Jan. 1 has come and gone, and it's time to get to work and turn those New Year's resolutions into a reality. The big question: Will you make good on your goals this year? Or will you be stuck in the same place come this time next year making the same promises?
New Year's resolutions are a way to wipe the slate clean, a do-over and a time to get better in everything from our health to our finances and more. Unfortunately, good intentions are only the start, and the reality is most people don't have the mental toughness to stick to their resolutions and reach their goals.
Do you want this year to be different than last year? Do you really want to make good on your New Year's resolutions this time around?
Here are 10 tips that will help you reach your goals in the new year.
It's all or nothing
It sounds harsh, but in mental toughness training, 99 percent compliance is failure. You either go after your goals with 100 percent effort or don't bother trying. You wouldn't cheat on your spouse in a committed relationship, so don't cheat on something as important as your resolutions.
It's not about winning
It's not about winning, but wanting to win that counts. Winners have a "whatever it takes" attitude. They've made the decision to pay any price and bear any burden in the name of victory.
Expect the obstacles
Most people run into a challenge or obstacle and seek immediate escape. Have a plan to push forward when this happens. If you're not ready to suffer during adversity, you're not going to be successful. You need to know going in that making a change is going to be hard work, not a walk in the park.
It's not "how" but "why" that counts
Don't focus on how to do it, but rather, why should I do it? Why do I want this goal to become a reality? The intensity of emotion with which this question is answered will determine whether the dream comes alive or dies.
Get crystal clear about the changes
Get really clear about what you want to change. Vagueness doesn't work with goal setting. Don't just say "I want to lose weight," but get really specific and say, "By March 1, I want to lose 15 pounds. I'm going to eat well, exercise each day and get really committed to doing this once and for all."
Set a timeline
Setting a timeline helps avoid procrastination. The way the mind works, a timeline gives you something to strive for.
Focus on your self-talk
Be careful what you say to yourself, because your thoughts dictate your behavior. Most people don't realize it, but much of our self-talk is very negative. Don't give into the negative thoughts that the goal is impossible. Keep asking yourself, "How can I make this happen?"
Seeing is believing
A vision board helps keep you motivated because it helps you see the end result of the goal you're trying to achieve. If you want to lose weight, for example, cutout pictures of really fit people and tape them on a poster board. Hang the vision board in a very visible location. This will reinforce the goals into your subconscious and help you push forward on those tough days. You can also write a letter describing your life to a friend detailing the way you want things to be a year from now. Read the letter anytime you need a lift-me-up.
Get an accountability buddy
One of the biggest problems is that most people have no means of accountability or a support system in place. Go after your goals with a partner who really makes you push yourself. Even better, find someone who has already achieved what you are setting out after and have them coach you.
Ignore the naysayers
There will be people who say you can't do it and that you should just leave well enough alone. Drop your addiction to the approval of others, ignore them and keep pushing forward. Achieving world-class success in anything means believing in yourself no matter what others think or say.
Let's be perfectly clear: Turning your New Year's resolutions into a reality is indeed very possible. The question is: Do you have the mental toughness to do it once and for all? Here's wishing you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2016 and to making the changes that will impact your life for the better.