Well, this is it — the time of year that most of us resolve to improve ourselves and get our act together. Unfortunately, though, most individuals' New Year's resolutions don't last as long as their New Year's Eve hangover!
Here are seven steps to make any goal stick and become real. Write out each of the following in a special journal that you'll commit to reviewing daily, and also detail your actions for each of the steps as they relate to your goals for 2007.
1) Make a decision. Before you can do anything, you must first decide what it is that you want! This is the commitment you're making to yourself that what you say you want is truly what you desire.
2) What must change. Presumably there are actions you must take or situations that must be altered in order for what you want to happen to become manifest. Identify the root of the things that are holding you back.
3) Attach pain to your present situation. Realize that you're being robbed of the life you want to live! Think intensely about all the negative emotions and suffering that these elements cause, and condition yourself to specifically feel this pain when procrastinating to change.
4) Identify the poor patterns of behavior. An example of this is when someone says they want to quit smoking but being around smokers makes them want a cigarette. Obviously you must put some distance between you and the smokers so you don't feel a strong urge. You have to consciously recognize what habits are working against you.
5) Develop "pattern breaks" if you start to engage in a bad habit. It's like a slap in the face to snap you out of your self-imposed trance. Whenever you recognize that you're initiating bad patterns of behavior, have multiple ways to free yourself of the engrained routine. Be creative and shocking — it should feel like someone just threw cold water in your face!
6) Condition your new habits. Assign pleasure to the patterns of behavior that create the reality you want to live and positively reinforce them. You have to learn to enjoy the actions and decision or it'll never become part of your life. Email me if you want brief descriptions of mental anchoring, triggers and affirmations. These are powerful ways to condition your mind and physiology.
7) Visualize your results and set the pace for when you want them to happen. If you imagine something intensely and with enough detail and emotion, your mind can't tell the difference between your imagination and reality. "See" and mentally "experience" your outcome at least twice a day on a regular basis. This will help concrete all the steps outlined above. By assigning a time frame for when things must be done, you'll also have managed your expectations. This further affirms in your mind that this is going to be your reality and it's not just a pipedream.
In our practice, we're taking advantage of the marking of a new year by starting a group-oriented weight loss, empowering self-optimization and detoxification program. Call if you want details, and make 2007 a great new year for you!
MATTHEW KAYS is a wellness-oriented holistic chiropractor in Montgomery serving people who are interested in developing higher degrees of health and well-being. Contact him via his Web site, www.advchirocincinnati.com.