Smashing Your Limits – Succeeding With New Year’s Resolutions

Smashing Your Limits – Succeeding With New Year’s Resolutions

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to share with you the secret to averting failure with New Year’s resolutions and how to leap beyond your limits this year.

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Now, let’s talk about the secret to averting failure with New Year’s resolutions and how to leap beyond your limits this year.

In my Success Newsletter “Forget New Year’s resolutions”, I revealed that “Less than twenty percent of the people that make resolutions are successful in attaining success in even one of their resolutions!” And the top ten list of New Year’s resolutions includes goals about weight, money and smoking.

Recently, self-help guru, Deepak Chopra, told the LA times that he too, doesn’t believe in New Year’s resolutions saying that most people need more than motivation to make their resolutions turn to reality – they need inspiration.

In my newsletter “Forget New Year’s resolutions”, I also suggested that one of the most powerful promises one could make is:

To rid yourself of one of the key subconscious blocks to love, joy, success and happiness: to believe in your self-worth by approving of yourself.

In other words, stop seeking other people’s approval and seek your own approval.

And it is true that for most people, it can be truly inspiring to make the choice to seek your own approval, to take charge of your life and respectfully please yourself rather than living for everyone else or constantly cowering to other people’s demands. Please note that I am not suggesting selfishness, instant gratification or narcissism. I am, though, promoting balance and the strength of being true to yourself (your needs and desires) while still living a meaningful life of service and contribution to others – but not slavery. However, there is one other technique for the New Year which will guarantee both inspiration and motivation.

Last week, I presented a special training program “New Year, New You” at The Standard Miami and I revealed that the primary reason people fail to achieve their New Year’s resolutions is because each and every resolution is a wish, a preference or simply a desire and it is not a commitment or a promise.

The dictionary defines the action to commit as:

“to bind or obligate, as by pledge or assurance; pledge: to commit oneself to a promise; to be committed to a course of action.”

The key here is that when you make a real New Year’s resolution you do not state a wish, a hope or a preference, but rather, you bind yourself to a course of action; you obligate yourself to succeed. As Yoda admonished in the movie, The Empire Strikes Back: “No, try not. Do or do not…there is no try.”

So, what is it in your life which you wish to transform that would truly inspire you to take action and to commit to succeeding and achieving?

If you are setting meaningless goals then expect failure. ‘Meaningless’ refers to setting out to amass stuff or make physical changes that you don’t need to impress people whom you don’t like. When you create meaningless goals, you quickly lose motivation.

In my seminar at The Standard, I helped each participant to find a meaningful resolution and commitment for the New Year. Accordingly, here is the same exercise I shared with them:

  1. Identify the one greatest limit in your life which you want to break or move beyond (a limit is a block)
  2. Note the emotion behind that limit
  3. Take small steps towards achieving that goal and breaking your old limit or block

For example, one attendee, Annabella stated that her limit is that she doesn’t speak up for herself – a common block for many people. In other words, Annabella will agree to do things she doesn’t really want to do, will not speak her truth or state her wishes and is afraid to reveal her real feelings and desires.

The emotion behind that limit or block is the fear of confrontation and/or the fear of rejection. The answer to pushing beyond that limit is to deal with the subconscious fear of rejection (a learned behavior and fear) via one –on-one counseling or therapy.

The next way to smash that old limit is to take baby steps. I suggested to Annabella to begin by saying “no” to small things, and speak your truth in small things. “As you practice this, you will progressively realize that it is okay to say ‘no’ and you will be okay when you expand and speak from your heart even if the other person disagrees or doesn’t like it.”

Another attendee, Raelene, identified the limit she wants to break: her inability to delegate. Raelene does everything on her own (at work and at home) and now she finds herself emotionally overwhelmed. We identified that the emotion behind Raelene’s limit is her fear to trust – she has been disappointed in the past. Thus, she tends to be, in her own words, ‘a control freak.’ Again, I suggested to Raelene to identify the very first time she felt disappointed by someone she trusted so we can let it go (of course, that disappointment was first experienced as a child and not at a work setting.) Next, I also suggested to her to take baby steps: begin by delegating small tasks and responsibilities and thus also give the people around her a chance to gain her trust while also focusing on having and making time to do the things that she really loves to do.

Unless you have very strong discipline, it is hard to make huge shifts in habits or behavior. Thus, a new habit can be created by taking small steps and building on that foundation. When we expend a lot of energy trying to shock ourselves into a new behavior (particularly one that we don’t really want – the meaningless goals) then we the pain and discomfort take over and we quickly lose all motivation.

Having said the above, we also need to accept and understand that moving beyond your limit also means moving beyond and out of your comfort zone and thus, it won’t be easy or feel good all of the time. The key to success here is to focus on the emotional benefits of achieving your goal – your commitment.

Finally, the one missing ingredient to both motivation and inspiration to make changes in the New Year is the “why?” Why do you want this? Why now and what is the benefit of smashing or leaping beyond your limits? If you are simply setting goals and making resolutions because everyone else is, because it is ‘that time of the year’ or you feel compelled because other people want you to do so or expect you to do so, then you can expect failure.

The real motivation and inspiration comes from within you when it is something you really, really want and for which there will be more pleasure than pain once you achieve it. Focus on the benefit and the rewards of achieving that commitment and use that as your inspiration and motivation.

Again, Happy New Year and may you be surrounded by all the people that love and adore you and may you be blessed beyond your wildest imagination!

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.

Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & Clinical Hypnotherapist

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