We are entering a new decade. What a great reason to celebrate! The new year always brings with it an air of change and we are all eager to jump on the bandwagon of opportunities. With every passing year, we make promises of improvement. We all have visions, ideals, and new habits that we want to incorporate into our lives. And of course, with every coming of January we are certain that THIS year will be different.

“We’ll start going to the gym every day! And eating the healthiest we ever have…goodbye junk food! Oh, and don’t forget, this is the year we’ll be rich! We’ll create a business and save money. We’ll also improve our mental health, and maybe we’ll start meditating.” We say we’ll do this, and we’ll do that, and before you know it, the year is gone… it’s December again. Where did time go? Did you accomplish your goals?

Most people tend to feel excited when they start anything new. The gyms are full of commited health-seekers the first couple months of the year, but slowly, they start emptying out as the New Year’s momentum dies off.

The truth is that we cannot rely on excitement. This is why most of us have a difficult time keeping up with our long-term resolutions. If excitement is our only drive, we’ll find it hard to accomplish anything in life. We need something more concrete than that, we need an action plan that will last us all year. So how can we stay in line with our goals, accomplish what we want this year and actually change our lives?

We’ll share with you a few tips which will help you create a new narrative for yourself and stick to your strategy.

1. Start a journal

A journal is one of the most powerful tools for goal achievement. How so? Think about your day today. Can you remember what you did this morning? What about yesterday? Or last week? Chances are, you probably cannot remember much in detail. In reality, most of us can’t either because we aren’t truly conscious, we are on an autopilot state of mind.

A journal makes us aware of ourselves. When we have to remember our day and evaluate how we acted, we’ll think twice about being mindless. We want to be our best selves because we now have something that physically measures our progress. And trust me, you truly don’t want to write down that you’ve been slacking! If we are not taken accountable for our habits, we likely won’t care too much about them. By watching ourselves, we can understand how we feel, what influences us, how much time we spend on activities that aren’t benefiting us, and what is working to our advantage.

We have a journal for the purpose of self-developing, which we think can benefit you greatly! (We’ll leave the link right here)  But you can also self-evaluate yourself and start your own journal. It’s all about how much effort you give to your growth!

2. Harness will-power through mental exercises

Will-power is necessary if we wish to achieve anything in life, but many of us have a weak determination because we lack self-control. Observe your mind. How many thoughts are running through it right now?

An untamed mind can drive us to many places, and it usually seeks immediate gratification before the outcome of our long-term goals. This is why controlling the mind is essential to achieve will-power, and will-power is essential to achieve our objectives.

To have will-power basically means that we are able to direct our attention and act in the way we want to, not in the way our mind wants us to act. And the only way to direct our attention is by harnessing concentration. Concentration can be achieved through focused attention, which is essentially what the exercise of meditation teaches us how to do.

Meditation is the most powerful exercise that we have for controlling our minds and harnessing willpower. We have a blog teaching you how to start meditating here, but we’ll share with you an easy practice that you can start doing right now:

Focus on an anchor- this can be any of your senses, your breath, your pulse, or whatever you prefer. Simply focus on what you chose and if you get distracted, keep coming back to the anchor. That’s it! You can literally practice for only 5 minutes a day and you’ll start regaining focused attention. Of course, consistency is key, but if you want to strengthen your will-power, we cannot recommend anything more effective than this practice.

3. Set up Reminders

We know that on top of your New Year’s goals, you also have a whole life that you must tend to on your plate. Life can get busy, so having little reminders that can help us remember our goals and habits is a powerful tool.

We recommend that you set up a few reminders on your phone throughout the day. For example, a reminder to “workout” can motivate you to accomplish your exercise routine and you’ll feel fulfilled after marking the task as “done”. It’s all a psychological game that you’re playing with yourself, but the mind loves to accomplish things. Don’t underestimate how boosting these can be!

The new year certainly brings with it encouragement and a drive to change, but in order to upgrade our lives, we cannot rely on a day or a month. We must rely on ourselves. We become what we consistently think and what we do, so give yourself the chance to make this year one of attainment! Hopefully, you can come back in a year and see great progress. Are you ready to take over your life?