How to make your New Year’s Resolutions happy and hypnotic!
Posted Jan 27 2009 8:05pm
Happy New Year, everyone!
I hope you enjoyed wonderful celebrations - whether you were celebrating the turning of the year with champage and fireworks or some quiet reflection.
Today, I want to share a secret with you. I used to hate New Year. In fact, I dreaded it…
There have been some years where I just wanted to hibernate through New Year’s Eve with the duvet over my head. I have had some truly gloom-filled New Year experiences in which I was quite unable to celebrate what I had achieved in the year gone by because I was so focused on all the things that I hadn’t yet done and all the things I thought that I should or ought to have achieved in my life so far.
And New Years’ Resolutions were part of that whole dispiriting sense of my own failure.
So I am fully aware at this time of year that there are many people out there who find the whole New Year’s stuff dispiriting and frustrating. And there are people out there who dismiss it as a load of baloney or a lot of cheesy nonsense.
So today I’d like to share with you one thing I have learned in my own life and I hope that it will be as useful for you as it continues to be for me. However you approach the beginning of a new calendar year - if indeed this is the beginning of your new year - I would urge you to do something very important indeed before you make your New Year’s Resolutions or move on through January. And that is to take time to celebrate what you have already achieved in the year that has just gone by.
You know, we are so good at writing endless ‘to do’ lists and I have been reading lots of people’s thoughts and concerns on Facebook and Twitter and the various other online communities that I am a member of about how resolutions never last beyond the end of January.
Well, if that’s the case, maybe you’ve been making the worng resolutions. Maybe they simply don’t fire you up with a sense of purpose, drive and commitment that will propel you through the year ahead and keep you at it when things get a little tough. Maybe your resolutions have been driven by a sense of what you haven’t yet done and what you think you ought to do; rather than by the invigorating feeling of energy and achievement that already exists in your life when you know how to look for it.
So, before you make your resolutions this year, why don’t you take a look at the things that have worked for you in 2008? What are the areas of your life where you have experienced some positive and progressive change?
You know, I think you may be surprised when you start to think back over 2008 and realise some of the things that have shifted for you, big or small. Maybe there is a relationship that changed for you in some way? Perhaps you achieved some practical goal or let go of an unhelpful belief? Maybe it was simply that you got a little more organised or let go a little with an area of your life or spent more time with people who are important to you? Perhaps you were a little more successful at doing your laundry or the washing-up or the paperwork?
I bet that, when you really think about the things that went well for you in 2008, they happened quite effortlessly; so effortlessly, in fact, that you probably haven’t yet given yourself much credit for them.
I often find in my work with people that, when we achieve something easily without ‘trying hard’ or ‘making a real effort’ we tend to dismiss it. We often have this unconscious belief that things have to be unpleasant and hard work in order to really count as achievements.
In fact, when you really look at people who are living their dreams, not making resolutions but actually making things happen, they are doing it with a real sense of ease, a feeling of personal passion, excitement and fun. I was watching a documentary recently about the entrepreneurs from the ‘Dragon’s Den’ TV series. Each one of them had more than enough money to retire happily forever - but they were continuing to make more money and to use lots of it to make lasting changes in other people’s lives simply because they love to do what they do. The message that came across very clearly was that they were driven by their own passionate interest in running businesses, the thrill of the deals, the joy of giving to others, the sense of personal challenge, the buzz.
This is what makes our goals and dreams ‘hypnotic’. It is the difference between that voice in your head that says ‘You really should stop smoking. You really must go to the gym because you ought to do it, you really should do it, shouldn’t you…?’ and the feeling inside that says ‘I love to feel healthy, It is so much fun to feel fit and well and know that I am going to live a longer, happier life. And let’s just see how much fun I can have achieving my personal fitness and health goals in the coming year.’
So ths year, don’t make resolutions; make things happen. Make your self-talk hypnotic and compelling. And if you want my help with how to do that, I would be privileged to be your guide over the coming weeks and months.
Have fun and enjoy all the benefits of generating this kind of energy in your life. Learn from what you already do well - easily and effortlessly, without even thinking about it - and understand how you can use that same appach in more and more areas of your life.
Finally, I have written before about my personal practice of taking a little time at the end of each day to list all the things that I have achieved in the last twelve hours or so. Every day, almost without exception, I write them down. I find that it is very powerful to do this. Before I make my list of things to remember for tomorrow, I write down the things that I have done today and that I feel good about.
I wish you a very happy 2009, brimming with fun and a feeling of personal success. You are already amazing!