Here we go again! January, 2012 is here and people everywhere has made their annual New Year’s resolution. And while this yearly activity sounds good in theory, rarely do most people actually achieve their resolutions.
Usually by the end of January, most people are back doing the same old thing.
If you want this year to be different and you really want to reach your goals, it’s time for some basic mental toughness training.
Here are a few tips:
Get Really Clear and Committed to What You Want
One of the biggest reasons people don’t stick to their New Year’s resolutions is because they aren’t clear about what they want to achieve. You must get really clear about what you want to change, define it in detail and get totally committed to doing it. Don’t just say, “I want to lose weight.” The correct way to define this goal is to get really specific. Instead, say, “My goal is to lose 20 pounds in the next two months. I’m going to commit to being at the gym every morning at 7am and eat healthy and nutritious meals.”
The other big mistake most people make is their lack of commitment. In mental toughness training, we say it’s all or nothing. If you’re on a diet, for example, you can’t let those old thoughts, habits or temptations to cheat in the door for even a second. It sounds harsh, but 99% compliance is failure. You wouldn’t cheat on your partner in a committed relationship, and you shouldn’t cheat on your diet either.
It’s important to understand that everyday isn’t going to be smooth sailing and there will be times when you want to throw in the towel. If you know ahead of time that you are going to run into obstacles, you can be better prepared to deal with them. There will be days when you don’t feel well, your kids are stressing you out, and you’ve had a bad day at work or a fight with your partner. Whatever the case, know that days like this are going to happen. While you can’t change that, you can take control of how you handle these situations. Have a plan to stay on track. If you’re not ready to suffer during adversity, you’re not going to succeed.
Choose Discipline Over Pleasure
Discipline is the watchword of great performers. Discipline makes the difference between the good and the great. It’s the ability to stay the course and complete promises you’ve made. The fulfillment of these promises, or resolutions, builds confidence and self-esteem, which eventually leads you to believe that almost anything is possible. Discipline is a logic-based decision that performers adhere to, regardless of whether they feel like it or not. Discipline will push you past pain and punishment. The average person sees discipline as a painful chore to be avoided at all costs. The world class sees it as the ultimate power tool for performance.
To achieve your New Year’s resolutions, rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 7, 7 being most disciplined. How disciplined are you in the different areas of your life? How disciplined have you been in the past about resolutions you wanted to accomplish but didn’t? To have a great year and reach your goals, you need to become more disciplined.
Write a letter
Write a letter and describe your life to a friend as if you haven’t seen them in a while. Detail the way you would want things to be in five years. Some people prefer one year, others like three years. It’s whatever motivates you the most. Read the letter every day and it will help keep you on track.
The average person often lives in the past, while champions look toward the future. Pros habitually focus on the present while creating their ultimate vision for, and landscape of, the future. This future orientation allows them to dream of grand visions and unlimited possibilities. It also keeps them motivated and moving forward by keeping the proverbial carrot out in front.
When it comes to your New Year’s resolutions, you must be future-oriented. If you’re trying to lose weight, for example, think of how great you’ll look with a sexy, lean body. If you’re trying to make more money, think of all the things you’ll do with that money. How does it make you feel? Use this as your motivation to keep you moving forward.
2012 is here. Whatever your goals, sharpen your mental toughness tools and get ready for your best year ever!
Steve Siebold is an internationally recognized mental toughness expert. His corporate clients include Johnson & Johnson, Toyota, GlaxoSmithKline and Proctor and Gamble. He’s author of the international best-selling book 177 Mental Toughness Secrets of The World Class. A former professional tennis player, today Siebold is a mental toughness coach to Fortune 500 corporations, entrepreneurs, athletes and other super achievers. To learn more, visit www.SpeakerSteveSiebold.com and www.mentaltoughnesssecrets.com
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Written by Steve Siebold