Did you start this year with lots of resolutions and good intentions? Lots of new things you wanted to do, things you wanted to achieve and places you wanted to go?
How are those going for you now?
Don’t worry if that question makes you feel a little uncomfortable. Most of us start a new year with lots of goals in mind, but when the usual routines of work and home life take over again, it’s difficult to stay motivated and keep on track. This can leave you feeling a bit frustrated, which in turn affects your self-esteem. If this sounds familiar, then it might be time to start again, and we have some solution focused tips to help you stay focused, motivated and on track.
Before you launch into setting new goals (which might be the same as your old ones), take a minute to reflect on the things you already have and appreciate in your life. Mimic the American Thanksgiving tradition of sitting down and naming some things you are thankful for. Make a list of around five things that are going well for you, that you feel positive about.
There is a reason behind this. When you recall positive memories – the good things in your life – and you feel grateful, you are forcing your brain to use the Left Prefrontal Cortex. This is the positive part of your brain, and if you can activate it by thinking about positive things in your life, then you’ll begin your plan in a positive state of mind.
Focus On Your Future Happiness
Rather than trying to think of goals for the sake of it, try to focus on setting goals that will make you happy. Goals that make you happy will be meaningful, and likely reflect your true aspirations in life. This also means you will be much more motivated to stick with them! So, think about the areas of your life that you want to improve. It might be your health, your wellbeing, your career or your relationships. Think about what inspires you, and what would really make a difference in your life. Then, make sure you bear this reason in mind when setting and working towards this goal. For example, if the real reason you want to lose weight is because you want to have more energy to play with the children, keep this in mind and remind yourself of it often. When you’ve decided on your goals, ask yourself:
How will you feel when you have achieved your goals?
What will you be doing differently?
What will your family and friends notice about you?
Importantly, will these changes bring you happiness?
Take Small Steps Towards Your Goals
The main failing of a lot of New Year’s Resolutions is that the goals people set tend to be too big. This means that when they start working on them, they get discouraged and eventually stop. So try to keep things simple. Don’t set too many goals – start with writing down a maximum of three or four things you want to have achieved by this time next year.
Next, try to avoid setting goals that are too huge. If the goal is huge (because sometimes you need to dream big), then break the goal down into small, achievable steps. It might be a simple change you make, but it should take you a step closer to your goal. Make your steps specific, with a measurement of success. Then take a moment to visualise yourself actually doing it – really live it in your mind. Then ask yourself, when will you do it?
When you’ve completed your first step, take a moment to reflect on how good it felt to tick that off, and plan the next step towards your goal while in that positive state. As you practice this process, you’ll feel more motivated and more positive about your progress with every step towards the end goal.
Be Kind To Yourself
Above all, remember to be kind to yourself. As you move towards your goal, try to focus on what you have achieved, rather than what you haven’t. We all experience setbacks from time to time, and it takes time to achieve important goals – particularly if they involve changing behaviours or habits. So be patient with yourself and keep taking small steps forward, looking back on what you have achieved whenever you feel yourself struggling.
One of the tools that may help you in this journey is solution focussed hypnotherapy. By identifying the underlying reasons for wanting to achieve your goal, you can help your subconscious mind understand your true potential. Positive thinking combined with hypnotherapy is a great way to tap into this potential. If you would like to find out more, just get in touch with us today.