The truth is our unconscious mind and ego that drives our behaviour does not do well to planning these far out huge commitments or dealing with absolutes like “I’m never going to....”
or “I will always... “ type of goals.
In fact according to according to U.S. News, approximately 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February. I remember over the years living in Dubai having goals such as I will run a marathon, earn this much money, smash my work targets, stop eating chocolate and bread, find a new relationship but “my want list” never worked. I made these mistakes: 1. My goals were self-absorbed and smoke screens for what I really was desiring. 2. I did not know back then what I do now, and that’s to look first at WHY you really want things.
Only when we can get to the heart of what we want, can we find the correct action and solution. In running a marathon - I was hoping to feel good and better about myself for achieving this, what I was really desiring was more self-love and approval from others for my achievement. In earning more money - I was hoping to relieve my fear and anxieties of the future and fear of not having enough and the hope that more money would bring happiness.
In hitting my work targets - I was hoping for more praise, recognition, and acknowledgement from others. In reality it was because I was not feeling confident, good enough inside and I needed others to validate this.
In stopping to eat chocolate and bread - I wanted to restrict and control myself and my life in probably one of the only things we can control in life, our food, and bodies. I was using the food to discipline myself. I also wanted to have the flat stomach you see on adverts. Why? I thought that would make me feel happier, as hopefully more people would find me attractive and I would accept myself more. So here I was wanting self-love and love from others. In finding a new relationship - I wanted love. To be loved by a man in exactly the way I wanted, for them to behave in exactly the way I want them to behave. What was missing here was allowing life to happen rather than trying to force life to fit me and my want list. Plus, I lacked self-acceptance. My years of experience have taught me that if you want to manifest new things in your life there are 4 keys to focus on, after all my challenges I have found this is the healthiest and easiest way to go about having your dreams come true. It has not only worked for me it has also worked for countless seeking individuals I have helped online and in Dubai.
Step 1 Keep asking yourself why you want it
Write a want / goal list and then STOP and ask yourself “why is this important to me?” and keep asking that question again and again and again. The genuine answer will be revealed, everything comes down to the need to feel happy and loved in my experience. See for yourself, explore your real motives. Only then can we check we are addressing it in a healthily way...
Step 2 Check your goal is good for you
It may be that your goal is perfect for you or it may be that your New Year resolution is way off from what you are really seeking. Ask yourself what is it that needs to be dealt with and am I addressing the real need here or trying to find happiness in something that will not bring it. Ask will this bring me what I seek or is there another more beneficial way?
Step 3 Swap resolutions for rituals
Sometimes our goals even if good for us, can be just a way we are trying to predict and control ourselves and the future. Which is futile as we just do not know what is around the corner. It is often why many of us suck at the New Year resolutions we set ourselves. Often when we set a mammoth task, demanding to ourselves that we are going to change something forever, our mind says, “that’s too much to handle” and we then sabotage it. The excuses come flooding in for why we cannot do something and “should” give up.
Just imagine if you didn’t say to yourself “I am going to exercise 6 times a week, stop eating this, only drink on this day...” and instead you said each morning “today I am going to focus on my health, relationships, and self-confidence and today I will do__________” Imagine if you planned each day, each morning based on what matters to you most at this point in your life. It’s much easier to stick to and more flexible to the stressors and occurrences of life. That way if we must travel, fall ill, or have something else come up that disrupts our plans, we can adapt and still take care of ourselves and others. If you had a New Year resolution and broke it, you may think “I quit, that’s it.” If you have a daily ritual for love and kindness you can instead serve your greatest good.
I failed several times when I first tried to give up smoking (8 years ago and drinking in the past few years). It was because I said “I’m not going to smoke / drink ever again. It didn’t work for me, it only made me worried, it didn’t work because I cannot predict the future, none of us can. That’s why when I help individuals and couples to break habits, it’s important to focus on everything one day at a time. Our mind hates the word forever and never, for so many people goals that are for a lengthy period or indefinite period just don’t work.
If on the other hand I say to myself “just for today I will not drink, overeat, spend money unnecessarily, etc. “ then I can make the changes I seek come true.
The key to this is living in the moment, creating rituals each day that serve your highest good. Asking yourself what can I do for myself, my health or relationship TODAY.
If you are having a challenging time right now, as we all invariably do at times focusing one day at a time is key. We can all deal with the stress of one day, it is when we add the burden of yesterday’s pain or the anxieties of tomorrow that we fall down.
Love and embrace life by living a day at a time. What daily rituals can you create to be the person you really are and meant to be?
Step 4 Change goals for gratitude
There is no better way to reach your goals than by regular gratitude. I want lists never work, it’s taken me decades to realise that. What does work is listing 3 or more things a day you are truly grateful for and really feeling blessed. If you are in a relationship, share them with your husband / wife, if you are single find a friend to share them with. If you want to break an unhealthy habit, celebrate what is healthy about you today or what helped you to stay healthy. If you want a closer relationship with your partner, then appreciate the things that are going well and what you are happy about.
Having helped transform countless marriages and lives using these principles, including my own, I’ve realised that it is about getting what you want that makes us happy. It’s about living each day as purposefully and lovingly as possible.
With thanks to Nicola Beer who is an international best-selling author of 4 books and has been featured on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News Network, Huffington Post and Wall Street Select.
Get in touch for any relationship or life challenges, I’ll be inviting you to ask me your most pressing questions online anonymously this year and I’ll answer them. Email email@example.com