense.
Then BELIEVE in that which you want. As you imagine that goal, view it and perceive it like you just know it is going to happen, in the same way that you know if you drop your cup of tea, it will fall to the floor. You just know it will happen. So every time you think of your goal and the sensory rich outcome, think of it like you just know it is going to happen.
Then think about how will you know when you have achieved that goal. How will you know?
I once had a client whose main goal was to be wealthy. I asked her exactly how she would know when she was officially wealthy and she said that she would have more money. So I asked her if she thought that if I gave her a fifty pence piece, would htat make her officially wealthy. "Of course not" was her reply. 'More money' did not turn out to be specific enough evidence for her having achieved her goal, so we went into the detail of what she would see, hear and feel when she was officially wealthy. So get your own brain sure that it knows exactly what to work towards.
The Fifth Step: Receive Confirmation of your order.
After I filled in my shipping address, it asked for my credit card info. This is where I pay for what I want.
In setting a health goal, to "pay" traditionally refers to "dieting," "pounding the treadmill," and so on.
But that can be wrong.
So what is the price you pay? Well, it is not an easy price to pay. But it is easier than "paying" with unreasonable diets and fitness regimes. To take the final step in the order process, to do the last thing required before you receive the order confirmation, is to allow yourself to experience the feelings you feel when the goal is achieved. It is easier said than done, but you need to take your imagination exercise just one step further; let me give you an example:
You are out at a social summer event with friends, wearing that new dress or that favourite pair of trousers, huge grin on your face, you can smell the air and it smells sweet, you feel a sense of freedom in your tummy as you move your body and you can see your friends expressions on their faces looking at you excitedly. As you meet some friends that you have not see for a while, they tell you how amazing you look to have reduced your weight. You look over at your proud partner and you whisper to them "I did it! It has been tough at times, but I did it! Let's really enjoy ourselves today!" And your partner says "You really did do it, I am so proud of you and what you have done."
This is your price. Ensure that you get into your imagination and associate with your results. Do NOT watch yourself doing it, BE you doing it.
Now, if you really do spend some time generating those kinds of images and thoughts in your mind, and feel the excitement and enjoy gratitude for the success then you are there! You have paid for your goal. Then as those feelings develop and enhance inside of you; that is your confirmation. Trust yourself and your unconscious mind to keep its promise, and go about your life in peace. No need for desperate dieting; you have already paid the price. Go about your life with a calm assurance that it is already done. Then go about your goal sensibly. The results are on their way and will connect with you in a natural way as you go about your day to day activities. Simply follow the thought. Think about new behaviours that you will need in order to succeed and begin to generate them.
The Sixth Step: Expect Success to Arrive, and be ready to let it in.
After my bill was paid, and I received my order confirmation, the DVD was on its way. I needed only to expect it, wait for it, look out for it, refrain from cancelling it, and answer the door when it arrived.
One very powerful thing to do here is to now let go of your goal. Detach from the outcome.
When you really, really want a specific outcome or really, really want a particular dream, your system sometimes tenses up, and it becomes increasingly hard to achieve it. Instead, find a way to become relaxed with the notion of not getting it. This maintains a sense of relaxation and acceptance while you are moving towards your goal. Imagine your goal as actual "thing" and imagine letting go of it, cut the ties that bind it to you and let it happen unconsciously without you having to continuously engage in conscious thought processes about it.
As for your goal to reduce your weight by 3 kgs by the end of January, if you have gone through the entire order process, and you have received confirmation, all you must do is expect it, look out for it, refrain from cancelling it with unbelief, and when opportunity knocks (because it will), simply answer the door.
Celebrate The New Year In Style!
So finally: The Seventh Step: Celebrate your successes!
People need to celebrate more, so celebrate your successes. Not just the big goal, but every milestone along the way. If you want to slim down, celebrate every few pounds lost (with something that supports you, like new clothing, not chocolates.) If you want to be a healthy non-smoker, celebrate your first day smoke-free, then your first week, first month etc. If you want to -- celebration sends a strong sense that you are doing the right thing to your neurology and makes it easier and more enjoyable to continue replicating your success.