It’s the time of year where we think of new beginnings and many of you will make resolutions to change a habit or achieve a new goal. Even with the best of intentions it can be difficult to keep your commitment when you are tempted or challenged. Here are some ideas for handling those moments when temptation comes your way.
1. Interrupt your thoughts: It is important to pull yourself back into the reality you want to create. Methods can be as simple as snapping a rubber band on your wrist, calling for support, counting, or taking a walk.
2. Focus on the end result: Remind yourself why the goal is so important and how it will feel once you achieve it. Picture success in your mind and really get into the feeling of it.
3. Create reminders: Write a letter to yourself, journal, or use another creative outlet to help you re-focus. Post notes, intentions, or pictures around your home or office. Keep something in your pocket to remind you of why this goal is really important to you. Use things that evoke feelings as they will be more powerful.
4. Have a support system in place: Arrange support so that you have someone to call when the going gets rough. Set up accountability and report daily either to the world online or to an accountability partner.
5. Pain vs. Pleasure: We are designed to move away from pain and toward pleasure. Associate pain with giving in to temptation. Think about how you will feel afterward. Associate pleasure with your end result. Imagine how each choice will feel later and move toward the pleasure of reaching your goal.
6. Focus on the positive: Keep your eyes on the prize. Your mind thinks in pictures and doesn’t understand words like don’t. When you think about what you don’t want, your mind pulls up the picture and thinks that must be what you want because it is what you are focusing on. It will then work very hard to make it happen. Let your mind work for you in a positive way.
7. Replace your habit: Sometimes it is difficult to let go of one behavior without filling the void with something else. This is why smokers may take up chewing gum or alcoholics may develop other addictions. Choose something healthy to become your new habit and fill the void.
8. Be prepared with proactive behaviors: Create a list of things you can do when challenged in the moment and keep it on hand. Some examples of proactive behaviors are:
a. Take a deep breath
b. Go for a walk
c. Call for support
d. Leave the area
e. Sing a song
f. Read the letter you wrote to yourself
9. Success partner(s): Studies show that it is easier to succeed if you are going through the process with someone else. Look for someone with a similar goal to partner up with. If you want to exercise, it might be an exercise buddy. Life Coaches or support groups are also good options.
10. Acknowledge yourself daily: Notice your successes along the way, no matter how small, and tell yourself how proud you are of the progress you made. Catch yourself doing things right.
11. Eliminate negative language: Pay attention to your thoughts and words. Eliminate words like should, can’t, hard, or other negatives and restate what you are trying to say in a positive way.
12. Inspire yourself: Read books and surround yourself with things that will keep you excited about your goal and believing in the possibility of success. Connect with God and ask for assistance.
13. Nurture yourself: If you are putting out extra effort to achieve a goal or eliminating something from your life, find a way to nurture and express love for yourself. It may be a bath, massage, or treating yourself to something you enjoy.
14. Reward: Many people are motivated by having a big reward at the end. Trips, wardrobes, or new toys often work well. Make it something you can get excited about.
15. Track your progress visually: Use a graph, calendar, or other way to visually see your progress. Use it to get motivated about reaching the end goal.
Being prepared and using these tools can make a big difference in getting the results you want with less stress along the way. Get ready. Get set. Go!
Life Coach, Linda Luke, supports clients in reconnecting with their own inner guidance system and clearing the thoughts, fears, beliefs, and habits that get in the way of their having the life they want. She does this through one on one coaching by phone or in person. She also leads teleclasses and workshops and is available for local speaking engagements. Check out her website at http://lifecoachlinda.com/