It's almost January 1, and that means millions of people everywhere will be making their annual New Year's resolutions. Of course, while these goals for the New Year are made with the best of intentions, by February most of us have forgotten about what we set out to accomplish and are back to our old ways.
Whether it's losing weight, quitting smoking, advancing your career or making more money, accomplishing your New Year's resolutions is very possible. The missing ingredient: mental toughness.
Here are some mental toughness strategies to give some serious consideration to when it comes to making and keeping your New Year resolutions:
-- 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.
-- Realize that 99 percent compliance is failure. You wouldn't cheat on your spouse in a committed relationship, so don't cheat on something as important as your resolutions.
-- Expect to feel pain or suffer. Most people run into an obstacle and seek escape. 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? 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 to change. Don't just say "I want to lose weight," but get specific and say "By March 1 I want to lose 15 pounds. I'm going to eat well, exercise each day and get really committed to doing this once and for all."
-- Setting a timeline will help avoid procrastination.
-- 77 percent of what we say to ourselves is negative, so don't give into the negative thoughts that the goal is impossible. Keep asking yourself, "How can I make this happen?"
-- 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, cutout 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.
-- 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.
-- Avoid delusion and operate from objective reality. In other words, realize that making a change is going to be hard work, not a walk in the park.
-- 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 you from ever experiencing world-class success.
-- Write a letter describing your life to a friend detailing the way you want things to be in five years. Some people prefer one year, others like three years. It's whatever motivates you the most. Read this letter every day and it will help keep you on track.
With a little bit of planning and a lot of discipline, accomplishing your goals in the New Year can become a reality. Imagine the immense satisfaction you'll feel at this same time next year when you can look back and look at how far you've come and all that you have accomplished.
I wish you all a very successful, prosperous and healthy New Year.