Even with the best of intentions, people struggle with their new year’s resolutions. Here are a few pointers to boost your chances of success.

Check your commitment quotient! Truth is behaviour change isn’t easy and if you’re not feeling motivated at the outset you haven’t stacked the deck in your favour. Start by thinking about who wants you to work on this resolution. Is it you? If not it may be time to reframe that goal into something you feel is more motivating. Go back and find the reason(s) this is important to you! What do you stand to gain if you succeed, what do you stand to lose if nothing changes. If and when you find your answers this should reaffirm your commitment to what you want for yourself. Chances are you’ll feel more engaged.

Innovate your resolution. You have probably noticed that many or even most resolutions are framed in the negative and sound like something just short of punishment – but they don’t have to be. Redesign your resolution to be positively-framed and engaging (even fun!) You may still have every intention of stopping something that you don’t want in your life (an unhealthy habit or behaviour) but this is more difficult and less motivating than naming what you do want (I want to be healthy, I want to practice meditation, I want to be in contact with my friends, I want participate in hobbies). This way you can more readily replace unwanted habits with the more tangible things you want more of in your life – things that are more engaging and more effective.

 Identify your positive models. Want to tap into your inner Goddess or God? Try this: Imagine yourself in a situation that you find very challenging with all the emotions that go with it. Essentially when you feel most stuck, switch places with your Goddess or God of infinite wisdom and imagine how he or she would handle the situation. Interestingly, many people find a new way to tackle the situation! But where do the solutions come from? (It’s still us in our own imaginations). In fact, people have stored away a lot of knowledge (books and articles they’ve read, a wealth of experience) and especially many positive models (people who are good at the behaviour they wish to master) that they often don’t access. So when you are resolving to do something new or differently think consciously about who is good at what you are trying to accomplish and borrow some of their ways of thinking and doing things to help give yourself a boost!

Good luck with your resolutions and please share your comments below about the resolutions you’re working on, and how these or other strategies have helped you stick to your goals!

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