Resolutions are often thought of as goals that must be reached to perfect, but there are easy steps that you can follow to help you actually reach your new year’s resolution.
This Year, Keep Your Resolutions
The New Year brings a clean slate and with it, an exciting opportunity. This feeling of perfection is often what gets you excited about creating new resolutions and makes you feel motivated to succeed. The downside is that once you break that resolution, you often feel so deflated that you give up. That’s why I created a 5-step method that sets you up for success. And yes, as promised, there are no restrictions.
My philosophy stems from the notion that we create what we focus on. That’s why I place the emphasis on doing the positive things that give you pleasure. When you talk about what you don’t want or what you want to quit (smoking, coffee or complaining), you create images of the very things you are trying to avoid. It’s much more effective to focus on what you will do to replace those old habits. For a limited time, get the 5-step Dinkin Method on video.
Another great thing about my method is that it fits for all areas of life. Let’s start by looking at the five steps:
• Chosen Feeling
• Consistent Action
Our culture has conditioned many of us to focus on what we want to get rather than how we want to feel. When you think about what you want in terms of objects instead of feelings, you run the risk of getting them and still not feeling the way you want. Instead of asking for a new wardrobe, ask yourself how you want to feel in that new outfit. When you create resolutions that depend on outside influences, like writing a New York Times bestseller or being more likable, you transfer the power from yourself to things you can’t control—the buying habits or the moods of others. That’s why the first step for any successful resolution is to ask yourself how you want to feel. Then cement that choice by saying it out loud and writing it down.
If you’re driving to a destination, your GPS first needs to know where you are now. In life, it’s not always so easy to know where we are if for no other reason that, by definition, we can’t see our own blind spots. That’s why smart, thought-provoking questions are the GPS of life. Another great tool is to solicit feedback from others. Emphasize how critical it is that they are honest with you. If you want the feedback from a professional or don’t feel comfortable asking friends or family, this is a great opportunity to talk with an advisor from California Psychics (New customers, click here. We have a special offer for you). They’ll offer insight about yourself that will heighten your awareness in a way that keeps you feeling safe.
If you hit Control-Alt-Delete on your computer, your task manager comes up and tells you all the programs that are running. I wish life was that simple. We’re all running thousands of programs from “money doesn’t grow on trees” to “relationships are difficult” and many times we don’t even know where they came from. The good news is that you can change them. Our internal software—the stories we tell ourselves all day, every day—often determines our success. It was “believed” before 1954 that it was impossible to run a mile in under four minutes. Once Roger Bannister did it, 16 runners logged sub-4-minute miles in the next three years. That’s because changing their software led them to believe, and the results followed.
When something works for us, we can’t wait to tell others about it. Too often, that leads people to “should” on others. You should do yoga. You should read this book. You should try this diet. What they are missing is that tools only work if they work for you. If you hate going to the gym or can’t stand meditating, you’re not going to succeed with those tools. The trick is to stop listening to others and start listening to yourself to find the tools that you enjoy and that bring you to the desired feeling you want to create. Here’s a hint: choose tools that bring you pleasure. Keep your resolutions this year with the 5-step Dinkin Method. Get the videos with more helpful information.
You may have heard that it takes 10,000 hours to master something. It’s common sense that success comes from consistent action, which explains the importance of choosing the right tools. Part of my focus last year was to feel more grateful. One of my favorite “tools” is to sing and play guitar. That’s what led me to create the resolution of playing “The Gratitude Song” every day and singing it out loud. Because I love it, I did it every day. And because I did it, I created the desired feeling of gratitude. Along the way, I improved my voice, confidence, posture and guitar skills—all in just three minutes a day.
Now that you’ve learned the method, let’s see it in action.
Old resolution: I’m going to stop dating jerks and losers and being unlucky in love.
Notice that the focus is on losers and jerks, making it more likely for them to show up in your life. Also see that the “software” of being unlucky in love is disempowering. Even worse, there is no positive action that goes with this resolution. It’s all about willpower, and the only way you succeed is by not doing something. It’s a recipe for defeat.
Here’s a much better approach, using the 5-step method:
Chosen Feeling: I choose to feel valued, loved and cherished.
Awareness: When I get frustrated, I focus on the negative. When I get my head in the right space, things start to shift.
Software: I can feel this way because I’m a lovable person with so much to offer.
Tools: I will write down three things that I love about myself and seal my intention with a deep breath.
Consistent action: I’ll do this every day while my water is boiling in the morning.
Here’s another example from my friend Andrea.
Old resolution: I will stop being such a slob and being judged by others.
Notice that the focus is on what she wants to eliminate: being a slob and being judged. See that the “software” runs so deep that a behavior (sloppiness) has turned into an identity (I am a slob). And like most resolutions, there is no positive activity and nothing to do to make it any better.
Here’s a much better approach, using the 5-step method:
Chosen Feeling: I choose to feel organized, together and seen for who I am.
Awareness: When my surroundings get messy, I beat myself up and judge myself. With a little care for my surroundings, I feel so much better about everything.
Software: I can feel this way because I’m capable of anything I set my mind to.
Tools: I will put away all the dishes.
Consistent action: I’ll do this every night before I go to bed.
This may sound too easy and simple, yet you would be surprised how much momentum you can generate by following through on one simple promise. Andrea created this ritual when she was 30 pounds overweight, depressed and feeling all alone in the world. With this one action step, her house started looking neater, which created evidence that changed her beliefs about herself. By mid-February, she had lost 12 pounds and went on her first Valentine’s Day date in four years.
Here’s one last trick: choose a period of time that feels doable. A whole year may feel like a burden and only one day won’t create a habit, which makes a month the perfect sweet spot. Committing to one action every day for the month of January will provide both your conscious and subconscious mind with evidence that you start what you finish, keep your promises, and take action to accomplish goals. That evidence will allow you to re-program your software—the thoughts running through your mind that end up controlling your actions—and give you a foundation to build upon for the rest of the year.
The beauty of this plan is that if you somehow miss a day, just double up the next. This is the built-in part of the plan that guarantees success. If Andrea doesn’t do the dishes one night, she does them and cleans the kitchen the next. You can always remember to do what you forgot, but you can’t undo what you did.
You now have a clean slate for 2012. Choose the feeling you want, and choose the tools that make it a reality. Spend just a few minutes every day in the month of January doing one thing you love and prepare to watch your life soar! Hurry! Download Greg Dinkin’s 5-step method to help you achieve your goals.
Greg Dinkin is the author of three books, a Certified Health Coach, and a leading motivational speaker. Both an MBA and a yogi, he’s put his model to the test by losing 100 pounds, starting his own literary agency, running a marathon, traveling around the world, and winning $102,542 at the World Series of Poker. Learn more at www.gregdinkin.com.