Just Because You Haven’t, Doesn’t Mean You Can’t!

Just because you haven’t kept New Year’s Resolutions in the past, doesn’t mean you can’t keep them in 2011!  Resolution means we are “resolving to change” and Change is difficult!

Don’t beat yourself up about the past and start out 2011 with the attitude that you can be successful!  Harvard University’s research shows that people are more likely to make changes when they think positive instead of being motivated by guilt or shame over failure.

Here are 5 tips to help you keep your New Year Resolutions and make the changes you want related to your health, career, family and/or relationships.

1.     Be Realistic: Let’s face it, most of us will never look like Cindy Crawford or Brad Pitt and we will never be as successful as Bill Gates or Oprah, so try to set your goals for change to be within reach for you.  Don’t ever stop dreaming, but be careful not to set yourself up for failure by setting unrealistic goals.

2.     Be Specific: Make specific goals and have a specific plan to reach them.  For example, instead of saying “I’m going to lose weight this year and exercise more”, say, “I’m going to lose 20 pounds by eating 1200 calories a day (for 2 months) and I’m going to walk 30 minutes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.”

3.     Have an Accountability Partner: Share your goals with people who care about you.  They can encourage you and help keep you accountable for your decisions.

4.     Reward Yourself: If you set a career goal to sell a certain amount higher than last year and you just reached the 50% mark of your goal, then go ahead and celebrate…. reward yourself for your achievement to date…it will help you stay focused and reach your ultimate goal.

5.     See the Big Picture: Try not to allow yourself to become so focused on the New Year Resolution that you lose sight of the whole you.  You are not a failure if you struggle in an area or are having a hard time making a change in your life.  Remember that it is simply one area of your life and remind yourself of areas of your life where you are successful.

If you are having a hard time seeing the “Big Picture” and find yourself feeling like a failure or being frustrated over not being able to make the desired changes you want, then you may benefit from counseling.  There may be reasons such as poor self image, traumatic events, abusive experiences, unresolved issues from childhood, and the experiences of past relationships that currently affect your ability to make changes in your life.  Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an effective therapeutic technique that can help you process whatever it is that is keeping you “stuck” where you are and help you overcome the inability to change.

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