THE BLOG

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Steve Siebold Headshot

The Last Advice You'll Need to Keep a New Year's Resolution

Posted: Updated:
Live Better America
Live Better America

Millions of people around the world are making their annual New Year's resolutions. Just how many of them will actually accomplish these goals in 2013? The statistics are grim, and according to statisticbrain.com, only 8 percent of people are actually successful in achieving their resolutions.

Whether it's losing weight, quitting smoking, getting organized or climbing out of debt, the key to being successful is mental toughness. Here is the last advice you'll ever need:

Winning isn't everything, but wanting to win is. Winners have a "whatever it takes" attitude. They've made the decision to pay any price and bear any burden in the name of victory. Without this level of commitment, you're not going to be successful.

Expect to feel pain or suffering. Most people run into an obstacle and immediately seek escape. 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 push forward when this happens. If you're not ready to suffer during adversity, you're not going to be successful.

Don't focus on how to do it, but rather, why should I do it? Ask yourself, "Why do I want this goal to become a reality?" The intensity of emotion with which this question is answered will determine whether the dream comes alive or dies.

Get really clear about 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 7 a.m. and eat healthy and nutritious meals."

Develop a world-class self-talk. One of the most powerful mental toughness tools is developing a world class, positive self-talk. Do you pay attention to what you say to yourself? The words you say and think plays a major role in your attitude and what you are capable of accomplishing. Negative self-talk can be a real problem for some people.

Most New Year's resolutions aren't an easy or quick fix, and the difficulty involved usually leads to a party of negativity in your self-talk.

Begin monitoring everything you say to yourself and others. Ask yourself if your self-talk is programming you for success or failure. Start listening to the way people around you use their language. Are they programmed for success or failure? This is an eye-opening experience. You must develop a world-class positive talk if you want to make your resolutions a reality.

Feed your visions and starve your fears. The best way to do this is by creating a vision board. If you want to lose weight, for example, cut out pictures of really fit people and tape them on a poster board. Hang the vision board in a very visible location. This will reinforce the goals into your subconscious.

Become accountable. One of the biggest problems is that most people have no means of accountability or a support system in place. Go after your goals with a partner who really makes you push yourself. Even better, find someone who has already achieved what you are setting out after and have them coach you.

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.

Lose your approval addiction. Stop caring about what other people think of your goals. Psychologists call it "approval addiction," and once you overcome it to any significant degree, you are free of the psychological chains that bind most people from ever experiencing world-class success.

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. It 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.

Become Future-Oriented. 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.

Decide to make 2013 your year. Sharpen your mental toughness tools and make great things happen in the new year.

From Our Partners