New Year’s resolutions – the WHY, not the WHAT

New Year’s resolutions. Goal setting. Everywhere you look you are reminded that it’s the start of a new year and so therefore, you should be thinking about what you want to start, stop or change. I don’t know about you, but I find it difficult to stick to new years resolutions. It seems we are not alone; according to a 2007 study by Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol involving 3,000 people showed that 88% of those who set New Year resolutions fail, despite the fact that 52% of the study’s participants were confident of success at the beginning. There are lots of articles out there that tell you how to stick to your New Year resolutions, but for me, the one and only factor that is fundamental achieving anything is pure motivation. To put it simply, if I know what I want, I will do whatever it takes to achieve it. Because I want it, and I know WHY I want it.

Visualisation is a technique often used in sports psychology, the idea being that “whatever happens out there is a result of what happens in here”, in other words, your performance is often the result of what is happening inside your head – the thoughts, beliefs and values that you hold. Tim Gallwey (author of the Inner Game) talks about the idea of goal mobility. This is about moving towards our desired goals and enjoying the process of achieving them, as well as the end result. He talks about being clear on the purpose of your goal, and to be open and flexible about your journey towards them. We should expect challenges and obstacles, and when we encounter them, we can try focusing on how far we have come rather than how far we have to go, whilst looking for creative and alternative ways to stick to our goal.

Visualising how we will feel, where we will be and the impact of achieving a desired change in our lives can bring a tangible sense of motivation. Really taking the time to focus on what it is that we really want and why we want it helps to make it feel real, achievable and transformative. Rather than setting New Year resolutions, I create a vision board, which acts as a constant reminder of what is important to me this year. What I want to focus on in my life and my career – what I want to be, to do and to have in my life. This usually sits on the wall somewhere in my house where I will see it frequently, and I often move it around so that it feels ‘fresh’. Remembering why I want to achieve these goals and the impact they can have clarifies my sense of purpose and encourages me to keep going throughout the year.

In essence, you stand a much better chance of succeeding with your New Year resolutions if you focus on your reasons for embarking on them. In short, focus on the WHY not just the WHAT. If you are interested in creating your own vision for 2017, have a look at this blog I wrote last year. I am running a vision board workshop this Friday evening, it’s fully booked but if you are interested in attending any future events please get in touch.



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