Our old habits are hard to break because most of us are not aware of them -- we are blind to what's close to us and a powerful part of our reflexes ingrained over time. So, the tips that follow will focus on making you aware and conscious so you can change what you want at the time and make it stick. These tips have evolved over the years of working with clients to achieve their dreams and break through the barriers that kept them from using their money to that end. I've also consulted an expert in changing people's physical wellness lives. I've found fiscal and physical fitness goals are often related in the process of achieving goals.
The underlying guiding principles for all successful goal achievement:
1. Attach an emotional reward to the goal. How will you feel as you achieve your goal? Or feel as you approach your goal? For example, when you pay off or as you pay off your credit card balance? Will you feel proud? Or when you begin to change your eating habits or exercise regimen? Identify the feeling and emotion(s) that come to mind. Make that emotion part of the resolution and goal to achieve.
2. Make the new behavior fun, recommends Lizbeth Pratt, Director of Camp Biche, a fitness boot camp in Lauzerte, France. She advises her clients to concentrate on exercise as a way to be and feel healthy. The emphasis is on the feeling aspect in the process. "We concentrate on how the client feels better when they exercise, with clients commenting on their increased confidence, greater sense of personal control and vibrancy. They don't do any lecturing but they do provide the experience to foster the emotional well-being that living healthy engenders."
3. Know your barriers and plan around them. Build your stamina to break through your barriers to change. No one will stick to a resolution unless they are ready to change, states Pratt. Build up your defenses -- double your efforts and focus. If you're a procrastinator for example, don't wait until you've worked a long day and don't want to add another chore to your already-overflowing plate to work on your budget. Get up one hour earlier a day or two a week. Same holds true for that time devoted to exercise or planning your menu in a conscious way. Pay yourself first. It's a gift to you which will pay back emotionally, physically and financially.
4. Keep your eye on the reward you seek. What's in it for you? Identify the rewards and give yourself the praise as you start to realize those rewards. A simple daily process that will take you less than 10 minutes works wonders in keeping you on track to success: Make a note of the three things you've achieved each day (especially in the beginning of this redo) that make you proud. Feel that accomplishment. Now make a quick note of the three things that you'd like to improve and have an idea of how you'll improve your efforts. Then go practice.
5. Lastly, put a positive spin on this process. You're breaking out of your comfort zone that kept you stuck. Think and feel aspiration, empowerment and realizing your priorities and what you want most. People who achieve their resolutions outperform others because they are guided by their internal goals. They do what they do for the internal sense of empowerment and feeling proud.