Have you ever made a New Year’s resolution? Many people do. Of course, there are a fair number of people who never make them. And, of course, the standing joke is that people make them, but usually fail to keep them. Here are some statistics regarding New Year’s resolutions:
- 45% of Americans usually make them
- 17% of Americans make them infrequently
- 38% of Americans never make them
- 8% actually successfully achieve their resolutions
In spite of the rather dismal statistics, New Year’s resolutions can be a significant contributor to success. In fact, some people have suggested that those who make New Year’s resolutions are as much as 10 times more likely to achieve their goals than those who don’t make them. If that’s the case, if they can help so much in the achievement of goals, why do they so often fail? There has to be a reason and if there is, perhaps knowing the reason can lead to a solution. Think about this: If a New Year’s resolution can make a really significant difference in your life, isn’t it worth making them and doing everything you can to make them stick? So, again, why do people so often fail when they make their resolutions?
It’s important to understand that a New Year’s resolution is really just a goal. The only thing special about it is the time of year it’s made. A goal almost always requires or includes a change in behavior. Seldom does someone say “My new goal or New Year’s resolution is to continue doing things exactly the way I have been because that will lead me to achieve what I want”. So change is what is wanted. Usually a change in what is done to produce a change in results. The problem is that change runs into a powerful enemy, our habits. It has been said that our habits can virtually guarantee either success or failure. Habits are simply the way we normally do things on a regular basis.
Habits are driven by the subconscious. The subconscious does things routinely and regularly and frees the conscious mind to do what it does best, which is making decisions based on data. “Turn left rather than right”, “buy vs. sell”, “right vs. wrong” and many other things are the decisions the conscious mind must make every day. The subconscious does not make decisions on data. It simply takes our experiences, the input we receive and even the kinds of decisions we make, and over time begins to make (or at least greatly influence) our decisions. This is particularly true of those things we do without thinking…our habits. The problem is, the subconscious is not concerned with things like good vs bad, or right vs wrong. It is concerned only with what is familiar vs unfamiliar. To the subconscious, familiar is positive and unfamiliar is negative because a big part of the subconscious’ job is to keep us safe and it equates familiar with safe. So, when we decide to change our habits, or eliminate one and replace it with another, we run into the subconscious which drives our behavior back to what is familiar and safe, our old habit. Think of it this way. Have you ever tried to change a habit and enjoyed some success only to find that when you weren’t thinking about it, the old behavior seemed to sneak up on you? That’s your subconscious driving your behavior back toward what is familiar, positive and safe. The change may have been a good idea to your conscious mind, but the change was unsafe to the subconscious. So, what are we to do?
As noted earlier, New Year’s resolutions are simply goals. So, like other goals, a New Year’s resolution should be a SMART goal. A significant part of setting a SMART goal is being sure of what you want. One tool for helping clarify what you want is hypnosis. Hypnosis can help you determine what’s really important to you and what you’re willing to do to get what you want.
In addition to setting SMART goals, achieving your New Year’s resolutions can be helped by enlisting the aid of your subconscious. Think of it this way: If you subconscious can sabotage your efforts to change (and it can) how great would it be to have it as an ally in making the change? What if you could get your subconscious to work with you in your efforts to change? Again, hypnosis can be used as a powerful tool, here. By working with you to formulate suggestions that are acceptable to your subconscious, your hypnotist can help you use the power of your subconscious, not to sabotage you, but to greatly increase your chance for success.
So, this year, make that New Year’s resolution. It can make a huge difference in your life! Just remember to make it a SMART goal and consider using hypnosis to make your goal a new habit that will take you where you want to go.