Notes from IIN's Founder: 5 Ways to Achieve Your New Year's Resolutions
Can you believe it’s nearly 2015? This season is full of opportunity, with many people setting their intentions for a successful and fulfilling New Year.
It’s no secret that New Year’s resolutions are very hard to keep – study after study shows the majority of people who set New Year’s resolutions fail to achieve their goals.
Sadly, this is unsurprising. Whether your desire is to lose weight, improve your relationships, or find a new job, changing your behavior is extremely difficult. I frequently see this at Integrative Nutrition. Students set out with the best of intentions, but they don’t know how to be successful.
Here are some techniques that I teach our students and that I encourage our graduates to practice with their health coaching clients. These powerful steps can help you create a life you love.
Get very clear on your intentions.
Imagine yourself ten years from now. Where will you be living? What will your career be? What will you have accomplished?
Life is a very long time, but it can flash by before you know it. Seeing into your future is a bit like exercising a muscle – get very clear on your passion, and start connecting your passion to action. Rather than letting life happen to you randomly, take control. The clearer you are about the future you want, the more likely it is to happen for you.
Write it down.
A study at Harvard Business School showed that their most successful graduates were the ones who wrote out all of their goals and planned each step to make it happen.
It sounds simple, but I can’t stress it enough – make a plan and write it down. Tape your plan somewhere you will see it every day, and stay focused on each step. You only have one precious life; make a plan for what’s going to happen.
Allocate time to your goals.
The great equalizer of life is time. Whether you are the President of the United States or a beach bum surfing all day, everyone has 24 hours in the day. Not understanding how you use this time effectively can be extremely costly.
In order to achieve your goals, you have to invest time, energy, and effort to make it happen. This aspect can be the most difficult for many people – if you have a fulltime job and three kids, you do not have an abundance of extra time.
This is when it’s helpful to go back to your intentions and passion. Stay focused on what you want for your future, and find the time – even if it’s just a few hours a week or means giving up other commitments – to work towards your goals.
Have someone hold you accountable.
Find a buddy, friend, or coach who can provide ongoing support over time. It’s easy to give into your doubts or lose focus, and it can be extremely helpful to have someone who will hold you accountable and help you keep your word. Sometimes all you need is an outside perspective to give you encouragement and help you through the process.
Have faith in the universe.
Once you’re clear on your plan, pay attention to what the universe is telling you. When you’re on the right track, you naturally tend to be in the right place at the right time, meeting the right people, and it all falls into place. The universe is working with you to have your life go smoothly. That’s what we call synchronicity.
Other times you feel like you’re bashing into walls all the time. It feels like nothing’s working. It’s usually because you’re doing the wrong thing, in the wrong place, with the wrong people. The universe is trying to give you a message: “Hello! Wake up! You’re not going anywhere!”
Listen to the universe – it will align with you to make your goals happen, especially if your goals are about helping people and making the world a better place. All you have to do is listen and jump in.
Now, I’d like to hear from you. In the comments below, share one goal you have for 2015. What is your plan to achieve it?