Every year, millions of people start to think about ways to make life better, and resolve to do something about it. Unfortunately most of them set themselves up for failure before they even begin, because they don't build a proper foundation from which to build.
The most common resolutions are things like 'lose weight', or 'stop smoking', or 'start a new business'. Sometimes the resolution will be something like 'make new friends', or 'win the ______ award', or 'spend more time with family'.
In short, resolutions are decisions to reach specific goals. Here are some ideas to keep in mind to insure the success of your resolutions.
1. Positive Expectation - People who succeed with resolutions are those who expect to succeed. Those who expect to fail won't even make the effort to move forward.
One of the best ways to build positive expectation is to find evidence that others have succeeded in what you're wanting to accomplish. This is one reason the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" books have become so popular. They contain hundreds of short stories of people succeeding in all areas of life.
Another excellent means of building positive expectation is to simply imagine yourself succeeding. Scientific studies have proven that the inner mind cannot tell the difference between a real event and one that is vividly imagined.
If you want to have the feeling that you've succeeded in something before, all you have to do is to vividly imagine succeeding. Then, whenever you think about that goal, your inner mind will recall the vivid experience of succeeding, and you'll have positive expecatation of future success.
2. Have A Clear Plan For Acheivement - If you wanted to take a trip to a place you've never been, would you just jump in the car and guess your way there? Or would you take a minute to look at a map to see which roads will get you to your destination?
Having a map to follow will always get you to your destination quicker than simply guessing which way to go at each turn in the road. The same is true when pursuing any goal.
Maps are made by people who have been there. Map-makers are common in all walks of life. There are map-makers who have succeeded in business and write books to show others the way. There are map-makers who have succeeded in human relationships who give seminars to help others avoid the pitfalls that await the unwary.
Before you begin to pursue your resolutions, find a map and follow it.
3. Reward Yourself For Succeeding - Few people will work hard when they don't see a payoff at the end, and with a lot of resolutions, the payoff isn't as clear as it should be. For instance, losing weight is about a lot more than seeing a lower number on the scale. Starting your own business is about a lot more than just getting away from a boss.
In all cases, you will succeed easier if you can see clear and definite rewards for your efforts. And when you're working for a larger goal, you sometimes need small rewards for each checkpoint along the way.
To be effective, rewards must be something you truly want, such as a vacation, or a new outfit, or even a hot fudge sundae. Just keep your rewards in proportion to the successes achieved, and you will be fine.
4. Get Help When You Need It - Most of us need a little help along the way to success. This help could be a mentor who knows what to do to reach the goal, or it could be a tool that will amplify your efforts and give you an advantage.