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How to set New Year’s resolutions you can keep

We totally understand how discouraging it can be; on the first of January you pledge to quit smoking, lose weight and generally be a better person. A week later, you find yourself puffing on a cigarette, eating a full block of chocolate and moaning about your co-workers to your man…  

The expert in human behaviour, Dr John Demartini knows why and it all comes down to setting the right goals. Dr Demartini believes that if you make a resolution that’s not aligned with what you really value, you have almost no hope of achieving it.

For example if you want to exercise more but health isn’t actually one of your real priorities, your chances of success are low. On the other hand if being a good parent is one of your highest values, a resolution to spend more time with your kids has a much better chance of success.

So how do we work out what our highest values are? Well, the answers are all around us: what we fill our spaces with, what we spend our leisure time doing, what energises us, what we spend our money on, what we think about, where we are most effective. The more important a value is – the more discipline and order you will have around it.

With that in mind, Dr Demartini has given us four tips for keeping our resolutions this year.

1 Take a look back

Your daily actions speak louder than your words and wishes. Before setting this year’s resolutions, evaluate which ones you kept last year and which ones you didn’t and really think about why. Your life demonstrates your true priorities, and it’s wise to set resolutions that are proven to be of high value to you. Aim to reach it in incremental manners to build lasting momentum. Piggy banks become biggy banks.

2 Discover your priorities

Work out your true highest values and set your 2016 resolutions accordingly. Unless you set resolutions or goals that are congruent with your highest values you are likely to become self-defeated. If you are having trouble determining them Dr Demartini has an online tool that can help. Only set goals that are truly important or you will erode your self-worth and discourage yourself from wanting to set goals.

3 Stack up your reasons

When your ‘why’ is big enough your ‘hows’ will take care of themselves. So stack up enough feeling oriented reasons for doing what you want to do before attempting to do it. Repeatedly ask yourself: “ How specifically could achieving my desired goal help me enhance what is already demonstrated to be highly important to me?”  By linking what you want to be doing with what you are already doing, you increase its probability of doing them together through association.

4 Analyse your decisions

If you are failing to keep a resolution, go back and analyse what you have been doing instead. Every decision you make and action you take is based on what you feel will give you more more reward than risk in that moment. So if you are doing something other than what you intended there must be more advantages in your mind for doing it, consciously or unconsciously. Make sure there are more advantages in working towards your goal than in any alternative.

Is one of your resolutions to save money? Check out these  5 tips to keep your financial resolutions on track. Got a tough choice to make? Read these 6 steps for making a difficult decision.

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