Sometimes, taking time to reflect has a more powerful impact on our behaviour than even goal setting.
Read on to learn the Most Effective Way to Achieve Your Goals in the New Year.
Happy New Year!
Happy New Year! I can’t believe that it’s 2018! Time is flying by so fast – it’s hard to keep up with it all.
As we enter yet another new year, almost all of us sit down and write (or at least think about) a number of goals (New Year Resolutions) that we’d like to achieve. Maybe you’ve already done this. Perhaps you’ve focussed on relationships, eating, health, work/life balance and overall wellness.
My questions to you are:
‘How many of last year’s resolutions came true for you?’
‘Did making those resolutions fill you with joy and commitment, or did they make you groan as you thought about all that you had to do to make a real difference in your life?’
While most of us believe that making New Year’s Resolutions is a powerful way to effect changes in our lives, surprising new research suggests that this is not so.
So, don’t get depressed by all the things you haven’t achieved from last year, read on and learn an absolutely new method for turning your desires into reality…
Stanford University Research
The famous Stanford University recently published the results of an interesting psychological study involving goal setting (i.e. New Year’s Resolutions). Researchers took two groups of students, each comprising about 200 students. The first group followed the traditional approach of setting New Year’s Resolutions. They were tracked for a year, and researchers examined the percentage of goals achieved, as well as individual, subjective measures of happiness with respect to this process. The results were astounding! Less than 4% of goals were regarded as successfully achieved (by the students themselves) and ‘anxious’, ‘depressed’ and ‘guilty’ were the three most commonly-used words to describe their feelings associated with their New Year’s Resolutions (can you relate to these feelings?). Not a great track record of accomplishment – and not a resoundingly positive impact on the lives of these students eh?
In contrast, the other group followed a simple two-step process.
Firstly, they celebrated their successes of the year just gone. They wrote in a journal to describe their successes and how they felt about them. They celebrated the things they felt went well. They reflected on their feelings about themselves over the past year in a positive way and recorded them.
Secondly, they wrote down three things that they’d like to accomplish in the coming year. They then sat there and visualised the achievement of these three goals – the thoughts they’d have, the comments others would make about them, and the feelings they would have at the achievement of these goals. Then, each and every week, researchers would prompt them (via Facebook Message) to take 3 minutes out to visualise the achievements of these three goals.
Over the course of the year, this group was also interviewed regularly to discuss progress and subjective assessments of happiness. By the end of the year, nearly 70% (68%) of goals were described by students as being achieved. Commonly used descriptors included: ‘joy’, ‘great’, ‘happy’, and ‘achievement’ when discussing these goals.
What A Difference
What a difference! Just two simple changes made all the difference to both the achievement of New Year’s Resolutions – AND – the feelings that people had about themselves with respect to these goals. All they did was:
- Celebrate their successes of the past year
- Visualised the achievement of three goals – every week
Now – For You And Me
I wonder if you’d like to do the same. I wonder if you would commit, along with me, to write down just ten things that you feel good about achieving in 2017. I try to write in a Gratitude Journal each day (I don’t always get to it I must admit) – but I’ll make an extra special effort this week to write down ten things I feel great about accomplishing this year. Would you do the same? If last year wasn’t the best for you – then just choose five things that you can really celebrate about yourself and what you accomplished. Feel good about yourself and what you’ve accomplished. Just ‘sit’ with this feeling for a while – it’s worth congratulating yourself on a job well done.
STEP TWO: VISUALISE THREE DESIRES
Now, pick three things that you’d like to accomplish this coming year. Sit down with your eyes closed. Imagine that you’ve already achieved each one (in turn). Think about three things:
- What would the achievement LOOK LIKE
- What would the achievement SOUND LIKE (i.e. what would you say, and what would others say about this achievement)
- What would the achievement FEEL LIKE
Then, just repeat this process, taking just one minute on each goal/desire to visualise and engage your intention each and every single week.
Then watch what happens…
It wouldn’t surprise me if miracles occur.
After all, I think that you’re an absolute amazing miracle yourself – so it’ll be no wonder to me if amazing things happen to you this year.
Be bold. Get engaged. Feel the difference.
Commit yourself not to New Year’s Resolutions – but to taking 3 minutes each week to just sit and visualise those things you want most.
And then let me know how you go. And I’ll do the same.
Yours in health
(Integrative Doctor, Naturopath, Herbalist, Nutritionist)
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