It’s that time of year again.

So many of us resolve to do this or that right after New Year’s celebrations.  Why do we wait for the New Year?  The answer is that somehow we magically believe that putting the old year and the unfortunate habits we maintained behind us, gives us a fresh outlook to finally make the changes we need to make.

The fact of the matter is that we are all creatures of habit, especially habitual thinking patterns.  That’s why the vast majority of people going to conferences listen to speakers, vow to practice what they teach, and the new behaviors disappear as soon as these attendees return to their offices.

So what is the answer?

Make a plan TODAY, write it down, ask yourself how you can sabotage yourself (by doing what you always have done), and how you will make yourself accountable this time.  Research shows that people are 11 times more likely to stick to a plan that they WRITE down and look at, rather than simply thinking about it. Involve your spouse, partner, or best friend in your plan, and ask them to continually check up on you. Give yourself incentives for sticking to the plan.  Stop negative and rationalizing thoughts that tempt you to give up.  Eradicate “the heck with it” thoughts.

Think about this example:

If your internist told you that you need to lose 30 pounds or you will need serious heart surgery, you will lose the weight.  So, if you are capable of doing that, you can set your mind to accomplish any goal that is important to you.