The clock strikes midnight.

Everyone cheers and is merry.

A New Year has just begun.

Your friends and family are taking turns sharing their New Year s Eve Resolutions.

When it is your turn, you tell everyone, “This year I am going to get fit & trim down.  I’m going to learn to knit and make sweaters for everyone to wear by the time the December Holidays roll around again.  I’m going to organize my house and there is going to be a place for everything and everything is going to be in it’s place.  I’m going to be a better parent and spouse.  Last but not least, I vow to take time to volunteer at a local charity each week.”

As soon as you put your New Year s Eve Resolutions out there for everyone to hear, you begin to regret it.  You wonder how many you will actually obtain. 

Is there anything you can do that will help you reach your New Year s Eve Resolutions?

Every New Year, you set goals and resolve to meet them — only to become discouraged and quit. Here are suggestions for removing the most common barriers blocking your success — in parenting, our careers, marriage…and Life!

First, set attainable goals. To illustrate, consider “Susan,” who wants financial independence.

  • Affirmations are positive statements you word as if you have already achieved your goal. When Susan says her affirmation, “I am financially independent,” she is reminded that she isn’t! That’s the problem with affirmations.  So daily affirmations do not really help you reach your New Year s Eve Resolutions.
  • Intentions are statements about the outcome you want and use words that empower you to take responsibility for its success. An intention focuses on something you can do. So Susan’s intention statement might be, “I am now practicing financial responsibility in all areas of my life.”
  • Goals support an intention. They are actions you take to achieve your outcome. When you write a goal statement, you state your full name, write in the present tense, in positive words, using “ing” verbs whenever possible. Susan’s goal might be, “I, Susan Jones, am now saving 10% of every paycheck I receive.”

Instead of daily affirmations, write your intention and goal statements, then read them aloud every morning and night.

The key ingredients to goal achievement are the four levels of creative energy, based on Peggy McColl’s book, 8 Proven Secrets to SMART Success.

  1. Thoughts. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “You become what you think about all day long.” Think about that! When you repeatedly think about something with conviction, you put energy into creating whatever you are thinking about. Unfortunately, on average, 75% of thoughts are negative. When you wish for something and then cancel it out by thinking about all the reasons you can’t get it or all the possible challenges you might encounter, McColl says, “it’s like planting a healthy seed and immediately pouring weed killer on it.”
  2. Words. The words you say aloud to yourself or others adds energy to your thoughts.
  3. Actions. When your thoughts, words and actions are all moving in the same direction, you get results.
  4. Being. This last level of creative energy stems from the other three, because you become what you think, say and do. Did you get that? You become what you think, say and do.

The Four Barriers to Reaching Your Goals
There are four barriers to attaining your
New Year s Eve Resolutions and goal achievement:

  1. Your thoughts, words and actions often don’t line up. If you take a positive action, but doubt you can succeed (a negative thought) or say you can’t do it (negative words), your actions will not be as successful.  This goes back to the problem with daily affirmations.To take control of your creative energies, you must first become aware of what you are thinking, saying and doing. Then choose to replace non-productive thoughts, words and actions with supportive ones.This may sound easy, but it’s amazing how deeply ingrained your beliefs can be! You may be generally a positive person and have known about these energies for years. Yet, despite all your efforts, you simply aren’t reaching your goals. If you think there must be some deep subconscious blockage inside you, do an exercise McColl suggests to discover and remove the blockage:Take 2 sheets of paper. For one week, on one sheet, write things you find yourself thinking, saying and doing that are positive and supportive. Keep this sheet. On the other sheet, write things you think, say and do that are holding you back from achieving your goals. Take this sheet and rewrite each negative statement as a positive statement on the first sheet. Then destroy the second sheet in some symbolic way, like tearing, burning or crumpling it.
  2. Excuses, which dis-empower you and keep you victimized. As long as you make excuses, you will not achieve your goals. Instead, you need to accept responsibility for solving the challenge you use as your excuse. Successful people aren’t just lucky. Every successful person has overcome obstacles, endured adversity and worked through challenges.
  3.  Your level of faith. Do you hope to reach your goal, but have great doubt you will? Do you believe you’ll reach it, but have some doubts? Or do you have absolute faith and no question you’ll succeed? The moment you start to doubt, you sabotage your success. So you must visualize your goals in advance and have absolute faith that you will achieve them. You may not know how, but you must have faith that the answer will come — maybe from left field.Many people live by the creed, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” Your beliefs, however, filter everything you see and how you interpret events. You often twist the truth to fit your beliefs and ignore anything that doesn’t fit your predictions. So naturally, you get a self-fulfilling prophecy! In reality, it’s your beliefs that dictate what you see, so as Dr. Wayne Dyer says, “You’ll SEE it when you BELIEVE it.”
  4. Lack of sustained motivation. Rhonda Britten, in her book Change Your Life in 30 Days says, “Motivation is a reflection of how committed you are to your goal. If you are totally committed, it’s easy to be motivated to do what you need to do, even when you don’t feel like it.” When you can say, “That’s it, I’m doing this and nothing is going to stop me,” you will conquer your fears and challenge yourself to take the next step.

The following ancient Sanskrit saying sums it all up perfectly:

The Essence of Destiny

Watch your thoughts, for they become words.

Choose your words, for they become actions.

Understand your actions, for they become habits.

Study your habits, for they will become your character.

Develop your character, for it becomes your destiny.

Every day you are creating your future. What future will you choose to create?

If one of your New Year s resolutions is to become the best parent you can be, sign-up for the “30-Day Conquer Your Parenting Concern!” Challenge and discover how the Universal Blueprint® to parenting success can help you reach your goals.

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Jody Johnston Pawel, LSW, CFLE is the author of the award-winning book, The Parent’s Toolshop and president of Parent’s Toolshop Consulting, where she oversees an international network of Toolshop® trainers. She has 30 years experience as a top-rated speaker and parenting expert to the media worldwide, including serving as the Co-Producer and Parenting Expert for the Emmy-nominated Ident-a-Kid television series. Currently, she hosts the Parents Tool Talk radio show and is a parenting expert columnist for Chic Mom magazine. She has produced almost 100 multimedia resources, which are available at her award-winning website, www.ParentsToolshop.com. 

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