New Year, New You?

Are you still on track to achieving your New Year’s resolutions?  

Clair Swinburne

One of the biggest stumbling blocks we face when trying to achieve goals that we set is our thinking!

Our thinking is better described as our mental chatter. Well, our mental chatter often works against us when we are trying to achieve something. Let me give you an example: you are trying to do something you have never done before. You want to try this something new. But in your head your mental chatter is saying to you, ‘You’ll never do this. Why are you even trying this? This will never work. You can’t learn this.’ Then all the excuses roll in, justifying and confirming to yourself all the reasons why you cannot achieve or do this something new.

Your mental chatter is saying the opposite of what you want—your thoughts don’t match your desires! You want to be able to do this something new, but in your head you’re telling yourself that you won’t be able to do it. It’s like buying a ticket to go to a concert and then asking the taxi driver to take you to the cinema! You are giving yourself mixed messages. How can your brain truly understand your aims or your goals if you are giving yourself mixed messages?

Think about people who regularly achieve goals they set. Think about any story you’ve ever read about a successful person. There is always a similar thread to their stories. Self-Belief! Do they have this self-belief because they know exactly how to go about achieving their goal? No! Of course they don’t know how they are going to do it. Their self-belief comes from a thought! A thought that they decided to repeat over and over to themselves. That is all a belief is—a repeated thought. Beliefs don’t develop from truths they develop from repetition. What is the thought that they repeated to themselves?

‘I can do this’

Successful people do not give themselves mixed messages. They do not confuse their brains. They make it crystal clear what they want and match their thoughts to their desires.

You see, you’ve got to understand something about your thinking or your mental chatter. Although many of our thoughts run on like background noise and we regularly feel that we have no control over thoughts, the truth is we do. Although a thought may pop into your head out of your control, you decide whether or not to continue thinking that thought or you can choose to think something else. A good way to understand this is to think of yourself as the producer in a radio station who can choose and decide who gets the microphone. You decide which voice in your head gets the most air time—the positive one or the negative one! You have the control.

Remember, the thought of self-doubt might pop into your head every now and then, but if you recognize it for what it is, a negative thought from old thought processes, which will keep you from your goals, then you can replace it immediately with an affirming thought. An affirmative thought has been scientifically proven to be hundreds of times more powerful than a negative thought. And so, your affirmative thought will be more powerful than the negative one that crept into your head, and by choosing the affirmative thought, you are putting yourself back on track to achieving your goals.

The first step in achieving your goals: Match your thoughts to your desires! And so, I ask you again: Are you still on track to achieving your New Year’s resolutions? If you work with youth, how do you help them to realize their goals?

Clair Swinburne is the Author of “So What Do You Think?: A Guide for the Teenage Mind”

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