Year after year, we make New Year’s resolutions. Lose weight, go to the gym, get a new job…the list goes on. We have every intention to keep our promises, but as the days in the New Year tick by, we slip and before we know it, the year is half gone and our resolutions remain undone.
Author and Life/Business Coach, M.J. Ryan, author of Habit Changers, 81 game changing mantras to mindfully realize your goals, shared her advice on Untangle the podcast from Meditation Studio. You can tune into the podcast to hear more.
She agrees that it’s hard to permanently shift negative habits into positive ones, not because we don’t want to but because we don’t know how. We want to change; we vow to change, but our best intentions end up “in the rubble of our deeply ingrained habits over and over again.” The brain creates habitual ways of thinking and acting that become automatic. To start new, healthier habits we need to bring mindfulness and small, consistent actions to the habit we want to change.
M.J. suggests these five ways to be more successful with our New Year’s Resolution.
1. Do one thing. Instead of trying to do everything…pick one thing and take small steps to make it happen. When you’ve accomplished this one, move on to the next!
2. Make it Actionable. Write down the specific actions you’ll take to make your resolution happen. Once it’s written down…it’s real.
3. Choose a word or phrase that will remind you of what you want to change. This could be anything! It might be as simple as saying ‘slow down’ when you’re eating too fast (if eating slower is your goal!).
4. Focus on the Positive. Top performance athletes know that it’s best to focus on how far you’ve come vs. how far you have left to go. This will help you keep a positive perspective.
5. Don’t Give Up just because you have a Setback. Setbacks are part of the journey! Don’t be discouraged just because you need a reset. Forgive yourself and move forward.
A mindfulness practice, including regular guided or silent meditation, will help with your focus and discipline as you move in the direction of your new habit or resolution. You can kick-start your meditation practice with Meditation Studio, one of Apple’s 10 Best Apps of the year. Meditation helps us to be more focused and aware of the changes we want to make in our lives.