Remember those New Year’s resolutions you made at the beginning of the year? Did you make good on them or did you forget about them by February 1? With less than 100 days left in the year, you can still turn those resolutions into a reality and reach your goals before 2012 officially rolls in. Whether it’s losing weight, getting out of debt, organizing your home or whatever, all it takes is a little mental toughness.
Get Really Clear and Committed to 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 7am and eat healthy and nutritious meals.”
The other big mistake most people make is their lack of commitment. In mental toughness training, we say it’s all or nothing. If you’re on a diet, for example, you can’t let those old thoughts, habits or temptations to cheat in the door for even a second. It sounds harsh, but 99% compliance is failure. You wouldn’t cheat on your partner in a committed relationship, and you shouldn’t cheat on your diet either.
Military training is filled with obstacle courses. The purpose of this is to train soldiers to be ready for anything. Same concept holds true for making and keeping a New Year’s resolution. Everyday isn’t going to be smooth sailing and there will be times when you want to throw in the towel.
If you know ahead of time that you are going to run into obstacles, you can be better prepared to deal with them. 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 stay on track. If you’re not ready to suffer during adversity, you’re not going to be successful.
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? What you think to yourself plays a major role in your attitude and what you are capable of accomplishing. It’s estimated that 77% of the average person’s self-talk is negative.
Self-talk is what we say to ourselves all day long, yet it’s also how we say it. 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.
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. The fulfillment of these promises, or resolutions, builds confidence and self-esteem, which eventually leads you to believe that almost anything is possible. Discipline 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.
To achieve your New year’s resolutions, rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 7, 7 being most disciplined. How disciplined are you in the different areas of your life? How disciplined have you been in the past about resolutions you created? If you’re weren’t really disciplined, you need to get disciplined if 2012 is going to be your year.
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.
When it comes to your New Year’s resolutions, you must be future-oriented. If you’re trying to lose weight, for example, think of how great you’ll look with a sexy, lean body. If you’re trying to make more money, think of all the things you’ll do with that money. How does it make you feel? Use this as your motivation to keep you moving forward.
2012 is right around the corner. Sharpen your mental toughness tools and finish off the year strong!
Steve Siebold is an internationally recognized mental toughness expert. His corporate clients include Johnson & Johnson, Toyota, GlaxoSmithKline and Proctor and Gamble. He’s author of the international best-selling book 177 Mental Toughness Secrets of The World Class. A former professional tennis player, today Siebold is a mental toughness coach to Fortune 500 corporations, entrepreneurs and other super achievers. To learn more, visit www.speakerstevesiebold.com and http://www.mentaltoughnesssecrets.com/
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