In the first two parts of this series, I covered some of the reasons that we can find it hard to keep to our goals. I also explained some of the ways that we can make it easier for ourselves to keep our goals and our New Years Resolutions.
In this last part, I cover some more tips on how to succeed in setting and keeping goals, whether they are New Years Resolutions or other plans to improve your life.
I hope that you have started a new activity, or a new habit. Once you have made a promising start, the following tips should help you stick with your new behaviour:-
- Plan for factors which may stop you doing your new activity, e.g., how will you fit in your new exercise regime if you need to work late, or if your children are sick? Think of what types of events are likely to happen, and think of the alternative ways you can achieve your goals while still managing these events.
- Be patient with yourself. It is also hard to keep the enthusiasm for the change going unless we view the change as permanent, and a new part of our life. It is a marathon and not a sprint.
- Lastly, if you have a small slip-up in your new habit, don’t panic! Just start back on your new habit again, and congratulate yourself for the progress you have made so far.
- Know why you are making this change. It should be for yourself, not to please anyone else. Choose one (or at the most, two) goals to work on at the time so that your attention is not split across several goals. Make sure your goals are SMART.
- Analyse the behaviour you want to change – what are you getting from it, do you still need this benefit, can you get it from any other activity, and can you retain the positive parts of this activity without the negative?
- Find something about your new behaviour that is immediately appealing, so you are motivated to continue the new activity. It helps if you choose an activity that you naturally enjoy (e.g. to get fit choose a sport that you enjoy). If you want, make the activity sociable by choosing a buddy to work with (who will also keep you accountable for your goal).
- Think about whether you are motivated most by moving towards something, or motivated by wanting to avoid something. Use visualisation to make the benefits of your new activity become real to you.
- Write down your overall goal, and the steps to achieving it. Refer to them frequently and measure your progress. Anticipate and plan for factors which may stop you doing your new activity, and be patient with yourself.
- Lastly, if you have a small slip-up in your new habit, don’t panic! Just start back on your new habit again, and congratulate yourself for the progress you have made so far. View the change you are making as a marathon, not a sprint. One slip does not matter – you can still finish the race and attain your goal.
Remember that hypnosis has been used very successfully for issues such as weight loss, habit control (smoking, hair pulling, nail-biting, drinking), self-esteem, stress reduction, fears, anxiety, phobias, insomnia, pain control and more. If you would like to discuss this further, please feel free to call me on 0403 932311 for a free discussion.