The end of the year is the perfect time to chart your course forward and reflect on the previous year's journey. The time-honored tradition of New Year's resolutions promises a fresh start with every Jan. 1. You can renew lost commitments and begin new projects, goals or dreams. If you're one of the many people who make a big list of New Year's resolutions only to find that you have a hard time sticking to them as the year progresses, these six simple tips will help you set your intentions and stick to them throughout the whole year. I like to think of New Year's resolutions more like intentions that you send out to the universe rather than a to-do list that you assign to yourself. Jan. 1, 2014 happens to be a New Moon, which is a great time to set wishes and intentions for yourself each month. Tap into the power of the new year and the New Moon this New Year's Day and plant the seeds of a successful year ahead.
1. Set Small Attainable Goals -- Many people set gigantic goals for themselves that are so far away from their status quo that it nearly forces them to fail. For example, if you don't exercise at all it's unrealistic and unfair to ask yourself to turn into a fitness buff overnight. Setting goals that are too far from where you honestly are in the present moment engages in all-or-nothing thinking which is a recipe for failure. If you instead set modest, humble goals that are not too far away from where you are today you will most likely succeed. Then the success that you experience at attaining these goals will lead to more success and reinforce your attainment of the small goals. The steady accumulation of progress will lead to even more success than you can imagine is possible now. If you're working towards building a fitness routine into your daily regime and you do not currently exercise try setting a goal of exercising for twenty minutes a day three times a week. Once that is firmly in place you could think about expanding it to more time or more days per week. The urge to have everything at all once or nothing at all comes from a place of entitlement rather than a humble place where are willing to put in the work it takes to attain your goal. Working towards any goal requires patience, hard work and dedication. You have to be willing to put in the work to reap the fruits of your labor. Start off small and let it naturally build.
2. Chart the Course -- Take a moment every day to reflect on your progress. Write your New Year's resolutions on a sticky note on your desktop and look at them each day. Make a diary either in a notebook or in a word document that you write in at the end of each day. Note positive and negative steps taken towards your goals. Note positive and negative emotions that you felt each day. This allows you to reflect on your progress in a real and honest way each day.
3. Limit Your New Year's Resolutions to 10 -- Don't make a laundry list of things that you set out to do. If you have too many things on the list your intention will get diluted. Choosing only ten will force you to limit yourself to things that are at the top of your priority list.
4. Let Go and Let the Universe -- Be sure to include things on the list that you will set out to do and things on the list that you would like the universe to do for you. Be clear about which things belong on which portion of the list. For example, if you're setting a goal to eat healthier in the New Year you could ask the universe to open a good organic health food store open in your neighborhood. There is, of course, no guarantee that it will happen, but it can't hurt to add some things to your list that the universe will do for you. Asking that the universe take care of something for you taps you into the law of attraction where you not only do, but also receive. If you're not tuned into the law of attraction, but you do believe in God, then you can ask God to take care of something for you. Whenever I'm asking the universe to take care of something for me I do my best to be sure that I'm not asking for someone or something else to change but something positive that feels like a blessing when it happens. If I am going to ask for the universe to do something for me I like to focus on things that are far beyond my locus of control.
5. Focus on the Feeling, Not the Actions -- Ask yourself this question: How would you feel if all your dreams came true? Focus on that feeling for a moment and take it into your body and mind. The reason that we have dreams is because we believe the attainment of those dreams will bring us a sense of accomplishment, peace, relief, love or any host of other positive emotions. By focusing on the feeling of your dreams coming true you will attract situations and experiences that will lead you towards that goal. You will also begin to attune yourself to the positive emotion of success which can shift your experience of the present moment almost immediately. Directing your intentions this way also helps you release the need to know exactly how you will get to your goal while allowing the universe to lead you in an unexpected way down the path.
6. Keep it Positive -- Focus on what you will do, not what you will not do. What you direct your attention to determines what you will experience. Often times phrasing your goals as a negative leads to more of the very activity that you seek to change. Instead focus on the positive actions that will supplant the negative ones once they are firmly established in your life.